“Canadian anchor appears on screen in full veil to mock niqab-only TV,” from al-Arabiya, July 30:
A Canadian TV anchor appeared in a full face-veil (known in Arabic as the niqab) to present his show on Canadian Sun News TV, ostensibly in a bid to poke fun at the newly-launched Egyptian channel, Maria TV, which features women clad only in the niqab, the Maan News Agency reported on Sunday.
Maria TV, which was launched on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan earlier in July, employs only women in niqab, even for behind-the-camera jobs.
Canadian anchor Michael Coren, dressed in black from head to toe, hosted a Muslim cleric from Toronto at the studio and discussed with him the idea of creating such a channel in Egypt.
Coren asked the cleric why Muslim women dressed “in that weird way?”
The Canadian anchor also asked the imam why Muslim men do not get dressed in black like women. The imam replied saying it is the same reason that persuades Christian nuns to wear their veil in church.
Earlier this month, Coren appeared on his show to talk about a nine-year-old Canadian girl who refused to remove her hijab during a soccer tournament. During his show he said girls in such situations had two choices: remove the hijab or not play soccer.
“It has already been established so many times that the burka, hijab are not religious requirements,” he said on his show, a video clip of which was posted on July 12. “The Quran only demands modesty. Even if it is a religious requirement, so what? We respect your right to wear it but it does not mean we have an obligation to allow you to wear it in a soccer league,” he said.
Tensions mount at OHS | JEFFREY JACKSON, owatonna.com
Monday’s altercation between four white students and a group of Somali students — how many Somalis were actively involved is in dispute — ended with one of the white students going to the hospital. The student, a senior at OHS, spent the night in the hospital after medical personnel feared that he might have swelling on the brain.
The high school students and their parents spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying they feared further threats and violence if their names were made public.
Although the actual fight between the white students and the Somali students happened Monday, the parties agree that the roots of the fight can be traced back to a paper written for an English composition class earlier in the month.
The senior who ended up in the hospital on Monday was given an assignment to write a paper for the class and post it on the class’ blog for other students to read and comment on. He posted the paper on Friday, Nov. 6.
He chose as his topic what he called “Somalian privileges” and wrote in his paper that the Somali students in the high school were allowed to “bend the rules.” As one example, he said that though most students weren’t allowed to wear hats in school, the Somali students routinely wore hats without being told to take them off.
Within a half hour, after the class had been dismissed, he was surrounded by a “pretty big group” of Somali students who had been given copies of the paper from other students in the class, the boy said. The Somalis were, the boy said, “pushing, yelling and asking questions” — specifically asking him if he had written the paper.
The boy, who is on work release allowing him to leave school early, left and went to the place where his mother works. A few hours later, the mother received a telephone call from one of the school’s vice principals who first informed the mother about the incident and about the paper that had been posted online.
“No threats were made,” OHS Vice Principal Julie Sullivan said Wednesday about the Nov. 6th incident. Sullivan did say that she was approached that day by several Somali students who were upset about what the boy had written on the class blog.
The next Tuesday — there were no classes on Monday — the boy and his mother met with Sullivan after the vice principal had called Monday evening requesting a meeting. At that meeting, Sullivan informed the pair that the boy was going to be suspended for four days because of what he had written in the paper.
“I was not happy for him writing that paper,” the mother said. But, she said, although the official paperwork says the boy was being suspended for “language and inappropriate comments” and that the vice president did talk “briefly” about the paper, the real reason the boy was suspended was concerns by the administration that the boy might be attacked if he remained in school.
“She mentioned that several times,” the mother said of Sullivan. “She said it was for his safety.”
What’s more, he said, on the weekend before the boy returned to school, the boy sent text messages to some Somali students — messages that Johnson characterized as “inflammatory.”
The boy’s mother acknowledged Wednesday that she had been told this week about the text messages, but said that the message was only that the boy was not going to apologize to the Somali students for what he had written in his paper.
Shortly after the boy returned to school Monday, the incident began. The boy was sitting with three of his friends in the school’s C Plaza when, he said, he was approached by a group of Somali students.
“They were out for blood,” one of his friends said.
The boys said that at least 30, perhaps as many as 40, Somali students were involved in the altercation. School officials dispute that number, saying that some of the Somalis who were there were bystanders who were watching the fight take place. Owatonna Police Chief Shaun LaDue, whose department is investigating the incident, said Wednesday that “no less than 20 people” were involved in some fashion in the incident. There’s more to that story too – read it all.
This is how it creeps folks. In big cities and small towns. You cannot say anything about Muslims – they are indeed privileged. If you do say something, be prepared to fight for your life and livelihood, possibly die, certainly have your life disrupted, end up in court, and be labeled things you likely are not.
Somali Muslim gangs in Minnesota grow more dangerous ASSOCIATED PRESS Feb. 7, 2011
Muslim immigration problems in America: The girl was 12 when the gangsters told her the rule: They would sell her for sex to men outside the gang, but members of the Somali Outlaws or the Somali Mafia would use her for free.
For more than two years she was taken on “missions” to abandoned garages, men’s bathrooms, apartments and hotels, enduring hours with multiple men so gang members could get money, pot or booze. Though her mother confronted two of the men early on and warned them the girl wasn’t even 13, they continued to prostitute her.
Eventually some of the gang members took her on the road to new customers in Nashville, Tenn., and the man she called her “boyfriend” is accused of using a cell phone to send images of her engaging in sex acts with men in the car along the way.
The enterprise described in a federal indictment has shocked members of Minnesota’s Somali community, the largest in the U.S. And it suggests that gangs known in recent years for armed robberies, burglaries and even killings of fellow East Africans have moved into more lucrative activities and are taking their crimes from Minneapolis to other parts of the country.
“It’s clear the life of the gang in the community is getting much more complicated,” said Omar Jamal, an advocate for the Somali community in Minneapolis. “It’s one thing to go out and have a random action. It’s something quite new to the community to have organized sex trafficking.”
In recent years, authorities and the community have been increasingly working together to fight the gangs and to steer Somali youths in positive directions. Community centers and mosques set up youth basketball and soccer tournaments to keep kids busy, and they’ve held forums to discuss issues as they arise — including a recent meeting on sex trafficking.
Somalis began arriving in Minnesota in the early 1990s — refugees fleeing civil war in their homeland and finding welcome in a state with a strong tradition of helping newcomers. But as young Somalis entered the school system with little or no formal education or English skills, they were targeted by established gangs for being different.
So they formed their own groups.
