UK Muslims, the Most Patriotic in Europe

19 Dec 2009

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes and commends the excellent work carried out by the Open Society Institute in producing their report, Muslims in Europe: A Report on 11 EU Cities. The report is the first comprehensive set of studies to look at needs and aspirations of Muslims across 11 EU cities, and its findings convey a structured series of recommendations for achieving common goals for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Contrary to the usual media sensationalisms, stereotyping Muslims as being a community that “live parallel or segregated lives”, the report’s findings clearly highlight that Muslims have a strong sense of belonging to a city or a nation. Muslims in the UK top the table for being the most patriotic and in identifying themselves as British. However emphasis is given to the need to tackle rising discrimination and prejudice that exists against Muslims.

The report highlights many areas of concern where much work needs to be done to ensure equality for Muslims, particularly women within the workplace. Similarly, the situation for young Muslim men and the “discrimination and unfair treatment” they face at the hands of the authorities cannot be left unattended. The MCB supports the recommendations made in the report and encourages individuals, groups, and leaders, whether local or notional, to take an active role in promoting and implementing sustainable delivery programmes.

Secretary General, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said of the report, “This is a fine example of what we should be doing to explore the best ways of collaborating with one another. The substantive recommendations from the report only go to strengthen the idea of working towards shared interests and goals for the betterment of society as a whole. Muslims and non-Muslims together form the fabric of our nations, and I sincerely hope that leaders and key influencers across the UK and Europe take note of the suggestions and begin in earnest the process of bringing communities closer together”.

He added, “With general elections just around the corner we in the UK have a prime opportunity to work together and build upon the efforts already being made by many organisations including the MCB to address the issues raised in the report. The UK should be proud that we have the most diverse make up of Muslims in Europe; if there is enough will from all quarters we can lead the way in our work towards greater community cohesion and understanding”.

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Notes to Editors:

The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

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