Al-Britannia, My Country by James Fergusson

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The balance between the short-term imperative of stopping terrorism and the strategic goal of a happy nation is increasingly tipped towards the former. No wonder Fergusson finds the mood among British Muslims to be tinged by “fear, paranoia, anger and confusion”.
-Guardian

Synopsis

In this groundbreaking book, James Fergusson travels the length of Britain to evaluate the impact that recent events – decades of unrest in the Middle East, global economic trends, migration and birth-rate patterns, social and political systems, and the looming threat of terrorism – have had on British communities and values, and on the very fabric of our society.

Over the last ten years the Islamic population in the UK has doubled, and it looks like it will do so again in the next five. A societal shift of this size and speed has inevitably brought growing pains, with the impact on Britain’s traditions, on our schools, on our courts, on the way we think and act as a nation at home or abroad, likely to become ever more profound. As well as painful – because in the eyes of many people, Islam has a problem: the extremist views of a tiny minority, which, when translated into action, can and increasingly do result in catastrophic violence.

The danger of this extremist threat 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 cited as a ‘fundamental British value,’ and for many Britons a source of quiet celebration and pride, is at risk.

In his search to answer important questions about Britain’s future, Fergusson evaluates the impact of these seismic shifts, establishing where we have gone wrong and what we can do to change. Along the way he finds a cauldron of tolerance and intolerance, kindness and ugliness, fear and friendship, and ultimately shines a light on the reality of life in modern Britain.
 

About James Fergusson

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James Fergusson is a freelance journalist and foreign correspondent who has written for many publications, including The Times of London and The Economist. He is the author of Taliban: The Unknown Enemy and the award-winning A Million Bullets. He lives in Edinburgh.
 
Published June 1, 2017 by Transworld Digital. 389 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Christopher de Bellaigue on Jun 01 2017

The balance between the short-term imperative of stopping terrorism and the strategic goal of a happy nation is increasingly tipped towards the former. No wonder Fergusson finds the mood among British Muslims to be tinged by “fear, paranoia, anger and confusion”.

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