Oh yes, blame everyone and eveything except the root cause. Interesting that the AP failed to mention that these Muslim gangs are doing the same thing across the country. In Maine, Muslim gangs are wilding, leaving terror in their wake. And in San Francisco, Muslim gangs target gays, shooting them with BB guns in a wave of terror. The pattern of Islamic supremacist violence grows in “gateway” cities like Lewiston, Maine; Shelbyville, Tennessee; St. Cloud, Minnesota; Clarkston, Georgia; and Jamestown, North Dakota.
“They were trying to find identity,” said Hassan Mohamud, the imam at Islamic Da’wah Center, a youth-oriented mosque and cultural center in St. Paul. “They do not belong to Somalis. They do not belong to Islam. They do not belong to America. So they found their own system. They had good intention. At first the good intention was to help and support each other and protect. But they eventually changed that support system to harm.”
The federal indictment unsealed in November in Tennessee charges 29 people with crimes from sex trafficking to credit card fraud to witness intimidation. It said the accused were members or associates of three Somali gangs — often acting as one larger gang — bent on forcing girls into prostitution for their own profit.
The indictment outlines allegations involving four victims and hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card fraud. One girl was prostituted in Nashville and in Columbus, Ohio, and another was raped by men in a Minnesota hotel room, the indictment said.
Jamal said that over the years, the Somali gangs realized they needed to generate a steady income. The crimes alleged in the indictment illustrate that at least some might have turned to sex trafficking and credit card fraud as a way to make money.
“It’s a gradual growth of becoming more active, becoming more serious,” Jamal said. “It speaks in volume of how the community has failed collectively to save the minors, especially the girls.” Most of those indicted in Tennessee are in custody there, said Van Vincent, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case.
When asked about the victim who was just 12 when first sold for sex — and identified in the indictment as “Jane Doe Two” — he would only say, “She is currently safe.”
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says more than 40 Americans have been recruited by al-Qaida-linked terrorists in Somalia and have gone there to fight.
U.S. counterterrorism officials have not reported such high numbers of Americans joining the Somali terror organization, al-Shabab. The government has said at least 21 Somali-Americans are believed to have traveled to Somalia to join the terror group in what began as a push to expel Ethiopian soldiers. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the double suicide bomb attack in Uganda’s capital last year, and members have aligned themselves with other anti-Western terror groups.
New York Republican Rep. Peter King’s findings are based on his committee’s investigation into the threat.
King plans to address the problem Wednesday during his third congressional hearing on Muslim radicalization.
Muslim immigration to the west must stop. Many of these devout Muslims do not assimilate. They agitate for jihad and many return to Somalia (or Pakistan, Afghanistan) for training. Why are we importing hostile invaders?
The sheriff of Hennepin County, Minn., told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security on Wednesday about the threat of Somali gangs in his jurisdiction.
“I have been asked to testify today about the specific emergence of Somali gang-related issues we are having in my county,” Rich Stanek said in his prepared testimony.
Stanek represented the National Sheriffs’ Association at the hearing on “America’s Evolving Gang Threat.” He also serves on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inter-agency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group and is president of the Major County Sheriffs’ Association.
Stanek said Minnesota is a “designated U.S. Refugee Resettlement Area,” with a Somali population ranging from 80,000 to 125,000 in the state. As a result, Stanek said, while the African population in the U.S. as a whole is about four percent, 18 percent of the Minnesota population is African because of the large Somali presence.
Stanek said he wanted to “state for the record” that most Somalis are “law-abiding citizens” who contribute to the community, but those who have joined gangs are committing crimes across the state.
“Somali gangs are unique in that they are not necessarily based on the narcotics trade as are other traditional gangs,” Stanek said, adding that “turf” is also not a motivating factor in Somali gang criminal activities.
“Gang members will often congregate in certain areas, but commit their criminal acts elsewhere,” Stanek said. “Criminal acts are often done in a wide geographic area that stretches outside of the Twin Cities seven county metro area.
“Their mobility has made them difficult to track,” Stanek said.
Stanek listed five “typical crimes” committed by Somali gang members, including credit card fraud, cell phone and gun store burglaries, and witness intimidation. The fifth type of criminal activity is tied to international terrorism, Stanek said.
“In 2007, the local Somali community started to report that some of the youth in the area had essentially disappeared without warning,” Stanek said. “It was later learned that 20 young men had left Minneapolis to travel to Somalia to receive training and fight as members of al- Shabaab.
“One individual had moved to Minneapolis as a teenager in 1993,” Stanek said. Following a shoplifting arrest, he fell into the violent street gang called the ‘Somali Hot Boyz.’ After a short period of time, he emerged as a recruiter for al-Shabaab, which eventually led him to leave Minneapolis for the Horn of Africa in 2008.
“Later, it was learned this individual was killed in fighting between al-Shabaab and Somali government forces,” Stanek said.
“We are clearly faced with a challenge that requires an innovative approach including new investigative tools and focused resources,” Stanek said.
According to the Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Refugee and Resettlement, refugee programs and resettlement sites exist in 49 states and the District of Columbia and are operated through partnerships between the federal government and faith-based and other non-governmental refugee support organizations in those states and the District.
A spokesperson for the office told CNSNews.com that the United States admits on average about 70,000 refugees a year, with each required to be designated as individuals who face danger in their homeland. Every refugee has to be cleared by the Department of Homeland Security before being allowed to resettle in the United States, the spokesperson said.
A wide range of considerations about where to relocate individuals is considered, including family ties, language and available resources, the spokesperson said. But once they are living in the United States, refugees are free to live anywhere in the country.
Muslim detest for democracy and rights of all people is well known. But what happens when Muslims are allowed to immigrate to a democratic nation? In the UK the entire nation’s prison population is 30% Muslim, out of an entire 5% Muslim population nationwide.
This video shows Muslim Somali immigrant kids in Minnesota harassing and following a gay man, and telling him, “I hate gay people”.
The video owner states: “My friend and I were leaving the Gay Pride Festival in Minneapolis, MN (6/27/09) and came across a group of kids who asked my friend if he was gay. When he answered “yes”, they proceeded to harass him and me with verbal threats and even throwing rocks at my friend at one point. Sad…”
A common method used by Muslim leaders in non-Islamic countries during an internal infiltration process is prison conversions. Muslims tend to have a very high percentage members that end in prison. Muslim prisoners are known to target delinquents or the weaker in society to feigned protection and group unity. When the Muslim population grow beyond a certain percentage of the total population, the forced and aggressive conversion on society at large begins.
Prisoners under pressure to convert to Muslim ‘gang’
Prisoners are under pressure to convert to an Islamic “gang” at a high-security jail, with non-Muslims in fear of violence just for cooking bacon, according to an official report.
Muslims represent around a third of all prisoners at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire Photo: PA
Inmates at HMP Whitemoor told researchers commissioned by the Ministry of Justice that they changed their faith for protection or because they were bullied into it.
