Islam in London
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Islam is London's largest minority religion. There were 607,083 Muslims reported in the 2001 census in the Greater London area. Most Muslims are concentrated in the east London boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. 40% of England's Muslims live in London, where they make up more than 12.4% of the population.
The first Muslims to settle in London were Bengali and Yemeni sailors from the 19th century. Many Muslims from the Commonwealth served in the British Army and British Indian Army in the First and Second World Wars. In the wave of immigration that followed the Second World War, many Muslims emigrated to the UK from these Commonwealth countries and former colonies. Initially, many came from Pakistan especially the Pakistani Punjab and Kashmir and the Indian state of Gujarat. This initial wave of immigration of the 1950s and 60s was followed by migrants from Sylhet Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan. Many Muslims also arrived from various other countries, although the percentage is far smaller than from the Indian sub-continent. Amongst those from other countries, Muslims from Yemen, Somalia and Turkey have significant numbers, whereas those from Malaysia, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya represent smaller fractions. Today, London's Muslims come from all over the world and there is a small but growing group of converts.
Most of London's Muslims are descendants of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, particularly Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. There is also a large number of Muslims from Arab countries. Among African Muslims there are large Maghreb (including Algerian and Egyptian) communities and Somali communities, as well as the equally large, but little heard and appreciated 200,000 members of the West African Muslim community. In addition, London is home to large Turkish and Bosnian Muslim communities, both of which comprise over 30,000 members. The city also has a high number of restaurants that serve halal food (around 2,300).
However, this influx of immigrants has led to community relations issues. In the East End of London, there is a lot of tension in the area around East Ham, Barking and Dagenham between Muslims and non-Muslims. The British National Party gained their highest vote by proportion, 16.9%, in the 2005 General Election in Barking and has 12 councillors on Barking & Dagenham Borough Council.
Since most of London's Muslims have roots in South Asia, many follow the Sunni Hanafi school of Fiqh - an expansion of Islamic religious law. Sunni Muslims North and West Africa continent mostly follow the Maliki school. Somalis, Yemenis, Malaysians and Indonesians follow the Shafi'i madhab. While roughly 90% of Arab Muslims in the London area are Sunni, there is a Shia minority from Iraq and Lebanon. Arab Sunnis are either Hanbali (Saudi Arabia), Hanafi (Turkey, Levantine countries, etc.), or Maliki (North Africa).
London Muslim population origin
- Pakistani - 240,000
(UK: more than 1,000,000)
- Bangladeshi - 170,000
(UK: around 500,000)
- Somali - 140,000
- Iraqi - 130,000
- Nigerian - 120,000
- Indian - 100,000
(UK: 330,000 that are Muslims and 1,300,000 non-muslims)
- Afghan - 71,000
- Ghanaian - 70,000
Most spoken languages
as first language
- Turkish language - 230,000 (Turkish and Turkish Cypriot community)
- Punjabi language/Pothwari language - 180,000 (Pakistani community)
- Urdu language/Hindi language - 33,000 (Indian and Pakistani community)
- Gujarati language - 75,000 (Indian and Pakistani community)
- Bengali language/Sylheti language - 161,000 (Bangladeshi and Indian community)
- Malayalam language - 12,000 (Indian community)
- Tamil language - 35,000 (Sri Lankan and Indian community)
- Arabic language - 145,000 (Arab communities)
- Somali language - 140,000 (Somali community)
- Amharic language - 52,000 (Ethiopian and Eritrean community)
- Kurdish language - 42,000 (Kurdish community)
- Hausa language - 70,000 (Nigerian and Ghanaian communities)
- Pashtu language - 55,000 (Pakistani and Afghan community)
- Sindhi language - 25,000 (Pakistani and Indian community)
as second language
- Urdu language/Hindi language - 133,000 (Pakistani and Indian community)
- Arabic language - 455,000 (Pakistani, Somali, Indian, Bangladeshi and other communities)
- Persian language - 58.000
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
Local municipalities with large Muslim constituencies include:
- Tower Hamlets - 110,200
- Bangladeshis, Somalis, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Pakistanis, Indians
- Newham - 86,900
- Pakistanis, Algerians, Kurds, Nigerians, Afghans, Albanians, Ghanaians, Swahilis, Arabs, Bangladeshis, Indians, Somalis, Iraqis"
- Brent - 64,600
- Somalis, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Algerians, Moroccans, Afghans, Indians, Pakistanis, Lebanese, Bangladeshis
- Ealing - 54,000
- Pakistanis, Somalis, Indians, Afghans, Nigerians,Saudis
- Waltham Forest - 49,700
- Pakistanis, Somalis, Swahilis, Algerians, Bangladeshis, Indians"
- Hounslow - 45,400
- Pakistanis, Somalis, Indians, Afghans, Iraqis
- Hackney - 39,000
- Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalis, Bangladeshis
- Croydon - 37,800
- Somalis, Pakistanis, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Indians
- Enfield - 37 388
- Turkish and Turkish Cypriots, Somalis, Kurds, Albanians, Nigerians, Bangladeshis
- Haringey - 34,100
- Indians, Turks, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Ghanaians
- Lambeth - 30,300
- Jamaicans, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalis, Algerians, Moroccans, Bangladeshis, Indians, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Afghans
- Redbridge - 28,000
- Pakistanis, Indians, Somalis, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Iraqis
- Southwark - 27,100
- Bangladeshis, Iraqis
- Lewisham - 25,200
- Nigerians, Ghanaians, Bangladeshis
- Wandsworth - 22,600
- Pakistanis, Somalis, Indians
- Barnet - 18,200
- Indians; Turks, Ghanaians, Iraqis
- List of British Muslims
- Baitul Futuh Mosque
- Brixton Mosque
- London Central Mosque
- London Muslim Centre
- Londonistan (term)
- Islam Expo
- Islam in Birmingham
- Islam in England
- Islam in the United Kingdom
- Islamism in London
- North London Central Mosque
- Wembley’s Conference of Living Religions 1924
- Religion in England
- Religion in London
- The Islamic College
- Area: London - Religion (UV15) (Office for National Statistics) accessed 2 March 2009
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- Your councillors
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- Reassessing what we collect website – Muslim London History of Muslim London with objects and images
- Subject Guide on Islam in London