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Muslims in Britain

British Muslims do not have a problem with democracy. Some of them do have a problem with multiculturalism

By Bhikhu Parekh   July 2003

Does Islam pose a challenge to British democracy? Recent events-from Muslim opposition to the disputed war in Iraq to the revelation about two British Muslim suicide bombers in Israel-have wrongly suggested that it might.

Let us start with some basic facts. According to the census of 2001, Britain has around 1.6m Muslims in a population of just under 58.8m-just under 3 per cent of its population. Around three quarters of British Muslims come from the Indian subcontinent, mainly from rural areas of Pakistan and Bangladesh. This is important because some of their difficulties in settlement arise not from their religion…

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