chapter  9
18 Pages

Counting Women with Faith: What Quantitative Data can reveal about Muslim Women in ‘Secular’ Britain

WithSerena Hussain

Although there has been a Muslim presence in Britain for hundreds of years (Sherif 2002) the Muslim community grew significantly from 1960 onwards as a

result of a labour shortage during post World War II. Britain invited citizens of the Commonwealth to fill vacancies, resulting in many of today’s British Muslims being

of South Asian descent. A clear demonstration of the growth of British Muslims since the 1960s is the rise in the number of mosques. In 1963 there were only 13 mosques registered in Britain. The number grew to 49 in 1970 and doubled in the space of five years to 99 in 1975, and again to 203 in 1980. It almost doubled yet again to 338

in 1985 (Vertovec 2002). Ansari (2004) describes the large scale Muslim settlement to Britain as occurring in two broad phases: firstly 1945 to the early 1970s and then

from 1973 to the present. However it is argued here that it is more useful to have a three-fold division (Hussain 2005):

i) 1945 to approximately 1970 – which predominantly consisted of young male migrant workers

ii) 1970 to approximately 1990 – where communities were formed as a result of wives joining husbands and British born children.