London’s ethnic and religious diversity makes it one of the world’s most cosmopolitan and vibrant cities; the multicultural and international character of London contributes to the city’s economic growth and dynamism.
There has been a long and fruitful connection between Muslims and London over many centuries, involving interactions in the realms of diplomacy, commerce and scholarship. There is evidence of Muslim influence in place names, historical records, emblems and architecture.
The last hundred years have seen the rapid development of this association, contributing to the emergence of London as a unique world cosmopolitan centre. The Mayor commissioned this report with the objective of bringing together in one volume the information available on the Muslim
communities of London. This report brings together data and information about Muslims in
London, drawn from the 2001 Census and other sources. The 2001 Census included, for the first time, a voluntary question on religion, providing official statistics on faith communities. Nonetheless, a
significant issue that arose in preparing this report was a general lack of faith-based data and information. Information is also limited by the categories used in collecting and analysing data and to some extent the relative sizes of the populations in London and the UK as a whole. This
lack of information highlights the need for future research and the need for more or different questions in the next Census. The Scottish Census, for example, asked two questions about religion.
The structureof the reportfocuses on five major themes to give a snapshot of London’s Muslim communities in the key areas of: demography; socio-economic profiles; inclusion (political, community and voluntary sector, and cultural); the criminal justice system; and Islamophobia (Commissioned by the Mayor of London).