In the British census, religious identification can be regarded more as "cultural background" than evidence of personal piety Peach , as in other countries that are not Muslim majority Pew b , with ethnic or national origin terms used in data collection understood to be also relational and variable P. Lewis However contentious the statistics, it is now apparent that the UK Muslim population is the third largest in western Europe, following Germany the greatest number of Muslims in one country and France the greatest percentage of Muslims in the national population.
The Muslim population in England and Wales in was 2. This rapid increase of over 50 percent in a decade see also Field ; Perfect continues a longer-standing pattern of growth from pre estimates, and it makes Muslims the largest religious minority in the country. Notably youthful with 48 percent under age twenty-five in compared to 30 percent under twenty-five in the general population, the numbers of Muslims in Britain are expected to almost double to a total of 5. In Britain, as across western Europe and North America WENA , the increase in the numbers of Muslims is not because of conversion, which remains numerically static with those leaving or no longer identifying with the faith Pew b , but because of immigration and high fertility rates Pew d in the context of a strongly heteronormative culture Field that regards family as central to religious and community life.
Islam is not an ethnicity, but in the UK as in other non-Muslim- majority states in WENA, historical population movements have brought certain national and ethnic heritages to the fore in the Muslim demographic. While there has been a Muslim presence in Britain since the seventeenth century Gilliat-Ray , the biggest wave of Muslim migration to the UK came in the s, when the British government recruited mainly rural unskilled single male laborers from its then South Asian colonies to the industrial textile towns of central and northern England and in London.
By the s Muslim migrants were establishing the structures and services essential to the vitality of a community beginning to think of itself as settled rather than as on the point of imminent return to "home" Werbner Although close ties continued with families and kinship networks in South Asia especially through localized biraderi or clan networks organized through male elder leadership , the migrant Muslim population embedded in their British locales, establishing, along with Sikh and Hindu South Asian migrant populations, areas of pronounced South Asian residency in parts of the UK.
Overwhelmingly urban rather than rural and often located in particular and often poorer parts of larger cities, this initial geography set the pattern for the concentrated picture of South Asian and Muslim habitation that continues in the UK today. South Asians remain the largest group of British Muslims making up 68 percent of the Muslim population in Britain , of which 38 percent are Pakistani, 15 percent Bangladeshi, and 8 percent Indian.
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In Bradford, South Asian Muslim neighborhoods might be populated by households of not only the same Pakistani ethnicity but from the same rural village, often connected by kin. Though London as a whole became home to a Muslim population of ethnic, regional, national, and denominational diversity, monoethnic South Asian clustering is marked in some areas: South Asian Muslims predominate in the east London boroughs of Tower Hamlets of which most are Bangladeshi and Newham, where designer Mani Kohli had her flagship store as part of the Green Street Asian fashion parade.
Many of the women featured in this book live and work, or were raised, in these South Asian enclaves. While Muslims nationally report lower than average incomes and many live in areas of multiple deprivation, some sectors are and have been for some time wealthier, immersed, like many Arab and Ismaili East African Asians, in middle-class professional life.
Class segmentation is emerging within the South Asian Muslim population as first-generation businesspeople achieve sufficient wealth to move to middle-class suburbs in Manchester, Bradford, and London, where Muslim Arabs from the Gulf form a discernible cohort among the semiresident superrich Salamandra Educational achievements among the second and now third generations of South Asian and other migrant Muslims also brings more professionally qualified people into the community.
The Muslim population follows previous migrant community trends in which second- and third-generation educational achievement outstrips the parental and grandparental generation: with family educational aspiration for daughters as well as sons Basit now an ethnic cultural norm Shah, Dwyer, and Modood , Muslim students are often the first in their families to go to college or university. Girls' education especially can confer status and prestige on their parents and relatives F.
Ahmad , with enhanced earning potential regarded as protection in case of divorce Dwyer and Shah , though Muslims, and Muslim women the most, still face discrimination in the labor market chapter 5. Significantly for this project, Muslims, like other immigrants, have preferred vocational professional training for their children in medicine, pharmacy, law, and business rather than education in the arts and humanities. Though media careers are becoming more widespread, the preference is for the "harder" areas of business or political journalism rather than "soft" arts commentary.
She later explained that the outfit allowed her to avoid reapplying sunscreen after swimming. Modesty is not to be forced on anyone and means different things to different people, but always remains a choice for women. Last year, Marks and Spencer launched a burkini as part of its summer and spring collection.
It quickly sold out and proved popular with British customers. She adds that over over 40 per cent of burkini sales are from non-Muslim women. Aden stood out as a young woman who was committed to her beliefs and willing to challenge industry ideals. She also recently modelled for Aab. The London-based public speaker champions the freedom to wear modest fashion for all women and wants to become a positive role model, regardless of religion. Modest fashion is not only bridging the gap between Eastern and Western fashion culture but also creating far more diversity within the fashion industry.
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Modesty is a personal choice the same way you would choose flats over heels or vice versa. To see Muslim women and popular fashion brands leading the way to provide more choice for all women is truly inspiring. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.
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