"Britain’s Rural Muslims: Rethinking Integration (post 1960s)"

04 October 2019 - 11:22
  • Lecture
  • November 5th, 15.30 o'clock, Max Nettlau Room with drinks afterwards

We are happy to invite you to the lecture by Sarah Hackett. Hackett is Reader in Modern European History. Her research focuses on European Muslim immigration in the post-1945 era, particularly to Britain and Germany.

Please register with jacqueline.rutte@bb.huc.knaw.nl

This paper offers an insight into my forthcoming book entitled Britain's Rural Muslims: Rethinking Integration (Manchester University Press, forthcoming: 2020), which examines the relationship between the integration of Muslim migrant communities and rurality in post-1960s Britain. It uses the county of Wiltshire as a case study, and charts both local authority policy and Muslims communities’ personal experiences of migration and integration. It makes use of previously unexplored archival material and oral histories, and addresses a range of topics and themes, including entrepreneurship, housing, education, multiculturalism, social cohesion, and religious identities, needs and practices. After introducing the study's rationale, scope, and theoretical and analytical frameworks, this paper draws upon 38 oral history interviews carried out with Muslims from a range of ethnic backgrounds, including Bangladeshi, Moroccan, Pakistani, Tunisian and Turkish. These personal, unique and powerful oral testimonies of migration uncover a clear rural sphere to “being Muslim” in Britain consisting of a series of compromises, challenges, inconveniences, sacrifices and anxieties, but also multi-ethnic collaboration and cohesion, that has largely gone undocumented. This paper demonstrates that rurality matters in that Muslims’ experiences across the post-1960s period have clearly set Wiltshire apart from the dominant urban narrative, and have shown that rural developments have often been far more complex than has traditionally been recognised. Finally, it argues that the rural dimension of Muslim integration in Britain has been neglected for too long and that it is essential if we are to reach a thorough and multidimensional understanding of the Muslim integration process.

Dr. Hackett joined Bath Spa University in 2013 having previously taught at the University of Sunderland. During February 2014, she was a visiting lecturer at the University of Southern Denmark's Centre for Contemporary Middle East Studies. During March 2015, she was a visiting lecturer at the University of Bergen's Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion. During April 2016, she was a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta's History Department. She is the author of Foreigners, Minorities and Integration: The Muslim Immigrant Experience in Britain and Germany, Manchester University Press, 2013 and in 2020 she will publish Rethinking Muslim integration in Britain: a rural perspective. Manchester University Press, Manchester.

Sarah Hackett