Joined: Jul 2005
Some excerpts from Daily Mail newspaper (online) of 4th Jan 2011... |
The number of converts to Islam living in Britain has surged to 100,000 from just 60,000 a decade ago, a report revealed today.
White women are leading the growing number of people in the UK embracing the Muslim faith.
Converts have risen from around 60,000 in 2001 to up to 90,000 to 100,000 today, according to estimates in a report for the Faith Matters organisation.
Around 5,200 people in the UK adopted the faith in the last year alone.
Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of former prime minister Tony Blair, attracted widespread publicity when she announced last year that she had converted to Islam.
A survey of 122 converts last year showed 56 per cent were white British, with women making up 62 per cent of respondents.
The average age at conversion was just over 27, research conducted by Kevin Brice, of Swansea University, found.
The majority reported difficulties after embracing Islam because of the negative attitudes of their family. However, over time this attitude became more 'positive' according to the report.
Most of the women had changed their appearance after conversion, with a significant majority adopting the hijab, or head scarf.
One woman who converted to Islam is mother Lynne Ali, a 31-year-old former Disc Jockey.
She decided to adopt the religion when she was 19 - and said she is happy to have found an 'escape route' from her old life.
'I went to an old friend's 21st birthday party in a bar,' she said. 'I walked in, wearing my hijab and modest clothing, and saw how ŭeveryone else had so much flesh on display. They were drunk, slurring their words and dancing provocatively.
'For the first time, I could see my former life with an outsider's eyes, and I knew I could never go back to that.
'I am so grateful I found my escape route. This is the real me ŭ I am happy to pray five times a day and take classes at the mosque. I am no longer a slave to a broken society and its expectations.'
'Converts are generally at ease living in the UK and do not feel that British people are essentially hostile to Islam.'