Module 2 – History and Settlement

Welcome to the second module of your course, Muslims in Britain: Changes and Challenges. In the first module we learned about the basic tenets of Islamic belief and its core practises. In this module we explore the formation of Muslim communities in Britain from a historical perspective as we investigate the long history of Islam in Britain, a history which stretches back to the Middle Ages, when exposure to Muslim scholarship and developing networks of trade and diplomacy were a feature of the medieval world.

We then move to the more recent past and look at settlement patterns and Muslim migration to Britain in the post-colonial period, especially after the Second World War. We explore questions about the social, political, and economic factors that encouraged the migration and settlement of Muslims in this country. We then consider how Muslim communities have changed and developed over time as new generations of Muslims have been born and educated in Britain.

Our story is one of diversity and complexity of a mosaic of differing backgrounds and identities that challenge any one-dimensional view of communities and stereotypes of British Muslims. It’s the individual stories of settlement that can tell us so much about the range of people’s experiences and their understanding of their own journeys. We’ve gathered some of these stories for you to listen to in this module.