Prison guards said they had a policy of “appeasement” towards the powerful and growing Islamic population, particularly convicted terrorists who were feared to be recruiting future extremists.
Non-believers avoided confrontation with any Muslim in case it led to retribution from the wider group, and said they even avoided cooking pork or bacon in communal kitchens or undressing in the showers in case it caused offence.
The report, written by researchers at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology, said: “Conflict and tension existed between and within faith groups.
“There were some intimidating ‘heavy players’ among the Muslim population, who appeared to be orchestrating prison power dynamics rather than propagating or following the faith. Many physically powerful prisoners ‘re-established their outside identities’ as leaders in the prison and used their (newly acquired) faith status as a tool for establishing influence.
“Non-Muslim prisoners described wearing underpants in the showers on some spurs (out of ‘respect’ and fear) and some Muslim prisoners described a form of intimidation exerted (‘they probably do feel shamed’) relating to cooking (especially frying bacon) in the kitchens.”
HMP Whitemoor is situated in a “remote Fenland town” far from most inmates’ families, and is home to 440 Category A and B prisoners, almost all of whom are serving more than 10 years behind bars and seven of home are convicted terrorists.
Opened in 1991, three years later it was the scene of an escape by six prisoners including some IRA members.
Following concerns over Islamic radicalisation in a 2008 report by inspectors, researchers visited Whitemoor between 2009 and 2010 to interview staff and inmates.
They found that more than a third (35 to 39 per cent) of prisoners are now Muslims, compared with 11 per cent across all jails.
Many of those they spoke to had converted while inside but they had mixed motivations for doing so, and not all had done so voluntarily.
Reasons included “seeking care and protection”, “gang membership” and “coercion” as well as “rebellion” since Islam was seen as the “underdog”.
Prisoners told the researchers that becoming Muslim was a “cover” for power and influence.
Loners including sex offenders gained safety from joining a large and dominant group, as fellow members would defend them.
Non-Muslims and prison officers claimed that it was an “organised gang” and a “protection racket” rather than a religion, which “glorified terrorist behaviour and exploited the fear related to it”.
Others said they had felt under pressure to convert, with people leaving Islamic literature in their cells and telling them to “read this”, or promising they would be safe from physical assault if they changed faith.
“The threat of assaults motivated by religious fanaticism or extremist ideology added weight to the atmosphere at Whitemoor.”
Guards said there were “proper Al-Qaeda” members in the jail, who were regarded with “awe” by younger inmates, but they avoided confrontation and had “runners” to do their bidding.
Some prisoners described the place as a “recruiting drive for the Taliban” and fertile ground for hatred and a new generation of extremists.
One inmate said he was targeted because he wore a Remembrance Day poppy and his brother served in the Army, with people shouting “your wife’s burning in hell because she’s not a Muslim” at him.
But it was also claimed that non-Muslims felt “envy” at the preferential treatment, including better food, given to Muslims.
The report concluded: “The new population mix, including younger, more black and minority ethnic and mixed race, and high numbers of Muslim prisoners, was disrupting established hierarchies in the prison. Social relations among prisoners had become complex and less visible. Too much power flowed among some groups of prisoners, with some real risks of serious violence. There were high levels of fear in the prison. In particular, there were tensions and fears relating to ‘extremism’ and ‘radicalisation’.
“More prominent, in practice, were pressures (and temptations) felt by some prisoners to convert to Islam. Conditions in the prison made participation in Islamic practices the most ‘available’ option for those looking for belonging, meaning, ‘brotherhood’, trust and friendship.”
The Daily Telegraph yesterday carried an article on a Ministry of Justice report on Whitemoor Prison, written by researchers at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology. The article was headlined ‘Prisoners under pressure to convert to Muslim ‘gang’’. The report on which the article is based is titled, ‘An exploration of staff-prisoner relationships at HMP Whitemoor: 12 years on’. The research was published in November last year, though it appears to have only been made available recently.
From the Daily Telegraph:
“Inmates at HMP Whitemoor told researchers commissioned by the Ministry of Justice that they changed their faith for protection or because they were bullied into it.
“Prison guards said they had a policy of “appeasement” towards the powerful and growing Islamic population, particularly convicted terrorists who were feared to be recruiting future extremists.
“ “There were some intimidating ‘heavy players’ among the Muslim population, who appeared to be orchestrating prison power dynamics rather than propagating or following the faith. Many physically powerful prisoners ‘re-established their outside identities’ as leaders in the prison and used their (newly acquired) faith status as a tool for establishing influence.
“ “Non-Muslim prisoners described wearing underpants in the showers on some spurs (out of ‘respect’ and fear) and some Muslim prisoners described a form of intimidation exerted (‘they probably do feel shamed’) relating to cooking (especially frying bacon) in the kitchens.”
“Following concerns over Islamic radicalisation in a 2008 report by inspectors, researchers visited Whitemoor between 2009 and 2010 to interview staff and inmates.”
“They found that more than a third (35 to 39 per cent) of prisoners are now Muslims, compared with 11 per cent across all jails.
“Many of those they spoke to had converted while inside but they had mixed motivations for doing so, and not all had done so voluntarily.
“Reasons included “seeking care and protection”, “gang membership” and “coercion” as well as “rebellion” since Islam was seen as the “underdog”.
“…it was also claimed that non-Muslims felt “envy” at the preferential treatment, including better food, given to Muslims.
“The report concluded: “The new population mix, including younger, more black and minority ethnic and mixed race, and high numbers of Muslim prisoners, was disrupting established hierarchies in the prison. Social relations among prisoners had become complex and less visible. Too much power flowed among some groups of prisoners, with some real risks of serious violence. There were high levels of fear in the prison. In particular, there were tensions and fears relating to ‘extremism’ and ‘radicalisation’.
““More prominent, in practice, were pressures (and temptations) felt by some prisoners to convert to Islam. Conditions in the prison made participation in Islamic practices the most ‘available’ option for those looking for belonging, meaning, ‘brotherhood’, trust and friendship.””
For many reasons, the article simply appears to be an excuse to have a dig at Muslims. First of all, it appears to infer that the research was carried out because of “concerns over Islamic radicalisation in a 2008 report by inspectors”. However, as to the aims and objectives of the research, the report actually states that,
“A previous study carried out at HMP Whitemoor in 1998/9, published in 2001… found very positive relationships at the establishment; however, by 2008 a report by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMCIP 2008) described apparently ‘distant relationships’ between staff and prisoners. This apparent decline is a clear matter of concern and interest.” [segregation cased by Islamic influence] Given this, the report states its objectives were to explore staff-prisoner relationships at Whitemoor, as well as describe the prison experience at Whitemoor. The research was not, therefore, as we may be led to believe, carried out because of specific concerns over Islamic radicalisation. The report does nonetheless state that:
“Whilst the research did not set out explicitly to explore relationships between Muslim prisoners and others, the role of faith and in-prison conversions to Islam, or the risks of radicalisation, these became important themes in the research because of their prominence in staff and prisoner experience at Whitemoor.”
