ABSTRACT

This chapter offers an overview of a study on the Muslim diaspora in Britain. It provides a background to the research, tracing it to the Rushdie Affair of 1989, the Gulf and Bosnian wars, and 9/11—all these events cumulatively pushed for a sense of community feeling or identity. Furthermore, the heightened Islamophobia post the Manchester bombing and London Bridge attack have led British Muslims to urge unity and the need for a transnational Muslim civil society based on the notion of de-territorialized ummah, as a response to international conflicts and the geopolitical scenario. It provides details of the field study and descriptions of the research site such as the two boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham. It offers the rationale for choosing three ethnic groups for consideration, i.e., Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Indians in Britain. These three have been chosen for demographic reasons, as Muslims in the United Kingdom largely hail from South Asia. The idea of South Asia and its diaspora is discussed. The chapter also reflects on the debate on religion and the diaspora and sets the tone for the chapters that follow.