This book is the first comprehensive study of Muslim migrant integration in rural Britain across the post-1960s period. It uses the county of Wiltshire as a case study, and assesses both local authority policies and strategies, and Muslim communities’ personal experiences of migration and integration. It draws upon 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. It challenges the long-held assumption that local authorities in more rural areas have been inactive, and even disinterested, in devising and implementing migration, integration and diversity policies, and it sheds light on small and dispersed Muslim communities that have traditionally been written out of Britain’s immigration history. It reveals what is a clear, and often complex, relationship between rurality and integration, and shows how both local authority policies and Muslim migrants’ experiences have long been rooted in, and shaped by, their rural settings and the prevalence of small ethnic minority communities and Muslim populations in particular. The study’s findings and conclusions build upon research on migration and integration at the rural level, as well as local-level migrant policies, experiences and integration, and uncover what has long been a rural dimension to Muslim integration in Britain.
Muslim integration, the rural dimension and research implications
This chapter shows how the book’s findings and conclusions move beyond the novelty of the Wiltshire case study and have implications for various bodies of research addressing Britain and beyond. These consist of research on migration and integration at the rural level, that which examines the relationship between national- and local-level migration policies across the post-1960s period, and studies that support the shift in focus from the traditional national model to the local aspect of migrant integration. Furthermore, this chapter champions the importance of studying Muslim migrant communities at a grassroots level, as well as adopting a more interdisciplinary and cross-sector approach to migration history. Overall, it argues that there is a need to move beyond the image of the rural idyll, and that the study of Muslim settlement and integration in more peripheral and non-metropolitan areas builds upon and develops various different bodies of scholarship.
Muslim integration in Britain - a theoretical and analytical framework
The introduction offers an insight into what is a multidisciplinary, sizeable and vibrant academic literature on Muslims in post-war Britain. It outlines the main arguments and theories regarding migration, integration, racism, multiculturalism and Muslim communities in more rural, peripheral and non-metropolitan areas. It presents and explains the study’s aims, rationale and methodology, and introduces the key arguments and themes that run throughout the book through which it makes a contribution to academic scholarship. Finally, it offers an overview of the book’s source material and structure, as well as synopses of the chapters that follow.
This chapter addresses local government policy in Wiltshire between the early 1960s and the implementation of the Race Relations Act 1976. It charts local policy through the arrival of the first waves of post-war immigration to the county, and offers an insight into how policymakers perceived and addressed the integration, accommodation and experiences of Muslim migrants. Despite persistent claims that more rural areas in Britain shied away from devising policies and strategies due to their numerically small immigrant communities, a range of measures were introduced in Wiltshire, especially in the areas of education, the resettlement of Ugandan Asians and community relations. Furthermore, this chapter also exposes how Wiltshire’s local authority went some way towards considering the religious affiliations and needs of its Muslim communities specifically during this period.
Race relations, multiculturalism and integration, 1976 to the late 1990s
This chapter focuses on local government policy in Wiltshire from the immediate aftermath of the passing of the Race Relations Act 1976 through to the late 1990s. It charts an increase and diversification in Wiltshire’s immigrant, integration and diversity policies within the national context of an ever-growing emphasis on multiculturalism, integration and positive race relations. Amidst what was a reluctance by some to devote resources to Wiltshire’s small migrant populations, a national-level mandate was often considered and adhered to, and a range of local policies and measures were introduced. These addressed community relations and racial equality, multicultural education, and equal opportunities and anti-discrimination in employment and entrepreneurship, housing and social services. This period also witnessed an increased awareness of local Muslim communities’ practices, needs and demands in the form of prayer spaces, Muslim burials and halal slaughter.
Anti-racism, equal opportunities, community cohesion and religious identity in a rural space, 1999 onwards
This is the last chapter to examine local government policy in Wiltshire and it focuses on the post-1999 period. It traces the county’s immigrant, integration and diversity policies as Wiltshire’s local administration once again balanced a national-level directive and mandate with local circumstances and particularism. Local policies and measures during this period were influenced by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, the Macpherson Report and the focus on community cohesion, as well as the importance awarded to anti-racism, equal opportunities and religious identity. Yet they were simultaneously underpinned by an inherent rurality, and an awareness that migrant communities in smaller and more isolated areas were potentially more difficult to reach. Policies discussed include Wiltshire County Council’s first race equality scheme, and a range of measures that addressed health and social services, valued culture and religion, and increasingly recognised, and responded to the needs of, Muslim communities across the county.
This chapter places the case study of Wiltshire within the context of rural Britain. It offers an in-depth overview and assessment of the existing historiography, and addresses the extent to which there has existed a rural dimension to integration from the perspectives of the county’s local authority and the Muslim migrant communities themselves. It shows that rurality matters, and that both its local authority’s political approach and Muslims’ experiences across the post-1960s period have set Wiltshire apart from the dominant urban narrative, and have shown that rural developments have often been far more complex than has 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 to take into consideration if we are to reach a thorough and multidimensional understanding of the Muslim integration process.
This chapter draws upon oral history interviews conducted with members of Wiltshire’s Muslim migrant communities. Through the interviews, migrants’ narratives and histories, and thus the ‘human’ side of the migration process, are detailed, and subjective perceptions and important events and themes in the interviewees’ migratory experiences emerge. A number of insights into Muslim migrant integration in rural Britain are offered, as are interviewees’ experiences, views and observations across a range of areas. These include migration histories and stories of settlement in Wiltshire, and post-settlement experiences in relation to identity formation, employment, housing, education, racism and discrimination, cross-community relations, and religious practices and recognition. Overall, the oral history interviews complement the archival material, reconstructing parts of the county’s post-war history of Muslim minorities’ settlement, experiences and integration that are simply not captured in written sources.
This chapter introduces the county of Wiltshire. It offers an insight into the county’s intrinsic rurality, its economic history and political structure, and the reasons why it constitutes a pertinent case study for an assessment of Muslim migrant integration in rural Britain across the post-1960s period. It provides an overview of the county’s history of migration and its previously unexplored Muslim migrant communities, including the Moroccan community in and around Trowbridge, and Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Turks in Bradford on Avon, Calne, Devizes, Melksham and Salisbury. In doing so, it reveals the inherent and multifaceted heterogeneity that emerges when studying Muslims in Wiltshire, and it introduces the small body of existing research that this book builds upon.
This chapter looks at the roles, lives and ambitions of the ministers of the
princely states of the South Asian subcontinent. Highly educated, sharp and
very well remunerated, the Indian dewans, as these ministers were called,
formed a part of the political elite during British colonialism. Many were
knighted, and they played a crucial role in governance, negotiating local
pressures within the princely states while demonstrating administrative
efficiency to the British. By the end of the First World War, with the
growing participation of the Indian princes in the British Empire, the
ministers’ role and responsibilities expanded to include representing the
Indian princes at international forums, such as the League of Nations, the
Imperial Conferences and the Round Table Conferences. The chapter looks at
the many roles these men played, from representing their people, the princes
and finally, the British Empire, as well as the tensions between these