So the report found that issues relating to the Muslim prison population featured prominently, however such concerns were not what prompted the research.
Moreover, the article focuses on the pressure on non-Muslims to convert to Muslim ‘gangs’. However the report itself is far broader in its reach and presents a far from straight forward picture. For example, the report states that “A new population mix, including younger, more Black and minority ethnic and mixed race, and high numbers of Muslim prisoners, was disrupting established hierarchies. Social relations among prisoners had become complex and less visible.”
It also states that “Faith ‘identities’ were being adopted and used in many ways at Whitemoor, including for protection. The main motivations for turning to faith were: sense-making, searching for meaning, identity, and structure; dealing with the pains of long-term imprisonment; seeking ‘brotherhood’/family; or ‘anchored relations’; seeking care and protection; gang membership; rebellion; and coercion.”
It adds that, “Conditions in the prison made participation in Islamic practices the most ‘available’ option for those looking for belonging, meaning, ‘brotherhood’, trust and friendship.”
Although pressure and coercion may be playing a part in the adoption of an Islamic identity in Whitemoor, factors relating to identity and meaning also appear to play a significant part. The report also points out in its concluding discussion that “Prisons are highly unsettling environments in which individuals are more likely than elsewhere to explore new beliefs and associations.” The Telegraph’s focus therefore, on one aspect of the prison/faith experience- that of coercion and of aggression, misses out a much broader picture of the prison/faith/identity experience; this indicates an agenda to portray Muslims as an aggressive and coercive group.
Moreover, the report carries other significant findings, which the Daily Telegraph entirely overlooks. This includes issues to do with the Muslim prisoner experience and feelings of alienation and being targeted. Perhaps even more significantly, the report points to several research findings which indicate that staff are ill-trained in their understanding of Islam, perceiving it “as a radical religion”, and that they are poorly-trained in the way that they deal with Muslim prisoners. The report points out that this may even perpetuate prisoner radicalisation, as by ‘over-estimating extremism’, the staff ‘pushed prisoners together’, reinforced their views and gave them more power. Does the Daily Telegraph not perceive these findings to be of concern?
Such findings of the impact of staff behaviour on the radicalisation of Muslim prisoners are supported by previous research. For example, a 2010 report into Muslim prisoner experiences found that the ‘blanket’ approach towards Muslim prisoners by prison staff, and the tendency to see Muslim prisoners through the lens of terrorism and extremism cements feelings of alienation and disaffection and increases the risk of producing men who are “more likely to offend, or even embrace extremism’. However, it is important to point out that whilst the risk of radicalisation in prison has been explored, research has been inconclusive in finding a clear link between radicalisation and serving time in prison, with the February 2012 Home Affairs Select Committee report into the ‘Roots of Violent Radicalisation’ stating that “there is seldom concrete evidence to confirm that this is where they were radicalised.”
This is not the first time that Whitemoor Prison has come to the attention of the media- in 2008, the Sunday Express carries a sensationalist headline stating that ‘Muslim fanatics hijack British Prison’. The Daily Telegraph’s reporting appears to be a similar attempt and excuse to portray Muslims in a negative and threatening light, and gives a narrow picture of the findings of the Ministry of Justice report.
The full Ministry of Justice report is available to download here.
[BBC is known as a constant apologist for Muslim problems in the west. This article is a gross trivialization to a serious concern by the Home Office of aggressive and forced conversion to Islam in UK’s prisons. BBC is trying to deceive readers to believe these conversions were of free will, and a positive impact. Both staff and prisoners have expressed threats and lack of safety directed at them by Muslim inmates. The article further distort data. 33% of the entire British prison population are Muslim and not the 11% reported by the BBC.]
The idea that halal menus and Friday prayers are such “perks” that young lags queue up to convert surely cannot be the whole story. The perception of “material benefits” might be a factor, but another more compelling explanation is also included in the report. One prisoner convert said: “I’ve got loads of close brothers here. They share with you, we look out for each other.” The Chief Inspector Anne Owers writes:
The claim – made by an anonymous prison officer to BBC 5 live’s Donal MacIntyre programme in March – that young inmates “were being forced to convert” in order to get “protection from a Muslim gang rather than follow the faith” is dismissed by today’s report. It finds no evidence to back up any such claim.
A more compelling narrative might be that young, frightened men, arriving in jail – where physical and sexual violence are meted out to those who appear weak or vulnerable – are drawn to prisoners, as the report says, who offer “support and protection in a group with a powerful identity”.
Around 30% of Muslim inmates are converts and many of those are, according to previous Home Office research, from black rather than Asian ethnic groups. In 1999, it was found that 37% of Muslim male prisoners were black compared with 7% of those in the wider population.
While less than 1% of Black Caribbeans are Muslims generally, in jail the figure is almost 19%.
These data are from before 11 September 2001 and suggest, therefore, the rise in Islamic extremism in the last nine years is not an explanation for the rise in prison conversions.
What the inspectorate also reminds us is that 11% of prisoners are Muslims – a very high proportion, since the religion represents only 3% of the population in England and Wales.
Given that close to a third of those are converts and that the Muslim community has the youngest age profile of any religious group in Britain, the figure is not as surprising as first appears.
Dr Basia Spalek, an academic at the University of Birmingham, has argued that the high levels of social and economic deprivation of the Muslim population is “linked to the kinds of offences that are processed by the criminal justice system”.
It is certainly true that Muslims are more likely to be unemployed or economically inactive than those in other religious groups.
If the impression left by some coverage of today’s report is that Muslim convicts have a “cushier time” in jail, the experience of the wider community is the opposite.
Concerns regarding the radicalization of Muslim inmates in prisons were heightened after former inmates Richard Reid and Jose Padilla were arrested for allegedly attempting to commit terrorist acts against the United States. Reid, convicted for attempting to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami with explosives in his shoes, had
converted to Islam in a British prison and left the prison with radical leanings.
British officials suspect he was radicalized in part by extreme Islamic clerics who visited and preached at the prison. Jose Padilla, arrested for attempting to detonate a dirty bomb in the United States, converted to Islam after serving time in a Broward County, Florida, jail where authorities suspect his Islamic radicalization began.
This article was published in The Q-News [Feb. 2005 – UK], The Muslimwakeup.com [Feb 18, 2005 – USA], AlMuslim.com [Feb. 17, 2005 – USA], Iqra [Feb 18, 2005 – Canada], Closer [Feb 21, 2005 – Netherlands]. Research Institutions such as The Brookings Institution, Zogby International and ISPU also carry it on their websites. Shorter versions have appeared in Beliefnet.com [March 9th, 2005 – USA] and Islamic Horizons [May, 2005 – USA].
