By Fazila Bhimji (auth.)
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Extra resources for British Asian Muslim Women, Multiple Spatialities and Cosmopolitanism
For example, Amrit Wilson notes the case of a woman who upon arriving in Britain through marriage from North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan, discovered that her husband had several girlfriends. She eventually escaped from her husband’s house, took refuge in a hostel for South Asian women and appealed to the Home Ofﬁce to be allowed to stay on in the UK, but was turned down, even though she explained that she faced potential danger in her village since her father-inlaw threatened to have her killed in Pakistan.
Scholarship on Islamic feminism in Western contexts has focused on visible symbols, such as the veil, and little attention has been given to the social processes that Muslim women engage with in order to better understand and practise Islam. For the women who formed part of this study, the veil was only one aspect of their religious identity. The women sought to actively engage with Islam and enact Muslim ways, as well as cosmopolitan identities, in these spaces. In examining religious spheres such as mosques and university faith centres, I demonstrate that these are not disembodied sites where only religious rituals are performed, but are created, discursive spaces and social networks that allow women to feel empowered within British society.
Introduction 27 Migration from Bangladesh to the UK has also had direct connections with its colonial past. A website which includes reports and links from a transnational study carried out by scholars on the topic of the Bangladeshi diaspora includes the following historical glimpse into the post-war migration from Bangladesh to the UK: From the end of 1945 a number of former lascars settled in Britain, with others arriving after Partition in 1947. Although it is hard to ﬁnd clear ﬁgures, because Bengalis were counted in with Indians and Pakistanis until after the Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, it is estimated in the UK Census that there were around 2,000 Bengalis in Britain in 1951, rising to 6,000 by 1961 and 22,000 by 1971, just before Independence.
British Asian Muslim Women, Multiple Spatialities and Cosmopolitanism by Fazila Bhimji (auth.)