Local Spotlight

The life and legacy of the Jewish East End

LEON SILVER: Prior to the First World War, increased persecution caused a mass emigration of Jews to the East End of London. In the new Jewish East End, poverty was rife, but high levels of religious observance, literacy, respect for education and strong cultural traditions also created an environment of intense creativity and self-help.

Religious diversity in London’s East End: an Anglican perspective

ADRIAN NEWMAN: A quarter of a century ago the ‘faith’ question was hidden behind the question of culture and ethnicity. But there has since been a shift. Today, religiously diverse places like East London can make an important contribution to make to the development of a healthy society in modern Britain.

Fundamentalism and the ‘faith industry’ in Tower Hamlets

ANSAR AHMED ULLAH: In recent years there has been a focus on faith, so those once identified as ‘Asians’ are now described in religious terms. This shift has led to the emergence of a ‘faith industry’ comparable to the ‘race industry’ of the 1970s and 1980s.

Responding to the EDL in Tower Hamlets

FRANCES JONES: Since 2009, the EDL has repeatedly targeted the borough of Tower Hamlets, styling the area as ‘Britain’s Islamic state’. While EDL marches have presented the major challenges, the borough’s history of engagement with local activists have meant that community resilience has not been damaged.

The return of street politics?

TITUS HJELM: Since the global financial crisis of 2008, a succession of protest movements across the world have prompted commentators to herald the ‘return of street politics’. In this introduction to the new project, Titus Hjelm argues that what is required is a rethinking of the meaning of ‘politics’ itself.

Tower Hamlets: resources for researchers

A collection of resources on Tower Hamlets for researchers, educators and policymakers, including maps of census data, council reports on the city and its inhabitants and highlights of recent academic research.

The religious life of a ‘plural city’

STEPHEN H. JONES & DOMINIC BAKER: Leicester is an extraordinarily rich and complex city, and it is easy to make mistakes about its population and its politics. Its religious makeup has altered again and again over the last hundred years. In this article, Stephen H. Jones and Dominic Baker introduce the city and provide background information that is crucial to understand why it has flourished in the past and the difficulties that it may face in future.

The arrival of Somalis in Leicester

JAWAAHIR DAHIR: Although best known for its South Asian population, Leicester has since the turn of the millennium hosted between 6,000 and 9,000 Somalis, many of whom moved to the city from the Netherlands. This article offers reflections on the reasons why Somalis came to Leicester and the challenges that they faced – and continue to face – in the city.