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  • Published: 23 August 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473567078
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

Al-Britannia, My Country

A Journey Through Muslim Britain

After several decades spent reporting on the most dangerous and volatile parts of the Islamic world, award-winning journalist James Fergusson turns his lens on Muslim Britain.

Shortlisted for the British Academy Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2018.







In this groundbreaking book, James Fergusson travels the length of Britain to explore our often misunderstood Muslim communities, and to experience life on both sides of our increasingly segregated society.

The face of Britain is changing. The Muslim population has more than doubled over the last twenty years, and is projected to do so again over the next twenty. A societal shift of this size and speed has inevitably brought growing pains, with the impact on our communities becoming ever more profound – as well as painful, because in the eyes of many, Islam has a problem: the extremist views of a tiny minority, which, when translated into action, can result in catastrophic violence.

The danger of this extremist threat - or our response to it - is that we are collectively starting to lose faith in the cultural diversity that has glued our nation together for so long. Our tolerance of others, so often celebrated as a ‘fundamental British value,’ is at risk.

In this groundbreaking book, James Fergusson travels the length of Britain to evaluate the impact these seismic shifts have had on our communities. With the rise of nationalist movements, growing racial tensions and an increasingly out of touch political elite, what does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain? What is life like on both sides of this growing religious divide? And what can we do to heal the fractures appearing in our national fabric?

Al-Britannia, My Country is a timely and urgent account of life in Britain today, a call to action filled with real-life experience, hard truths and important suggestions for our future.

  • Published: 23 August 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473567078
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

About the author

James Fergusson

James Fergusson is a freelance journalist and foreign correspondent who has written for many publications including the Independent, The Times, the Daily Mail and The Economist. A regular television and radio commentator on Africa and the Middle East, he is the author of five previous books including the award-winning A Million Bullets. He is married with four children and lives in Edinburgh.

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Praise for Al-Britannia, My Country

Perhaps the best book ever written by a non-Muslim about Islam in Britain.

5 Pillars

This is an impressively sustained attempt to listen to what British Muslims are actually saying, honest, fair-minded and not uncritical. For once we are allowed to see Islamic life in Britain in its human diversity, its three-dimensional reality. A seriously necessary book.

Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

A fascinating journey across the diversity of Al-Britannia. Fergusson's fresh approach yields powerful and honest insights. A must read.

Miqdaad Versi, Muslim Council of Britain

A compelling and compassionate survey of British Islam.

The Guardian

A highly readable and common sense dismantling of the conventional view of British Islam. His gentle, unassuming tone makes his analysis all the more powerful. His message is urgent… a hugely important book.

Peter Oborne

A timely book that deals with some complex and sensitive issues. Fergusson allows individuals on all sides of the argument to put their case.

Baroness Warsi

Fergusson is a delicate, warm, lucid writer with true curiosity and humility. With his porous sensibility [in Al-Britannia] he journeys through the UK to demystify and detoxify British Islam and Muslims. The book is a vital rejoinder to the growing pile of panic books about the "Muslim threat"... and is most moving when Fergusson writes as he fasts for the month of Ramadan. An absorbing book.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The i

Fergusson sees through the curse of terrorism to reveal Muslims who – much like the rest of us – are kind, funny, confused, fearful, angry and proud to be British. His conclusion is heartening: that living better together is not only desirable, but well within our grasp.

David Anderson QC

Compelling and relevant... vivid, nuanced reporting.

Jenny McCartney, Mail on Sunday

Judicious and insightful...timely in a great many ways. Strong and brave. A fascinating book... it allows [Britain’s Muslims] to speak for themselves.

Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

Well researched and fluently written.

Daily Express

A triumph of detail... Al-Britannia doesn't fail in its mission to ask hard questions of all concerned parties.

Irish News

A triumph of detail and gracefully written.

The Herald

Fergusson is a delicate, warm, lucid writer with true curiosity and humility. A vital rejoinder to the growing pile of panic books about the 'Muslim threat'. Moving, humane... an absorbing book.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

[Fergusson] has marshalled his surveillance tools of wit, tenacity and decades of experience of the Muslim world to produce a fine, detailed portrait of Al-Britannia.

Barnaby Rogerson, Country Life

Don’t read Al-Britannia, My Country unless you’re prepared to let go of prejudices against Muslims, and seek a deeper understanding beyond headlines which have fanned the flames of fear and hatred. Fascinating, rich and complex.

Kevin Watson, Reform Magazine

An important book... ground-breaking.

Rev Geoff Reid, Methodist Recorder

A recommended read for anyone interested in the present condition and further development of Muslims in Britain.

Hasan Beg, Dawn

[A] highly sympathetic new survey of British Muslims. The end of multiculturalism and its replacement with heightened surveillance and the emphasis on national cultural values are dealt with in detail. Fergusson’s belief that British Muslims should be valued because of their faith, not in spite of it, is a major improvement on the self-interested toleration that has often passed for an enlightened position on the Muslim question.

The New York Review of Books

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