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Title: Muslims in Birmingham : religious activity in mosques and para-mosques
Author: North, Cornelius William
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 2908
Awarding Body: The University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1996
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The original intention of this thesis was to record the Muslim dimension of religious faith that is not to be found in Sir Richard O'Brien's report Faith in the City of Birmingham. The work therefore opens with an overview of Muslim settlement in Birmingham. The thesis asserts that religious activity can be found most obviously in Mosques, but is also present in what has been described as `para-mosques'. Section one, consisting of the first five chapters, is therefore a study of the four major mosque groupings in the City and of the Islamic education which is common to them all. Section two consisting of chapters six, seven and eight is a study of para-mosques. Chapter six describes an important free standing para-mosque in the district of Balsall Heath. Chapter seven describes two para-mosques that are sponsored by and administratively connected with specific mosques in the districts of Alum Rock and Small Heath. Chapter, eight asserts that the major thrust of the Muslim Education Consultative Committee's religious activities can be interpreted as the function of a specialist para-mosque targetting the interests of Muslims in state education. The religious activity to be found in both mosques and para-mosques is of two kinds. Prior to the turn of the fifteenth Islamic century, most religious activity was a transplant of worship and religious teaching from the subcontinent characterised by adherence to tradition This type of activity continues, but from about 1979, has been supplemented by activity - still religious - but qualitatively different inasmuch as it is designed to meet the contemporary and situational needs of the whole local community. This latter activity is characterised by creative adaptation. These two modes of religious activity do not exclude each other; both can sometimes be found in the same religious organisation and on the same premises. The same individuals are frequently involved actively in both modes. Both modes are to be found across the spectrum of differences in religious practice to be found within the Sunni community of Birmingham. The research provides evidence of the growing assertion of a Muslim identity based not on ethnicity but on religion. Attention is drawn to the important part played by religious activity in giving Muslims the necessary cohesion and self confidence to overcome the difficulties associated with permanent settlement in Birmingham and with the acquisition of British citizenship for their families. In this connection four local strategies for developing an appropriate form of Muslim identity are described, varying from religious encapsulation to active cooperation with the host community in the sphere of Muslim-Christian relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: JISC Digital Islam
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available