Follow us on
Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Special Reports
From bottom of social ladder to top – The story of Muslims in Britain
Monday November 4, 2013 1:05 PM, Ather Shazan,

When they left their native countries and chose an alien land to settle, they had no option but to work day in and day out as labourers and turn the wheels of key industries like cotton mills, looms, steel foundries and car factories to re-shape post-war Britain, literally unsure if their dream of building a new home will ever come true.

But, five decades on, there are no less than 10,000 millionaires among them, and together with others in the community including thousands in higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations, the Muslim contribute some £31 billion to the UK economy and constitute one of the most diverse Muslim population, a report released by The Muslim Council of Britain ahead of the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum 2013 said.

"From coffee houses in Elizabethan London, to curry houses in modern day Britain, thousands of Muslim owned businesses have made a significant contribution to the UK economy, and, by extension, the cultural life of Britain", said the report titled as 'The Muslim Pound - How Muslims Add Value to Britain's Prosperity'.

"In London alone, an estimated 33.6% of Small to Medium Enterprises are Muslim-owned, and with over 13,400 Muslim-owned businesses they are creating more than 70,000 jobs. Some have gone on to establish household brands, or have themselves becomes household names", the report said.

"There is an estimated 10,000 Muslim millionaires in the UK with liquid assets of more than £3.6 billion. And there are more than a dozen British Muslims listed in the 2013 Sunday Times Rich List of the most affluent in the UK. Some estimate the amount that the community is contributing to the UK economy to be about £31 billion. Also, there are 114,548 Muslims in England and Wales in higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations", the report added.

"Successful British Muslim entrepreneurs, therefore, not only contribute to prosperity of Britain, but they also contribute to the fabric of British society and act as role models", the report said.
According to the 2011 Census, London's total population is estimated at 8 million people with over 250 languages spoken and all major religions represented, and out of the total 2.72 million Muslims who live in Britain, some 1 million reside in London constituting a vibrant and diverse society.

"Britain's Muslim population is equally global. Indeed, we would be so bold as to argue that its diversity is only matched by the diversity of the Hajj – where Muslims all over the world converge on Islam's holiest city, Makkah, for the annual pilgrimage. Muslim connections from the Atlantic to the Pacific have helped Britain facilitate trade to new and emerging markets", the report said.

In addition to contributing Britain's economic vitality, the British Muslim community has created new drivers for growth due to the requirements of the Muslim faith. The need to have food adhering to Muslim dietary requirements has led to a burgeoning halal food industry to cater for this, and a major share in the $1.2 trillion strong global halal lifestyle market.

"A report in 2001 valued the British halal industry at £700 million, though we would expect this to be far higher, in excess of £1 billion given that the world halal food market is estimated at $685 billion", the report said.

The Muslims in Britain are also contributing for the growth of the $1.3 trillion strong non-interest based Islamic finance sector, making London as one of the major centres for global Islamic finance services outside the Muslim world.

"The sophistication and experience of the UK professional service industry has meant that it has long since been a partner in the Islamic finance movement. In particular, English law is the governing law of choice for many cross-border Islamic finance transactions. The success of the Islamic finance sector in the UK is in no small part attributed to the concerted partnership of Government for the past thirty years", the report said.

"The UK's world class law firms and accountancy practices have thriving divisions in Islamic Finance and the UK's universities compete globally to offer executive education in the industry and Shariah-compliant products. Not only does the UK's Islamic finance sector service the world, it also does a great deal to resource massive infrastructure projects here in the UK", the report said.

This is not surprising hence to see British Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledging the contribution of 'The Muslim Pound' by saying, "Islamic finance has helped transform London's skyline by financing in whole or in part developments such as The Shard, Chelsea Barracks, Harrods and the Olympic Village."

Share this page
Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of
comments powered by Disqus
| Quick links
Contact us
Subscribe to: RSS » Facebook » Twitter » Newsletter Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.
© 2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.