01 January 2012
Since the data of the UK Census 2011 was revealed last month, the public has been debating the increasing presence of British Muslim community. The data has revealed that the Muslim population in Britain has almost doubled in ten years so that Muslims make up 50 percent of the residents in some British towns. Since the last census in 2001, the Muslim population in England and Wales increased by 80 percent (1.2 million), from 1.5 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2011, making it the second-largest religion in Britain.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that conducted the census, the multiplying of Britain’s Muslim population has occurred for several reasons.
The ONS said one of the reasons for the massive growth in the number of Muslims in Britain is the rising number of Britons who are converting to Islam.
Many analysts believe that the true number of Muslims in Britain may be much higher than indicated by the census data. This is because the religion question was the only voluntary question on the 2011 Census and 7.2 percent of people did not answer the question.
The increasing proportion of Muslims has inevitably led to a significant presence of Muslims in the public. In this regard, a study published by UK think tank Henry Jackson Society points out the increasing representation of Muslims in the media. According to the study, which monitored statements of religious groups and media coverage of religion in the UK, the most prolific spokespeople over the last decade were the Muslim Council of Britain. This group made more interventions in the national discussion than any other faith group or leader, including even the leader of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who came a close second.