World Bulletin/News Desk
Using census data on race and religion, and questionnaires issued to mosques, Kevin Brice, a researcher at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, reckons around 5,200 Britons turn to Islam every year, bringing the total number of converts to about 100,000, the Economist reported.
According to the report, those who embrace Islam tend to do so after years of contact with Muslims. Some, mostly women (who make up around two-thirds of new believers), want to marry a Muslim. Others are fed up with the bawdiness of British society. Many speak of seeking a sense of community. Batool al-Toma, an Irish-Catholic convert who runs the New Muslim Project in Leeds, was attracted, she says, by the spirituality of Islam and the warmth of relationships she saw among Muslims.
For men, prisons have proven a fertile ground for conversions. Just over 11,000 prisoners are Muslims, about 13% of the total. A study by the prisons inspectorate in 2010 says converts, a third of those interviewed, said the discipline and structure of Islam helped them to cope with prison life. Others cited the support they received from their Muslim “brothers”. Some were initially attracted by the prospect of a cushier spell in jail—more time outside their cells, for example, and better food at Ramadan, but then completed their conversion.
Upon release though, some prisoners are shunned by their fellow Muslims, says Tracey Davanna, who studies Muslim prisoners at Birmingham University. Ex-cons are not the only ones who find integration tough. Many mosques are ethnic clubs, says Mr Moosavi, and can be unwelcoming to converts. Few mosques offer substantial support to new converts. Organisations such as the New Muslim Project have sprung up to fill the gap. It provides certificates of conversion that new believers can leave with their wills in case appalled relatives refuse an Islamic burial.
Two mosques in Britain are now run by converts. The Ihsan mosque in Norwich encountered antagonism from some Muslims, says Uthman Ibrahim-Morrison, who has been a member of the community since the mid-1990s. Some questioned whether new believers should be in charge of a mosque, he says. But it has flourished. At Friday prayers they struggle to squeeze everyone in.
"It's a big problem, it's a world problem," he said in the Sicilian town of Taormina, just weeks after he called North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un a "madman with nuclear weapons."
The two-day summit in Sicily's ancient hilltop resort of Taormina kicks off four days after children were among 22 people killed in a concert bomb attack in Manchester.
Maimane was planning to attend treason trial of Zambian opposition leader in capital Lusaka
Police search post offices, embassies, airport in Greek capital after letter bomb attack
Foreign minister says UN should not try to replace country’s justice system by conducting parallel investigation
A former chief of the council, ethnic issues expert Mihail Ivanov called the appointment "an outrage against minorities."
The National Liberation Army (ELN) is the country's second-largest rebel group after the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). A former member of the group Victus tells his story
In keeping with his nationalist economic agenda, Trump had in particular hit out at Germany's substantial trade surplus with the US, threatening to introduce customs duties in retaliation.
The 75-year-old was given a lethal injection after the US Supreme Court allowed the execution to proceed by denying the inmate's stay requests.
Resolution by House committee ‘one-sided’, foreign ministry says
Goal is to help prevent baby deaths, TIKA agency's deputy coordinator in Nairobi says
Legislation specifies funding, administrative board structure
His speech capped a nostalgic visit for the 33-year-old billionaire, which included a visit to his old dorm room.
Simeonov, 62, is co-leader of the United Patriots (UP), the junior party in the governing coalition.
US leader hints at prosecutions over American leaking of sensitive information about suicide bombing in UK