The tension between the US and the Muslim World has been steadily escalating with both sides resorting to steps that undermine the prospects for more peaceful and cooperative US-Muslim relations. Western Muslims, in America and Europe, suffer directly as a result of this escalation. They are being targeted as a potential fifth column and though they have responded admirably to face the new challenges, their circumstances continue to deteriorate. The presence of a persistent anti-western extremism within a small minority of Western Muslims exacerbates the plight of Western Muslims and undermines all their efforts to improve relations with the broader Western communities and allay fears that Islam in the West is a threat to democracy and security.
The US led invasion of Iraq and the subsequent chaos, death and destruction in Iraq, compounded by the inability of 1700 US experts to find any trace of WMDs in two years of systematic searching [the stated reason for the invasion] has contributed to an unprecedented amount of anger, frustration, resentment and anti-American feelings among Muslims everywhere. According to several international polls conducted by the PEW forum and Zogby International, public opinion of the US across the Muslim World (and elsewhere in the world) has plummeted and is at its lowest ever.
The Bush administration’s tactics of keeping the fear, anger and resentment triggered by the 9/11 catastrophe alive in order to advance the conservative agenda combined with frustration of American goals in Iraq and a sense of being at war with Muslim extremism has made many Americans increasingly hostile towards Islam and Muslims. Polls conducted in the US suggest that while 38% Americans hold very negative views about Islam and Muslims, only 2% have anything nice to say about them [survey conducted by CAIR Survey, November 2004] and over 44% of Americans are willing to deprive Muslims freedoms and rights available to other Americans [A survey by Cornell University, December 2004].
The war on terror and its attendant consequences has created extremely difficult circumstances for American Muslims in particular and Western Muslim in general. The changing political and legal environment in Western countries across the board has undermined the quality of life of Western Muslims. Many face discrimination in the work place, are victims of racial and religious profiling, businesses are failing, international travel has become difficult and risky and Islamic institutions, and particularly mosques and Islamic charities face harassment and unnecessary scrutiny.
The world has never been more interdependent and the plight of Western Muslims is illustrative of how global integration is now a palpable reality. The murder of a Dutch film producer, Theo Van Gogh, allegedly by a disenchanted Dutch Muslim [Mohammed Bouyeri, 26], the denial of a visa to the US for a Swiss Muslim scholar, Tariq Ramadan, or the humiliating deportation of a British Muslim, Yusuf Islam, from the US immediately on arrival are all front page news all over the world. Not only do these episodes draw widespread attention from the media, they feed upon and fuel the new crisis in Western Civilization – “Islam in the West”.
When a Dutch animal rights activist, Volkert van der Graaf, murdered a Dutch politician, Pim Fortuyn in 2002, it did not raise questions about the compatibility of the philosophy of rights and the West. But when a Dutch Muslim murders a Dutch film producer, it raises profound questions not just about Islam’s compatibility with modernity and democracy but also about the ability of Western Muslims to live in a democratic society. Even though such outrageous episodes are extremely rare, the fear of Islam and the now embedded antipathy towards Muslims, frequently surfaces in the western media, in popular discourse, in casual conversation, in parliamentary discussions and in new legislations.
As long as relations between Western societies and the Muslim World remain less than cordial, Western Muslims face the reality of Islamopheobia and as a result they will remain second-class citizens, constantly watched, regularly demonized, systematically marginalized, feared, despised and portrayed as a potential fifth column. Defending the innocence of Western Muslims, and speaking about tolerance and Islamic teachings on peace and violence, has become the most important communal activity of western Muslims.
The Challenge for Western Muslims today is existential. If things get worse what will happen to them? Some fear the rhetoric and recommendations of Islamopheobic political commentators who exaggerate and exacerbate the situation, questioning the patriotism of Muslim communities in the West and even raising the example of the internment of Americans of Japanese origin during World War II. Will the West create another “Israel” to solve the problem of the new Jews of the West? The fact that there are nearly 20-30 million Muslims in the West makes such drastic solutions impossible. Those who are bewildered that we are even considering this possibility must remember not only what happened to Japanese Americans but also what happened to Muslims in Spain who disappeared after ruling Spain for 700 years.
There are three routes available to Western nations with regards to their Muslim populations. They are marginalization, assimilation and accommodation. The first implies dis-empowering the community, reducing its influence and its rights and making its presence insignificant. The Bush administration has adopted this policy since 9/11. The second strategy is to reform Islam and Muslims, secularize them to such an extent that the difference does not make a difference. The French have embarked on this strategy and face a lot of resistance. This strategy causes disharmony and divisions within society and undermines democracy. Accommodation, a strategy that was adopted by the US before 9/11, by the UK, Canada and Netherlands is for Muslims the best option.
But in order to push Western nations to adopt the strategy of accommodation and resist the political pressure from xenophobic right-wingers to do otherwise, Western Muslims will have to manage their politics with foresight, prudence, and patience.
Dangers for Western Muslims
There are three potential dangers that Western Muslims face. Increased anti-western terrorism in the Muslim World which fuels Islamopheobia, enhances the political influence of Western anti-Muslim extremists and enables the institutionalization of legislation designed to undermine the influence of Muslims. The bush administration’s foreign policy that is geared towards the projection of American power and reassertion of American hegemony in the Middle East is another threat to Western Muslims. Aggressive American unilateralism triggers events and actions that ultimately undermine the security and well being of Western Muslims. The third danger to Western Muslim future is homegrown extremism.
While western Muslims at the moment can do little to reduce the first two dangers beyond engaging in dialogues – political and religious – at various levels, they can and must play an aggressive and decisive role in eliminating internal extremism that resonates with extremism in the Muslim World. Extremist discourse, actions and postures by a small minority of Western Muslims not only undermines the efforts of the vast majority to improve Western-Islamic relations, they also provide concrete evidence of the most egregious stereotypes of Islam and Muslims.
Western Muslim community leaders, activists and scholars must condemn and reject any and all forms of extremist rhetoric coming from Jumma Khutbas, public statements on TV and other media and from Muslim publications themselves. Care must be taken to not only moderate Muslim public discourse but also Muslim-Muslim discourse in order to ensure that extremism and vehement anti-Westernism do not take root in the community. Islam and Muslims in the West can be critical of the West and Western ideals but cannot and must not be anti-West. The critical distinction between being opposed to American foreign policy in the Muslim World and being anti-American must be maintained.
