Islam in Victorian Liverpool
Yusuf Samih Asmay
Paperback, 180 pages
This work is a unique eyewitness account dating from 1895 of Britain’s first mosque community by an Ottoman intellectual.
It not only brings to life the figure of Abdullah Quilliam (1856–1932), the founder and president of the Liverpool Muslim Institute, but the converts who make up its community and their daily lives and religious practices.
The author sets out to find the truth about Liverpool’s Muslims — who had become famous all over the Muslim world. The book caused great controversy among Liverpool’s Muslims and was later banned by the Ottomans.
The history of Abdullah Quilliam’s activities as the leader of Liverpool Muslim Institute from 1887 to World War One provides a rich laboratory to understand the formative period of modern Islamic thought and the long-lasting geopolitical legacies of the Ottoman and British imperial relationship in shaping contemporary Muslim political identities. Scholars have been fascinated by the extraordinary success of Liverpool’s convert Muslim community and Quilliam's personal charisma in establishing transnational intellectual links with Muslims across the world, the support they received from Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid, and the unprecedented impact they had on contesting the racialization of Islam in the metropole of the British Empire. By translating and publishing an Ottoman-Egyptian intellectual’s critique of this community, Birt, Macnamara and Maksudoğlu shed new light and insight on the global politics of pan-Islamic thought in the high age of imperialism. With great attention to details of personalities, events and conflicts within and around the small Liverpool Muslim Institute, this book provides an excellent example of microhistory that informs, challenges and revises our big narratives of caliphate diplomacy, pan-Islamic solidarity and imperial politics. This annotated translation of Yusuf Samih Asmay’s critical account of “Islam in Victorian Liverpool” is presented with an authoritative scholarly introduction, and should be a required primary text on both graduate and undergraduate courses on imperial Muslim thought and politics.
• Timeline of the Keep-Asmay Crisis
• Introduction: Exposing the Sheikh: Yusuf Samih Asmay and the Liverpool Muslim Institute
• Yusuf Samih Asmay's Islam in Liverpool (1896)