Muslim London: 423 new mosques, 100 Shariah courts

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Thousands of Muslims offer Friday prayer in Birmingham in this July 6, 2016 file photo. — Courtesy: Ruptly video screenshot

London —Britain has been acquiring an increasingly Islamic face, with hundreds of official Shariah courts operating in the capital and many mosques dotting many cities.

“London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together,” Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, an Islamic preacher, was quoted as saying in the local media.

“Terrorists can not stand London’s multiculturalism”, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said after the deadly terror attack at Westminster last year.

There are 423 new mosques in London and most of these mosques are crowded at prayer times unlike many churches which rarely see visitors.

The Daily Mail published photographs of a church and a mosque a few meters from each other in the heart of London. At the Church of San Giorgio, designed to accommodate 1,230 worshipers, only 12 people gathered to celebrate Mass. At the Church of Santa Maria, there were 20

The nearby Brune Street Estate mosque has a different problem: overcrowding. Its small room can contain only 100.

By 2020, estimates are that the number of Muslims attending prayers will reach at least 683,000, while the number of Christians attending weekly Mass will drop to 679,000.

Since 2001, 500 London churches of all denominations have been turned into private homes. During the same period, British mosques have been proliferating. Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Britons who identify themselves as Anglicans fell from 21% to 17%, a decrease of 1.7 million people, while, according to a survey conducted by the respected NatCen Social Research Institute, the number of Muslims has grown by almost a million. Churchgoers are declining at a rate that within a generation, their number will be three times lower than that of Muslims who go regularly to mosque on Friday.

London is also full of Shariah courts. There are officially 100. The advent of this parallel judicial system has been made possible thanks to the British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

British universities are also advancing Islamic law. — Agencies


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