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Friday, December 28, 2012

UK: Muslim population has nearly doubled in the past decade (VIDEO)



Islam is the United Kingdom's fastest-growing religion, and the country's Muslim population has nearly doubled in the past decade.

As the number of British Muslims increases, some are deviating from the faith's traditional norms. Many Muslim women in the UK now walk a tightrope between their Islamic culture and British identity.

Britain's diversity has spawned independent Muslim women who appear to be challenging their cultural and religious boundaries. Being raised in a country that promotes tolerance and acceptance of others, increasing numbers are choosing to reject arranged marriages, and radically opting to marry out of their faith.

In the UK, 21,000 interfaith marriages were recorded in 2001. Although no new statistics on the issue have been released since then, imams in the UK told Al Jazeera that these figures have surged in recent years.

Sheikh Toufik Kacimi, the CEO of Muslim Welfare House, a charity and community centre in London, says he is approached by at least two couples per week to consult on interfaith relationships.

Most religious scholars agree that Islam permits Muslim men to marry "women of the book" - Christians or Jews - thus expanding the number of potential partners to choose from.
Muslim women, on the other hand, are forbidden to marry a non-Muslim unless her partner converts to Islam, say purists. Some men nominally convert to Islam in order to appease their partner's family.

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