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Integration of Muslims in

Britain
Policies and impacts 1970-2010

Proposal for Visiting Research Fellowships


Academic year 2011-2012
Imam Bukhari and Imam Tirmizi Visiting Research
Fellowships

Submitted by: Imran Hussain

hashmi_multan@hotmail.com
Preface

In the name of Almighty Allah Who is the most merciful and beneficent to His
creations and His peace and blessing be upon Hazrat Muhammad-e-Mustafa who is
selected as the last Prophet for all the creation.
The West has a long history of engagement with Islam. Muslims and Europeans used
to visit each other for several purposes like trade, labor, knowledge seeking and even for
preaching. Modern developments are rooted in the era of colonial rule. Refugee also
flight to west from impoverished and unstable home countries. Western democracies,
with high demand for labor and liberal human rights policies, remain the most attractive
destination for migrants and refugees. In 2005, the International Organization for
Migration estimates that among all world regions, Europe hosted the highest number of
international migrants. The overall size of the population has also risen because of high
birth rates among immigrant families
Standardized estimates about the exact size of this population as according to official
national statistics are not available, but it can be said that Muslims constitute the largest
minority religion within the European states. This immigration has brought people of
different cultures together in one society. The European states have to face the issue of
integration of non European nationals.
Different European states have different policies to handle the issue of integration.
These policies were made according to the domestic situation of country and the
immigrants. Muslim migrants encounter particular difficulties with cultural integration
into European societies. To avoid these difficulties Britain has advocated
multiculturalism, which promotes “tolerance and integration while allowing immigrants
and ethnic groups to maintain cultural identities and customs”. This policy fosters
recognition of British norms and values, but encourages the preservation of personal
culture and advocates anti-discrimination.
Multicultural theories argue that migrants should be engaged in the rights and
responsibilities of democratic citizenship in their host societies, even though they should
be free to maintain distinct cultural identities, practices and beliefs.
The Topic:
It is very important to study and analyze all ways of integrating Muslims in the
west and their impact on social and religious aspects of lives of Muslims living in
specific western societies. But that needs a lot of time with enough available resources to
complete the job. For this, at present the study will analyze the policies of only one
western society i.e. The Great Britain with their impact on Muslims living there. The
main reason to choose this country is the importance of its policy which claims accepting
of multiculturalism allowing all citizens to freely choose religious beliefs and practices.
The other reason is its historical and even contemporary links with my own region i.e.
South Asia.
The study will address two main issues about the Integration of Muslims in
Britain. The first is the government integration policies and their implications in different
aspects of life as social, economical, educational and political ones. The other one is the
impact of these policies on the identical culture of Muslims.
The study will judge the first issue as social, attitudinal, economical and political
aspects. And as its concern with the second issue, which is more important, the study will
analyze whether Muslims are getting affected with the other culture in the result of this
multicultural integration or not?
Some studies conclude that migrant populations gradually came to share
mainstream values, ways of life, and beliefs prevailing in their host society, usually
through an intergenerational process, although minority groups integrate at different
rates. So the study will tell that to how much extend Muslims are absorbing the other
culture with exploring the other side of the picture that whether there is any impact of
Muslim culture upon the British local culture or not?
On fixing time limits for the topic of the study we’ll analyze the policies from
1970 to 2009. As we find the beginning of multiculturalism in 1970s and then a rapid
boom in this process especially after the terror attacks in USA and European states. This
boom came to Britain after terror attacks because Britain was particularly shocked that
British‐born second‐generation Muslim youths, with good education and job prospects,
were involved. These events raise fears that second‐generation Muslims living in isolated
urban communities are becoming alienated from democratic societies and may be
developing closer sympathies with extremist Islamic movements. For this Britain has
added civic integration dimensions to its multiculturalism approach since the 7/7 London
bombings, and the debate has been started to advocate British own culture rather than
multiculturalism. So it’s more important to analyze the recent changes or developments
in multicultural integration process.
Thus, the topic will be “Integration of Muslims in Britain” (Policies and
impacts 1970-2009).
Importance of the topic:
Dr. M. M. deen Mohammad says in his article “Comparative religion in
contemporary Muslim world”, “One shouldn’t forget that almost a third of the Muslim
population lives as minorities in different parts of the world. Their problems and
circumstances are quite different to those faced by Muslims in majority countries. They
have to live with followers of other religions therefore interest in comparative religion
can help them in defending their views and running their affairs.”1 So it’s important to
study about the affairs of Muslim minorities in the only department of comparative
religion in a majority Muslim country.
There are now approximately “three million Muslims living in the Britain”, and
they have relations with the Muslims of their countries of origin. The changes in people
living in those developed countries greatly have impacts on their related people living in
non or poor developed countries. So the issue is not related only to Muslim minorities but
it’s also related to the people related to them allover the Muslim world.
Along with this the issue of Muslim integration has been central to the domestic
political debate over the past two decades and especially after the terrorist attacks in US
and Europe. The topic not only has important political implications; it also helps us to
understand the extent to which basic cultural values of Muslims living as minorities are
enduring or malleable.
Why I Chose This Topic?
• As mentioned earlier “the Importance of the topic” that it’s about the problems of
1
Dr. M. M. deen Mohammad, “Comparative religion in contemporary Muslim world”:
Hawliat Al-Jamiah Al-Islamiyyah Al-Alamiyyah, issue No.4 1417H.-1996A.D, P.25
Muslims living in an atmosphere stranger to Muslim culture. I think it’s our
obligation to show our interest in a way that can help in solving the problems.
• It’s a living topic as since 9/11, Muslims are often associated with extremism and
violence. But Muslims and Islam, their religion, are there to stay. Their
integration has become one of state’s main concerns and the integration of
Muslims in various countries is an ongoing process.
• It’s linked not only with the Muslims living in the west but also with the western
non-Muslims living in the same society.
• It discusses very Important and sensitive issues of contemporary world.
• The study can also be helpful in finding the missing points in the policies about
minorities and their implications in my own country Pakistan.
Research Problem:
Weather Britain integration policy, multiculturalism, is a valid policy and is it
implied as said? What’s the impact of this policy on basic cultural values of Muslims
living in Britain?
Hypothesis:
• Multicultural policy is a good way of integration for both, the state and the
minorities but there are some discrimination attitudes while implying this
policy on Muslims living in Britain.
• This policy is affecting the culture of Muslims living there.
• These effects are better for Muslims.
• These effects are harming the Muslim basic culture so these are not good.

.
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