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. In the 2011 census Office for National Statistics, the proportion of Muslims in London had risen to 12.4% of the population (40% of England's Muslims). In the boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets, the percentages of Muslims were over 30%.
The first Muslims to settle in London were lascars, that is, Bengali and Yemeni sailors from the 19th century. Many Muslims from the Indian sub-continent 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. Following the partition of India, many came from Pakistan especially the Punjab and POK (Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan) and the Indian state of Gujarat. This initial wave of immigration of the 1950s and 60s was followed by migrants from Cyprus, Sylhet Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan. Many Muslims also arrived from various other countries, although the percentage is far smaller than from South Asia. 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 South Asia, particularly Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan 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 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.
Notable mosques and other institutions
London's first Mosque opened by Mohamed Dollie in 1895, Albert Street, modern Camden. Prof. Ron Geeves states this in his biography of Abdullah Quilliam. Furthermore it is the subject of a forthcoming documentary with Muslim History Tours.
The first purpose-built mosque in London is in Southfields, Wandsworth. The Fazl Mosque was inaugurated in 1926 as a project of the Ahmadiyya community of Qadian, India. Since 1984, the mosque and its surrounding buildings have been the residence of the Khalifatul Masih caliphs and therefore, the international headquarters of the Community.
One of the first large mosques was on Brick Lane, in a listed building which started life as a church in the 18th century and was converted into a synagogue in the 19th, reflecting the changing waves of immigration, from Huguenots to Eastern European Jews to Bengalis. Soon after the Brick Lane Mosque opened, two large mosques were built, the East London Mosque (with the adjoining London Muslim Centre and Maryam Centre) on Whitechapel Road not far from Spitalfields, and the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park.
The Suleymaniye Mosque on Kingsland Road serves a largely Turkish community. Named after the famous landmark in Istanbul, it was purpose-built and opened in 1999. Shacklewell Lane Mosque was the first Turkish mosque in the United Kingdom. It was established by Turlish Cypriots in 1977, also in a converted synagogue. The nearby Aziziye Mosque in Stoke Newington was converted from a cinema.
In Outer London are the Croydon Mosque, the very large Baitul Futuh Mosque in Merton, and the Abbey Mills Mosque in Stratford. Also notable are the Central Mosque Wembley, Leytonstone Mosque, and Harrow Central Mosque.
The Islamic Centre of England is an educational establishment that opened in 1998. London is also home to The Islamic College, a college and university which offers A-levels, BA, and MA degrees in coordination with Middlesex University.
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
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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, Turks, 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, Turks, Algerians, Nigerians, Somalis
- Lewisham - 25,200
- Nigerians, Ghanaians, Bangladeshis, Turks
- Wandsworth - 22,600
- Pakistanis, Somalis, Indians
- Barnet - 18,200
- Indians; Turks, Ghanaians, Iraqis
- List of British Muslims
- Londonistan (term)
- Islam Expo
- Islam in Birmingham
- Islam in England
- Islam in the United Kingdom
- Muslim Welfare House
- Wembley’s Conference of Living Religions 1924
- Religion in England
- Religion in London
- Area: London - Religion (UV15) (Office for National Statistics) accessed 2 March 2009
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- Subject Guide on Islam in London