The Threat of Internal Extremism
While a vast majority of Western Muslims have the same basic desires as many others – material well being, cultural acceptance and the opportunity to practice their faith without social and political intimidation – some of them however wish to use their geographic location as an asset in their war against the perceived enemies of Islam. The argument made by some that radical Islam is well deeply embedded in the West and the community western Muslims hides in its bosom many secret sleeper terrorist cells is patently false and such claims must be seen as racist and religiously bigoted. No community has been so closely scrutinized as Muslims in America and no widespread threat has been uncovered. The 9/11 Commission fully exonerated the community of any connection to terrorism.
Nevertheless in every Muslim community there is a small group of individuals angry with the West and fearing that Islam is being destroyed. In their ignorance and anger they say and do counter-productive and dangerous things. The continuous barrage of images of Arab and Muslim humiliation and defeats from Iraq and Palestine make it difficult for even those most pacific to remain calm. Occasionally people lose control and say things that hurt them as well as the community.
Most people in the West are sensible and recognize isolated episodes of violence or intemperate rants as isolated. However there are three issues on which a small minority of Western Muslims, continue to alienate Western populations from Islam and Muslims.
(1) Justifying Suicide Bombing: The images of the attacks of September 11th and the many victims of suicide bombings in Iraq and Israel have become etched on the Western psyche. Suicide bombing has become an epitome, a metaphor for of all that is evil in this world and all that is terrible about Islam and Muslims. Even though most Muslims everywhere – with notable exceptions of course – condemn suicide bombing as unIslamic and when targeting civilians as an abhorrent form of terrorism, some Muslims continue to utilize the freedom of speech available in the West to claim that suicide bombing is a noble and Islamically justifiable defense strategy. These individuals who defend and support suicide bombing [sometimes even when targeting civilians] succeed only in branding Islam as a barbaric religion that inspires violence. They also belie the majority of Western Muslims who condemn it and make it look as if they are dissimulating and lying. This promotes the canard that western Muslims are all secretly supporters of terrorism and that Islam indeed teaches violence. Those who continue to hem and haw on the issue of condemning suicide bombings by invoking “complex realities” and resorting to moral relativism work, intentionally or unconsciously, with Muslim radicals in undermining the fundamental moderation of Islamic teachings.
(2) Equating the war on Terror to the war on Islam: Some radical Muslim commentators have been insisting that the war on terror is actually a war on Islam. Unfortunately the history of American foreign policy and the US’ recent actions in the Muslim World have convinced many Muslims that the US is at war with Islam. Ironically these radical commentators themselves equate Islam with terror when they translate the war on terror as war on Islam. For Western Muslims this is an unacceptable interpretation of what is happening. First of all it is not true. Islam continues to thrive in the West even today. The prominent role played by American Muslims in the Presidential elections of 2004 is clear proof that in spite of growing Islamopheobia and the Patriot Act American Muslims still remain a vibrant force and far from being snuffed out. Yes, they are targeted and profiled because of the actions and discourses of radical Muslims, but most of them will testify that the war on terror is not a war on Islam. In Europe the presence of Muslims has transformed Europe’s foreign policy, its relations with the US and its posture with regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Today Europe seeks to balance US’ support for Israel. Muslim commentators who continue to propagate these claims are trying to insert a wedge between Western Muslims and their homelands. They wish to use Western Muslims as a weapon to subvert the West from within, but in the process sacrificing the community. Those who insist that the West is at war with Islam do a grave disservice to Western Muslims and to undermine the prospects of future good relations between the West and the Islamic World.
(3) Demonization of the West and Democracy: The third theme in the radical Muslim discourse includes a rhetorical demonization of the West as evil and democracy as hypocrisy. In a curious way the very existence of this “free radical discourse” is indicative of how strong democracy is across the board in western countries. But this constant demonization of the West (America and Europe), ridicule of their values, icons, their religious beliefs, their secular beliefs and cultural practices may very well lead to the elimination of free speech and the diminishing of democracy. As far as Western Muslims are concerned, the 19 Muslims who attacked the US on 9/11 have caused them untold misery; they cannot allow it to be amplified through irresponsible statements from within their own communities.
The community must get tough on radical discourse
We recommend that Western Muslims become more organized and aggressive in marginalizing and condemning voices that justify violence, incite hatred and practice demonization of the other. How can community members and leaders fight bigots in the mainstream community and the rising Islamopheobia if some within their own ranks mirror the same fear, ignorance and prejudice? When some one from the community makes a radical statement, community leaders must immediately condemn it and demand a retraction and an apology before anyone else does it. Once radicals realize that the community will not tolerate their extremism, and will take lead in condemning them, they will fade away. The struggle for acceptance of Islam and Muslims in the West cannot be divorced from the acceptance of the West within its Muslim communities.
A leaked US diplomatic cable, sent five days after the July 7 bombings, said Britain ignored repeated warnings to stop granting asylum to Islamic extremists wanted in other countries for terrorism offences.
After bombers killed 52 people on London’s transport system in 2005, the cable said Britain “should have expected such blasts”.
The minister in charge of counter-terrorism under Labour admitted that the last Government had failed to get a grip on the problem.
Washington was told politicians had allowed “Londonistan” to develop.
In the cable, obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph, a former military attaché to the Algerian Embassy in Washington told US diplomats that Britain had been warned years ago to stop granting asylum to members of two “very dangerous” terrorist groups.
An Algerian politician said Britain invited the attacks by “aligning itself with the devil”, according to the cable sent five days after the attacks on 12 July, 2005.
He asked: “Did the English consider the risks of allowing Londonistan to develop? The British thought that sheltering terrorists was a good solution, but they did not realise that one can never align oneself with the devil, and they did precisely that for years and years.”
The extremists used Hyde Park and other open spaces to raise money for terrorist causes, the cable said.
The Daily Telegraph disclosed yesterday how terrorist recruits from across Africa and the Middle East flocked to London to claim asylum.
Seven of the terrorists held at Guantánamo were given refuge in Britain before travelling to Afghanistan for terrorist training.
The files show at least 35 detainees were sent to fight against the West after being indoctrinated in Britain.
Lord West of Spithead, a former security minister in the Labour government, admitted that ministers had failed to get a grip on the problem.
He blamed some of the failings on the Home Office’s counter-terrorism strategy.
“The counter-terrorist strategy was not working as well as it should have been,” he said. “I hope that this Government is looking at it very closely, I am sure they are. We need to keep this pressure on.”
Lord West said Britain in the 1990s was “very slow in realising the danger of the radicalisation that was going on”.
He said: “Some of these ghastly people said loathsome things about our nation and our way of life and yet when you tried to get them to return to their own country they stuck here like bloody limpets.”
Keith Vaz MP, the Labour chairman of the home affairs select committee, said he remained concerned about the possibility of terrorism in north London.
