|Islam in England|
Islam is the 2nd largest religion in all 4 countries of the UK with 2.4 million (1.5m in England forming 3% of the population) due to immigration from former colonies from the 1950’s. There are 1,500 Musjids in the UK.
In England, 40% of Muslims live in London. Most Muslims in England are immigrants mainly from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan or are descendants of immigrants from there. Others are from the Middle East, Somalia, Malaysia and Indonesia, while fewer come from African countries such as Nigeria, Uganda and Sierra Leone. There are 200,000 ‘white’ Muslims.
England’s link with Islam goes back to Offa, the 8th century King of Mercia who minted a coin with an Islamic inscription. It is possible he was a Muslim. Ibn Sina's The Canon of Medicine (1025), in Latin, was a standard text for medical students till the 18th century; Roger Bacon was inspired by Muslim scientists; aspects of English common law was inspired by Islamic law; Islamic architecture influenced English Gothic.
The first English convert to Islam mentioned by name is John Nelson by the 16th century. In the 1600’s Muslim navies captured Lundy, an island in the Bristol Channel. By 1707 small numbers of Muslims were living in England.
The first large group of Muslims to arrive, in the 1700’s were sailors from the Indian subcontinent (largely from Bengal), most of whom settled down.
One of the most famous early Bengali Muslims was Sake Dean Mahomet who in 1810 founded London's first Indian restaurant. He also introduced shampoo and therapeutic massage to the UK. Islam was legalized in 1812.
There are several Muslim organizations, schools and media (magazines, TV, radio) in the UK.
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