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Victorian MuslimAbdullah Quilliam and Islam in the West$
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Jamie Gilham and Ron Geaves

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190688349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190688349.001.0001

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‘Fairer to the Ladies’ and of Benefit to the Nation

‘Fairer to the Ladies’ and of Benefit to the Nation

Abdullah Quilliam on Reforming British Society by Islamising Gender Relationships

Chapter:
(p.57) 4 ‘Fairer to the Ladies’ and of Benefit to the Nation
Source:
Victorian Muslim
Author(s):

Diane Robinson-Dunn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190688349.003.0005

By examining his writings, speeches, poetry and actions, as well as those of his contemporaries involved with the Liverpool Muslim community, this chapter explores Abdullah Quilliam’s relationship with gender roles and constructs. It considers his creative self-fashioning, for which he drew from both "Eastern" and "Western" influences in order to present a version of British Muslim masculinity characterized by sensitivity, chivalry, reverence for motherhood, and the pursuit of social justice. Quilliam believed that the limited polygamy, or more accurately polygyny, as sanctioned by the Qur’an, which he, in fact, practiced, not only benefited individuals and family life, but also strengthened nation and empire by encouraging population growth and thereby preventing degeneration and decay. In addition, Quilliam’s belief in the benefits of racial and cultural “miscegenation” became an issue of no small importance during a time when his critics and even officials in the British Home and Foreign Offices expressed concern that his willingness to perform “mixed marriages” posed a threat to national security.

Keywords:   Abdullah Quilliam, Gender, Masculinity, Chivalry, Polygamy, Polygyny, Degeneration, Miscegenation, Muslim

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