It was essential that politicians worked with communities to reach a solution, he said. “This is not something you can do from the outside. It’s got to be done with the consent of the communities, with the imams and lay members of the committee that are involved.
“If we try to take this on from outside then there is a problem.”
WikiLeaks is in the process of dramatically transforming foreign affairs and international relations. It is revealing over 250,000 cables from US embassies worldwide to the State department and other classified documents. The consequences of this ‘mega-scoop’ will be very far reaching indeed.
For the United States the issues are both strategic as well as ethical. On a strategic level the leaks — which expose frank assessment of foreign leaders by senior American officials and American thinking on many critical issues — will complicate Obama administration’s ability to deal with its allies and may increase global cynicism about US intentions.
Many of the allies will be angry and distrustful. They will also be afraid of being candid in the future. All players in the future will be trying to second-guess each other, unwilling to articulate what their real intentions and goals are. After all, nobody wishes to read a summary of their confidential dialogue with Americans in the New York Times. The revelations may also reverse many of the hard earned diplomatic gains made by the State department over the years in acquiring support for US policies from many nations.
On the ethical level, the key question is: What will the American public do with the knowledge that the US government has allies who are known criminals; that it says one thing in public and pursues another policy in reality; that bullying seems to be a standard operating procedure and intervening in every affair seems to be a natural instinct of US foreign policy. Will the Senate, or the House, call for hearings to hold the administration accountable? Will there be a public outcry?
The revelations so far about the Muslim world are eye opening. Muslims, even some American Muslims have raised criticism of American foreign policy to the level of religious ritual. Often Muslim radicalism and alienation is explained as a direct consequence of US foreign policy alone (the point being that US foreign policy is anti-Islam and subversive to Muslim nations). Therefore Muslim anger and radicalism against the U.S. while often expressed in unjustifiable ways is still understandable.
But now that the shenanigans of Muslim nations, most importantly their collusion with America’s so called anti-Islam foreign policy, is exposed, what will Muslims do? Will they also hate Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar and other nations just as much as they hate America? Or will they recognize that nation states have interests and they pursue them in whatever ways they can; and understand that US foreign policy neither advances nor targets any religion?
The preliminary review of the cables by New York Times and the Guardian reveals the duplicity of many Arab nations on foreign policy — especially in the case of Iran. For example, in the past few years, Arab nations have publicly countered Israeli propaganda that Iran is a bigger threat to the world, than the resolution of the Palestinian issue, with claims that the failure to bring a just solution to the Palestinians was the number one issue for Arabs and Muslims. But apparently, privately these same nations have been parroting Bibi Netanyahu’s mantra to the U.S., repeatedly asking the US to bomb Iran and even invade it with ground troops.
The Saudis refer to Iran — a fellow “Islamic nation” — as “evil”, and have asked the U.S. to “cut off the head of the snake”. The same cables also reveal that even now the main financiers of al Qaeda are Saudi donors. American presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama have identified al Qaeda as the biggest threat to the U.S., and yet they collude with the nation whose citizens are its biggest financiers. Why don’t the Saudis cut off the head of the real snake by arresting and imprisoning al Qaeda’s financiers? Most Americans know that fifteen of the nineteen terrorists that attacked the US on September 11, 2001, were Saudis. None were Iranians. A significant number of foreign fighters who joined al Qaeda in Iraq were Saudis. This is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.
(Do not interpret my criticism of Saudi Arabia as support for Iran. Its current leaders are a bunch of thugs who stole governance from their own people by force and made a mockery out of the idea of an Islamic democracy.)
It seems that on key issues Arab foreign policy is the same as Israel. Except Israel is open, and Arab states are not. In the future, if we wish to understand Arab foreign policy, all we have to do is take Israeli foreign policy and add hypocrisy (nifaaq) to it; voila.
Another level of hypocrisy that Muslim nations seem to be practicing is in their dealings with their own populations. While the US is worried that WikiLeaks latest revelations will undermine its relations with its allies, Muslim governments are worried that these same leaks will expose the extent to which they routinely lie to their own people.
Nation after Muslim nation has been supporting and collaborating with the U.S. and lying to its public about the extent of its support for US foreign policy. For example, the Yemeni president acknowledged that he would continue to lie to his people and claim that American military operations in Yemen are Yemeni operations; the Pakistani government does not want its people to know the extent to which it cooperates with the U.S. on nuclear issues.
It is amazing how Muslim governments engage in policies of which they know their citizens will not approve.
Now, thanks to WikiLeaks, at least Muslims who hate America for its foreign policy must realize that their own countries are collaborators. Perhaps their hatred will now be more evenly spread rather than just focusing on the U.S. If not, then they are hypocrites, too.
Reaching out to UK Muslim community was ‘top priority’ for U.S.
Around a third of young British Muslims favour killing in the name of Islam, according to a survey revealed by the WikiLeaks’ publication of U.S. diplomatic cables.
A survey of 600 Muslim students at 30 universities throughout Britain found that 32 per cent of Muslim respondents believed killing in the name of religion is justified.
A U.S. diplomatic cable from January 2009 quoted a poll by the Centre for Social Cohesion as saying 54 per cent wanted a Muslim party to represent their world view in Parliament and 40 per cent want Muslims in the UK to be under Sharia law.
Radicalised: A cable released by WikiLeaks revealed a third of Muslim college students favour killing in the name of Islam
The survey results, revealed by WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, suggests increasing radicalisation among Britain’s young Muslims.
A further U.S. cable, dated February 5 2009, said reaching out to Britain’s Muslim community there was a ‘top priority’ for U.S. embassy staff.
It stated: ‘Although people of Muslim faith make up only 3 to 4 per cent of the UK’s population, outreach to this key audience is vital to U.S. foreign policy interests in the UK and beyond… This is a top mission priority.’
The February cable outlined a plan encompassing ‘engagement and community capacity-building’ to counter the possible growth of ‘violent extremism’ in the UK.
The outreach plan for British Muslims was published a month after a cable that revealed that while the community had grown to more than 2 million, unemployment rates were higher among Muslim men and women than in any other religion.
Not engaged: U.S. diplomatic cables suggested more needs to be done to work with British Muslims against extremism
Muslims were also found to have the highest disability rates – with 24 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women claiming a disability – while the cable also cited statistics claiming Muslims were also the most likely group to be unavailable for work or not actively seeking employment due to illness, their studies or family commitments.
It was revealed last week that a U.S. cable from 2006 had suggested the British Government had made ‘little progress’ in engaging Muslims and combating homegrown extremism.
And the latest cable revelations of U.S. ambassadorial plan to empower Muslim communities to ‘mobilize against extremism’ and ‘build community resilience’ confirms the White House’s lack of faith in the British Government’s ability to engage with the UK’s Islamic population.
