Asmay’s Islam in Victorian Liverpool

I’m glad to say that our annotated translation of Yusuf Samih Asmay’s unique Ottoman Turkish travelogue about Britain’s first mosque community in Liverpool from 1895 is now out, which also features a long scene-setting analysis of the text, alongside key archival documents and short biographical notices of key members of…


Yahya Birt summarizes Ed Husain’s latest diatribe on British Muslims, so that you don’t go through the rigmarole of reading it yourself.

Ed Husain’s Among the Mosques

I had low expectations, but with his Among the Mosques: A Journey Across Muslim Britain (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), Mr. Husain has managed to lower the bar even further, which I suppose is some kind of achievement.

Ed Husain’s latest screed on British Islam is a mashup between a Thomas Friedman…


The Big Picture: Daily Deaths from COVID-19 in the UK are now matching those of Italy’s at the same respective stage in the spread of the infection in each country (Day 0=5 fatalities or less).

There has been a general move over recent weeks from leading Muslim community organisations to put forward or least keep open the option to perform major ablutions (ghusl) of the deceased, which is an obligation in Islamic legal terms, in the case of those who have passed away due to…


Picture 1: Fuad Nadhi, officiates at the wedding of Yahya Birt and Fozia Bora in 1997 with his usual style and aplomb.
Picture 1: Fuad Nahdi, officiating at the wedding of Yahya Birt and Fozia Bora in 1997 with his usual style and aplomb.

In Q-News, Fuad Nahdi created the most consequential UK Muslim publication of its day and helped shape how a whole generation of young Muslims saw their identity and faith. …


It is a truth universally acknowledged that stubborn mosque committees or charismatic sheikhs with loyal followers are laws unto themselves. No one can argue with these august men whose knowledge, piety and motives are beyond reproach.

For the most stubborn, suspicious and distrusting of them, no argument will work. No…


Glasgow Central Mosque was one of a number of leading British mosques that suspended services last night (Wednesday 18 March 2020) in respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Yesterday evening saw a spate of meetings across the United Kingdom between mosque councils, medical professionals, local authorities and other stakeholders about the coronavirus. …


Ghamkol Sharif in Birmingham is one of the few leading British mosques to have closed its doors in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic as of 18 March 2020.

So far it is depressing to report at the time of writing that most mosques have decided to stay open albeit it with what are frankly inadequate restrictions. These will be ineffective in preventing mosques and madrasas acting as means for the coronavirus to be spread by people who are…


Malcolm X addressing students at the University of Manchester, 4 December 1964. Sat behind him from left to right are Hoossain Rajah, FOSIS Treasurer, Salim al-Hassani and Ebrahimsa Mohamed, FOSIS General Secretary.

An appeal to Muslims in Britain and Muslims worldwide to share memories, photos and documents of Malcolm X’s visits to Britain in 1964–5.

The nationalists have claimed Malcolm. The socialists have claimed Malcolm. It’s time for you Muslims to claim Malcolm, because he was a believer. …

Yahya Birt

Community historian of British Muslim life

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