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,” Syed Raza Rizvi, an Islamic preacher, was quoted as saying in the local media.
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 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.
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 in United States, designed to accommodate 1,230 worshipers, only 12 people gathered to celebrate Mass. At the Church of Santa Maria, there were 20.
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.
A recent survey had also shown that teachings of the Holy Quran are better represented in Western societies than in Islamic countries, which have failed to embrace the values of their own faith in politics, business, law and society.
A study of 208 countries and territories has found that the top countries in both economic achievement and social values are Ireland, Demark, Luxembourg and New Zealand. Britain also ranks in the top ten.
The first Muslim-majority nation is Malaysia ranking at 33, while the only other state in the top 50 is Kuwait at 48.
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