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Islam is the second largest population in the United Kingdom as revealed by a result from the United Kingdom Census of 2011. The fact is supported by significant changes that have occurred in UK. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United Kingdom, which has expanded in its population 10 times faster than any other religion. In the ancient time, those who were migrated from some other Muslim dominated country such as Pakistan, Africa, Middle East and Bangladesh contributed a major portion of the Muslim population. However, in the recent time, the increasing population of Muslims in UK is rarely accredited to the fact of migration. The conversion of other religion people into Islam has perhaps become the observable reasons behind the growing population of Islam. Until the year 2011, the country has seen a conversion of approximately around 100,000 non-Islamic people into Islam. The main purpose of this assignment is to analyze the impact of Islam on UK in the last forty years. The impact would be seen from the perspectives of political, socio-cultural and the economy changes in UK.
Muslims have played an important role in contributing to the economy of UK. The contribution can be termed as both the positive and the negative. A Muslim immigrant from Asia opened up the first Indian restaurant in the early 1810. The facility has left a good impact on the economy of the country as the particular initiative did provide job opportunities as well as affected the social lives. Another initiative came from the founder of Bengali Sake Dean Mahomet who introduced an idea of shampoo and therapeutic massage to the people of UK. Some of these initiatives had helped the Muslim community grow in big numbers in UK. The increasing population has affected the economy badly because the Muslim community started working as cheap labours. The cheap nature of working has actually added pressure on the UK government to provide a healthy economy to the community. The United Kingdom government has adopted some useful initiative to better the economic dullness of Muslims. They started some banking reform with which they provided employment opportunities to the Muslims. Education is a key to economic development; however, majority of Muslims were the migrants from the other Muslim countries such as Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Middle East. This is because of such facts the migrated Muslims could not acquire the knowledge and the skills, which is required to attain the highest position in the public and the private sector. This has probably left an adverse effect on the economy of UK. Muslims had their involvement in various infrastructure related development such as Masjid and Islamic institutions. These infrastructures related changes had left a positive impact on the economy of UK.
Muslims have left a huge impact on the political aspects of UK. In the 2005 election, four Muslims were chosen for the billing system with the help of labour Party. The sharia, which is compulsory to abide by for the Muslims have been implemented. However, it is so far partially observed in the country. The majority of Muslim population were supported with the implementation of sharia. The immigration policies have been improved to facilitate the living of immigrant Muslims in the country. The negative impact of Islam on the political aspects of UK did come in the form of Islamophobia. The Islamophobia had actually changed the thought process of British media. The British media then became increasingly involved in maligning the image of Islam. The starting period of 1980s has seen only the fifth portion of the media coverage that they presently do. The Rushdie affair and the cartoon of Holy Prophet did ignite the protesting activities from the Muslims. The Muslims have all of a sudden started taking interests in the governance. The political change in Muslims did also affect the politics in Britain. The series of protests by Muslims has enhanced the racist and ethnics feelings in the British people. The Islamophobia has caused a dramatic transformation of an ethnic group into political recognition.
The increasing population of Muslims have influenced the social aspect of few people. The dressing styles of Muslims for example have attracted many Non-Muslims people towards the religion. This has compelled some of those for research on the teachings of Islam. Nevertheless, the research works have majorly ignited the passion of non-Muslims towards the religion. A simple and peaceful lifestyle of Islam has encouraged many conversions to Islam. This has dramatically influenced the social life of UK. The trend is becoming stronger with the passage of time. The strong adherences to the sharia and the protests to implement the same have bisected the Muslim communities from the UK people. The protest then took an unexpected shape when a series of terror attacks happened to the country. The attacks are still happening. Media has falsely connected the several attacks with the Muslim’s anger on the ignorance to sharia implementation. This has unexpectedly caused the hatred for Muslims among the British people. Muslims are now becoming the target for some racist attacks. Nevertheless, a series of attacks in the past and at the present have contributed in the reducing image of Islam in UK. Islamophobia has captured the attention of many. Muslims with beard are now frequently suspected as the terrorist. This has actually disturbed the social lives of UK. The peaceful living at one time is now being challenged by the series of terror attacks and the media coverage on Islam.
The last forty years of UK has witnessed many changes in their political, economic and social lives. The way of living of Muslims has influenced the country both positively and negatively. The issues because of Islamic faiths should be handled with proper care at both the UK and the international platform. This is a sensitive issue, which needs high planning for its absorbance to the existing society.
Jamie Gilham, Loyal Enemies: British Coverts to Islam (London: Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 87
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Mouritsen, P., 2012.‘Christian Joppke, Citizenship and Immigration.Ethnicities, 12(6), pp.844-863.
Nielsen, J., Muslim political participation in Europe (UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2013), p. 102-119.
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