Mr Howells, a former foreign office minister and chairman of the influential Commons intelligence and security committee, blamed “political correctness” which meant that the extremists and their views were not challenged.
He said: “There is a great reluctance to talk about the whole issue.
These were Muslim communities who were in Bradford, Luton as well as in London.
“I think that people were terrified of stirring up allegations of racism, of wanting to vilify a particular part of the community.
“There was a great reluctance to speak about them as a separate part of the community or a community that was undermining our way of life and threatening it.
“It was political correctness and it lasted really until the bombings of July in 2005 when everyone realised that these people simply didn’t subscribe to political correctness.”
Britain ignored repeated warnings to stop granting asylum to Islamic extremists wanted in other countries for terrorism offences before the 7/7 bombings.
The Daily Telegraph disclosed today that a leaked US diplomatic cable, sent five days after the July 7 bombings, said Britain ignored repeated warnings to stop granting asylum to Islamic extremists wanted in other countries for terrorism offences.
After bombers killed 52 people on London’s transport system in 2005, the cable said Britain “should have expected such blasts”. An Algerian politician said Britain invited the attacks by “aligning itself with the devil”.
According to the cable, also obtained by WikiLeaks, the politician asked: “Did the English consider the risks of allowing Londonistan to develop? The British thought that sheltering terrorists was a good solution, but they did not realise that one can never align oneself with the devil, and they did precisely that for years and years.”
Mr Howells, who stood down as an MP at the last general election, said that even today there was a nervousness among moderate Muslims and mainstream political debate about tackling head on these inflammatory remarks.
He said: “There’s still a great reluctance to take on the basic philosophy that these jihadists argue for, which is that infidels should be killed – that it’s not really a murderous and hellish thing to do to set off a bomb and murder innocent people including innocent Muslims..
“Even now there’s a huge reluctance in many of these communities to actually condemn the activities of murderous individuals who spread this kind of poison.
“You can’t even begin to envisage speaking in the same way about the new republican threat in Northern Ireland. These people have declared they want to murder policemen, even Catholic policemen.”
On Tuesday, Lord West of Spithead, a former security minister in the Labour government, admitted that ministers had failed to get a grip on the problem. He blamed some of the failings on the Home Office’s counter-terrorism strategy.
“The counter-terrorist strategy was not working as well as it should have been,” he said. “I hope that this Government is looking at it very closely, I am sure they are. We need to keep this pressure on.”
Lord West said Britain in the 1990s was “very slow in realising the danger of the radicalisation that was going on”. He said: “Some of these ghastly people said loathsome things about our nation and our way of life and yet when you tried to get them to return to their own country they stuck here like bloody limpets.”
The news came as it emerged that the US Government has told lawyers for detainees at the camp in Guantánamo that the leaked documents remained legally classified even after they have been made public.
This means that the lawyers cannot view the leaked reports on the internet and instead would have to go to secure Government facilities to view them.
Joseph Margulies, a lawyer for Abu Zubaydah, told the New York Times he is barred from commenting on the documents.
He said: “Everyone else can talk about it. can’t talk about it.”
Muslims to make up quarter of world’s projected population of 8.3billion
72 countries already have one million or more Muslims
Britain to have more Muslims than Kuwait by 2030
The Muslim population in the UK will almost double to 5.5million within 20 years, it has been claimed.
Immigration and high birth rates will mean nearly one in ten Britons will be Muslim by 2030, according to a worldwide study about the spread of Islam.
And the forecasts mean Britain will have more Muslims than Kuwait.
Rising: Nearly one in ten people in Britain will be Muslim by 2030 because of immigration and high birth rates. The report comes amid continuing debate over the views of Muslims in Britain and attitudes towards them
From 1990 to 2010 the number of followers of the Islamic faith around the world increased at an average rate of 2.2 per cent annually. Last year there were 1.57billion around the world.
The British increase in the Muslim population from the current 2.8million will be mainly driven by immigration, according to figures prepared by a Washington think tank.
Projections by the respected Pew Research Centre said the 40 years between 1990 and 2030 will see a fivefold rise in Britain.
In 1990 there were 1.1million Muslims in Britain, representing two per cent of the population.
By last year that figure had risen to 2.8million, or four per cent. By 2030 the number will hit 5.5million – eight per cent of an estimated 68million population, Pew researchers said.
In the U.S., the number of Muslims will also double by 2030 – rising to 6.2million from 2.6million today. But the percentage of Muslims will remain lower than the UK because the total population is five times bigger there, with around 300million at present.
Last May, official figures showed that there could be 70million people in Britain by 2029 – largely fuelled by the migrant boom.
By comparison, in the same year the Arab state of Kuwait is expected to have a Muslim population of 3.6million, it forecast.
The report said one in four migrants to the UK are Muslims.
In Canada, the number of Muslims is set to nearly treble to 2.7million in 2030 from 940,000 at present, the study found.
‘The greatest increases in the Muslim share of the population – driven primarily by continued migration – are likely to occur in Western and Northern Europe, where Muslims will be approaching double-digit percentages of the population in several countries,’ it said.
Britain has long had high immigration levels from some Muslim countries, notably Pakistan and Bangladesh, and in recent years has seen high numbers of migrants from Islamic parts of Africa.
The Pew report also cited high birth rates. It said that ‘generally, Muslim populations tend to have higher fertility rates than non-Muslim populations’.
It added: ‘A larger share of the Muslim population is in, or soon will enter, the prime reproductive years between the ages of 15 and 29.
‘Also, improved health and economic conditions in Muslim-majority countries have led to greater-than-average declines in infant and child mortality rates, and life expectancy is rising even faster in Muslim-majority countries than in other less-developed countries.’
MUSLIM POPULATION IN THE U.S.
The number of Muslims in the U.S. is expected to double in the next 20 years to 6.2million from 2.6million today.
There will be as many Muslims in America as there are Jews or Episcopalians today, if the predictions are correct.
Currently 0.8 per cent of the U.S. population is American, but by 2030 that is expected to rise to 1.7 per cent.
The reports authors warned that political change in the U.S. could limit immigration.
The study used past population changes, migration figures and fertility rates to estimate changing Islamic populations.
By 2030 Muslims will make up 26 per cent of the world’s projected population of 8.3billion, up from 23 per cent of the estimated 2010 world population of 6.9billion, it said.
Those figures represent an increase from 1.6billion in 2010 to 2.2billion in 2030, a rise of 35 per cent.
The analysis comes amid continuing debate over the views of Muslims in Britain and attitudes towards them.
The study was based on past demographic trends and estimations on what will happen to them over the next 20 years.
Last week Tory Party chairman Baroness Warsi said prejudice against Muslims is seen as normal and called for people to stop categorising them.