Okay, so before we dig deeper into the matter let us first analyze what weight-age the Muslim Community of Great Britain carries. As of the United Kingdom Census 2011, there are nearly 2.7 million Muslims in the UK which makes Islam the second largest religion of the United Kingdom after Christianity. Islam has been legally recognized in the UK since more than two centuries ago –the Trinitarian Act 1812 granted the religion a legal status.
According to the conversion rates of 2011, one person converts to Islam from other religions every 100 minutes, so 14 to 15 people convert to Islam daily! This shows that the Muslim community is quite important when it comes to the topic of sadistic Islamophobic trends among some of the non-Muslims.
In a community where one in every 20 persons is a Muslim, we cannot simply say that they are at bay from responsibilities towards addressing critical issues. The significance of UK in the middle of discriminatory events that keep coming time by the time from around the world also advocates the aforementioned. There are more than 1500 mosques in England and Wales as compared to a seven in 1961. This is impressive growth, and where it shows the Muslim community’s importance in the region it also shows the positive side of UK in accepting this. So we come to one understanding; Muslims in that region are an important community and there are greatly positive aspects of the UK –it is not all bad and anti-Islamic. I would rather say it has never been completely anti-Islamic though there have been prejudicial elements and they are growing now. That is our fear.
Most of us must have heard of the English Defense League an organization that was labeled as Islamophobic and was involved in damaging and spray painting mosques with insulting comments, having violent protests in favor of complete extinction of Islam from UK and death threats to journalists who cover them. Such events are getting more frequent, and if the Muslim community doesn’t take it on them to promote the real image of Islam, it’s highly probable that these bigots would generate a greater following.
Muslims in UK already present a respectable and commendable stance; we see that in a report by the University of Essex last year 82 percent of Muslims want to live in diverse and mixed neighborhoods where as 63 percent of non-Muslims want that. While 77 percent of British Muslims identify themselves strongly with UK while only 50 percent of non-Muslims do. So actually Muslims are more open towards coexistence. In my opinion, this is the line that all the Muslims need to follow; we need tell the critics of Islam that we believe in harmony and coexistence –as prescribed by Islam. The image portrayed by the biased media shows otherwise and the Muslims living over there are in a better position to change the mindsets of non-Muslims around them as compared to Muslims living elsewhere. For instance, we can talk over the internet, debate with non-Muslims and try and educate them how Islam is nothing similar to what the extremists do, but these would still be words. The people there can practically show them that we are different. Their everyday chores, their opinions and their receptiveness would be a better indication of peace offering towards non-Muslims.
A majority of the Muslims living there are happy with their lives, the only problem is the occasional but totally unacceptable prejudicial events. The British community of Muslims needs to address these issues with vigilance and react legally to them. We are good followers of Islam, and we need to prove it to them by our actions –by preaching the message of Islam and above all by not forgetting it ourselves.
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