New Publication: Muslims in London

“I have grown up here so I believe it is my place. I don’t feel that I am an outsider. This is my country. I had my education here and I am very pleased that I am a British Muslim.”

—Focus group respondent

Muslims in London highlights the complexities around belonging and identity amongst Muslim and non-Muslim residents living in Waltham Forest, one of London’s 2012 Olympic boroughs. The research reveals that that local not national identity is strongest for Muslims in Waltham Forest. The situation is exactly the reverse for non-Muslims in the borough, who feel a stronger attachment to Britain than their neighbourhood.

The research offers the most up to date insight on how Muslims in one of London’s most diverse boroughs really feel about where they live and what’s stopping them from feeling they belong in Britain.

By engaging with communities and policymakers, local experts heading the research explored the primary concerns of Muslim residents in Waltham Forest. Issues addressed include education, employment, health, housing and social protection, citizenship and political participation, policing and security, media, belonging and identity.

The report acts on its findings by offering a series of recommendations for local and national authorities, Muslim communities and other minority groups, NGOs and community organizations, the media, and broader civil society.

Muslims in London is the tenth report in the Muslims in EU Cities series produced by the Open Society Foundations At Home in Europe Project. It is the result of research that examines the level and nature of integration of Muslims in 11 cities across Europe (Antwerp, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Leicester, London, Marseille, Paris, Rotterdam, and Stockholm).

The report and accompanying fact sheet are available for download.

Muslim Extremists’ Protest March Through Waltham Forest

30.07.2011

About 50 Islamists, who want to establish Sharia law in the UK, participated in a protest march in Waltham Forest, carrying black flags and chanting slogans like “democracy is hypocrisy”, “Sharia for UK”, and “Secularism go to hell”. The march is a response to the anti-Muslim comments made by Anders Beivik, who killed 77 people in Norway on July 22nd. Amongst the protesters are members of Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) and the extremist group Waltham Forest Muslims (WFM).

Sharia Law in the UK

10.07.2011

The Daily Star reports that hardcore Islamists are determined to establish new Sharia law enforcement zones across the UK, starting with the London borough of Waltham Forest later this month. In these zones, alcohol (as well as any other drugs and smoking), gambling, concerts, porn and prostitution, for instance, will be banned. The group has coalesced around the preacher Anjem Choudary, an Islamic extremist from London and former leader of the Islamist organisations al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK. Choudary is a strong supporter of sharia law and has publicly called for its introduction in the UK on several occasions. In May, he appeared in the news for planning a public funeral service for Bin Laden. According to the Daily Star, the preacher Anjem Choudary “has called the scheme an alternative to government attempts to combat violent extremism under the Prevent strategy”. The call for Sharia-controlled zones affects those 25 areas across the country that the government has described as those areas where violent extremism is a problem. In the long run, the group is hoping to establish an Islamic Emirate.

Muslims in Europe: A Report on 11 EU Cities

The Open Society Institute Muslims in Europe report series constitutes the comparative analysis of data from 11 cities in seven European countries. It points out common trends and offers recommendations at the local, national, and international levels, including to the European Union and to international organizations. While not representative of the situation of all Muslims in these cities, this report does capture a snapshot of the experiences of Muslim communities in select neighborhoods in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Antwerp, Berlin and Hamburg, Copenhagen, Leicester and Waltham Forest–London, Marseille and Paris, and Stockholm.

This body of work comes in response to major trends with regards to Muslims living in Europe: whether citizens or migrants, native born or newly-arrived, Muslims are a growing and varied population that presents Europe with one of its greatest challenges, namely how to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all in a climate of rapidly expanding diversity.

Muslims in Europe: A Report on 11 EU Cities, by Open Society Institute

The Open Society Institute Muslims in Europe report series constitutes the comparative analysis of data from 11 cities in seven European countries. It points out common trends and offers recommendations at the local, national, and international levels, including to the European Union and to international organizations. While not representative of the situation of all Muslims in these cities, this report does capture a snapshot of the experiences of Muslim communities in select neighborhoods in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Antwerp, Berlin and Hamburg, Copenhagen, Leicester and Waltham Forest–London, Marseille and Paris, and Stockholm.

This body of work comes in response to major trends with regards to Muslims living in Europe: whether citizens or migrants, native born or newly-arrived, Muslims are a growing and varied population that presents Europe with one of its greatest challenges, namely how to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all in a climate of rapidly expanding diversity.