Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Islam in Victorian Britain - The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam


This is the first full biography to be published about Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam which also explores Islam in Victorian Britain, although many people on the Isle of Man have known about his exploits for a number of years.

Written by Ron Geaves, Professor of the Comparative Study of Religion at Liverpool Hope University, the book reveals much about the Victorian, Liverpudlian Solicitor and his transition from a Wesleyan Methodist to becoming the Sheikh al-Islam of the British Isles. His unusual lifestyle became a topic of fascination for many.

A complex and colourful character, he was also known as William Henry Quilliam and is reported to be descended from the ‘small elite of Manx migrants to Liverpool’. Quilliam visited the Isle of Man on numerous occasions, held property here and was a familiar figure to many, but his Manx lineage and credentials are viewed cautiously by some historians on the Island.

Nevertheless he was said to be very proud of his Manx ancestry and was nominated President of the Liverpool Manx Society.

His name is now remembered through the work of The Quilliam Foundation and the Abdullah Quilliam Society, but readers on the Isle of Man will find many points of interest in this unique publication about an extraordinary man.

Printed by Kube Publishing Limited at £16.99.


Valerie Caine
© January 2012

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

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