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Wed 13 December 2017

History of Muslims in the UK
Recognition in public sphere
Defining events
Demographics / charts
Politics in Britain
Inventory of Arrests
Legislation affecting Muslims
Representative bodies
Beacon Institutions
Who's who men
Who's who women
Landmark future developments
My Neighbourhood

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2001 Census - Question on Religion

Every ten years, the Government conducts a survey of the whole of the population of the UK - the Census. This is an important source of information to understand the social and economic composition of society, and plan for the future. It tells us, for example, how many young persons there are within certain age bands, so that schools and colleges can be built in the right places. It also provides information on family size, health, employment and use of transport.

The 2001 Census for the first time in modern British history, included the question 'What is your religion'. We now have accurate and official statistics on British Muslims. The Muslim community had to work very hard to ensure the Census included the religion question - it needed years of campaigning and lobbying and working together with other faith communities in the UK. It means that British Muslims have been recognised as a distinct part of society whose needs must be taken into account in the way local and central government provides public services. The census information is also useful in industry and commerce, for businesses who provide goods and services to the Muslim consumer.

Professor Tariq Modood, and his researcher Serena Hussain, are conducting research on 'A statistical mapping of British Muslims' For further information on this project and a Census archive click here



Metropolitan Police's scheme on PCW uniform

Since 2002 the Metropolitan Police Service has amended its dress code to allow female Muslim officers to wear the hijab. The Head of the Met's Human Resources, Bernard Hogan-Howe, has said: "It is only right that the Met ensures that its uniform is appropriate for all its staff."


Ministry of Defence and 'Muslim-friendly' practices

The MoD has relaxed rules to allow Muslim servicemen to wear trimmed beards, if they are short and neatly trimmed beards, subject to occupational or operational reasons such as the use of breathing apparatus. Not withstanding this, Muslim men will not be required to shave their beards in order to perform NBC training drills. It is also reported the Navy provides halaal meat to personnel.


HM Prison Service appoints a full-time Muslims Adviser

In September 1999 HM Prisons appointed its first Muslim Adviser, Maqsood Ahmed,working within the HQ Chaplaincy Team. The adviser is involved in the appointment of prison imams and providing them support and guidance. Many inmates adopt Islam as their religion while in prison.


Hospital Chaplaincy

A number of UK hospital trusts have employed part-time Muslim 'chaplains' to provide counselling and support to Muslim patients. The chaplains regularly visit the wards to offer a 'listening ear'. Many hospitals have multi-faith prayer rooms for use by staff and patients.

Department for International Development

DFiD has sought out the assistance of faith groups, including the Muslim community in preparing promotional material. An example is the booklet on world poverty, prepared specifically with the British Muslim donor in mind.


Foreign Office & Dept of Health support for British Hajjis

Over 20,000 British Muslims perform the Hajj pilgrimage every year. Many also visit Mecca for Umra and travel to Medina to pray in the Prophet's mosque. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office with support from Muslim community organisations has established a Hajj Advisory Group, a body that provides services to British Hajjis such as medical care. A consular office is also established in Mecca during Hajj, with Muslim staff. The Department of Health has also conducted campaigns to notify Muslims of vaccination requirements.

For further information on Hajj click here


Treasury and Bank of England support Islamic financing schemes

Under Islamic law, the receipt and payment of interest is forbidden and many Muslims are reluctant to take out mortgages from banks and building societies to finance home purchase. In response to this need, a working party was established - 'The Bank of England working party on Islamic home finance'. In his April 2003 Budget the Chancellor introduced a measure (abolishment of double stamp duty) that has opened the way for financial institutions such as HSBC to offer home purchasing schemes.

In a speech in February 2003 to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Governor of the Bank of England Sir Eddie George (photo) noted "So all in all, Chairman, I think that you have made tremendous progress on the question of Islamic mortgages over the past year or two - and I congratulate you…. That would be a wonderful thing for the peace of mind of concerned members of the growing Muslim community in the UK. It would represent both a useful business opportunity for those companies involved in the provision of housing finance and a welcome diversification of our financial system. And it would demonstrate in a small, but significant and very practical, way a commitment on the part of the authorities in this country, working together with the Private Sector, financial and professional community and with representatives of our ethnic minority population - in this case our Muslim population - to accommodate differences of religious principle or tradition insofar as we can without in any way undermining the values or traditions of our indigenous society".

Salaam welcomes further examples of the recognition of the Muslim community in public life. Please email









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