Wednesday, January 5, 2011

British Muslim Convert Population Has Doubled in the Past Ten Years

The number of Britons choosing to become Muslims has nearly doubled in the past decade, according to one of the most comprehensive attempts to estimate how many people have embraced Islam.

Up to 100,000 converts to Islam are living in the UK,according to a report published today for Faith Matters organisation..

Using a number of sources, including a survey of more than 250 British mosques, census data from 2001 and conversion figures in Europe, the researchers from Swansea University estimate that there could be as many as 100,000 converts - of all ethnic backgrounds - in the UK, with white women leading the growing number of people embracing the Muslim faith.

By comparison, the report estimates that the Muslim convert population of Britain may have been a mere 60,000 people in 2001.

First, by using data from the Scottish 2001 census - the only survey to ask respondents what their religion was at birth as well as at the time of the survey - researchers broke down what proportion of Muslim converts there were and then extrapolated the figures for Britain as a whole.

Then, study by Kevin Brice, of Swansea University found 5,200 people converted to Islam in the UK last year.

Also, a survey was conducted of 122 converts last year which showed 56% were white British, with women making up 62% of respondents. The average age at conversion was just over 27.

The majority of the converts reported difficulties after converting because of the negative attitude of their family, but over time this attitude became more "positive" according to the report.

The majority of the converts saw themselves as both British and Muslim and did not feel disillusioned with British society and culture.

But they also felt their own lives had been "lost" and were "lacking in purpose" before conversion, and feared that there was a "normalisation" of "immoral" behaviour amongst an increasingly less religious British public.

Only a very small minority saw celebrating birthdays, listening to music or reading fiction as prohibited by Islam, with fewer than 10% viewing attending a family Christmas dinner as forbidden.

A majority said that most or all of their close friends were Muslims but almost all felt that Muslims should not keep themselves separate from non-Muslims.
Read more : British Muslim Convert Population Has Doubled in the Past Ten Years
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