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LONDON - The number of Muslim converts in Britain has almost doubled in ten years with an estimated 5,200 men

White women are leading the wave of Britons embracing Islam

Up to 100,000 people converted to Islam in Britain, nearly two-thirds of converts were women.

 

 and women adopting Islam last year alone, according to a study by the think tank Faith Matters.

The study found that nearly two-thirds of the converts were women and over 70 per cent were white. The average age at conversion was 27.

The report has been the culmination of 7 months of work.

The key findings of this report are:

- The current figure for converts to Islam in England and Wales could be anything between 90,000 to 100,000 people, (based on a survey of mosques and the 2001 census figures for England and Wales and Scotland),

- That media representations of converts to Islam are negative and a survey undertaken for this report into media representation of converts found that 60.9% of stories linked the convert to terrorism and 15% linked the convert to fundamentalism. These negative portrayals are deeply problematic and further paint a negative picture of a vibrant community driven by social justice,

- That the average age of conversion to Islam took place around 27 years of age,

- Of 122 respondents to a survey as part of this report, 44% converted in 2001 or before, whilst 56% converted in 2002 or later.

- At the time of conversion, converts received most help and advice from books (96% of cases), Muslim friends (85% of cases) and the Internet (64% of cases). 52% received no help from mosques and 43% said their local mosque had no provision for converts.

- 66% said that their family had a negative attitude to their conversion.

- 91% disagreed with the statement, "Muslims should keep themselves separate from non-Muslims."

- 84% agreed with the suggestion that converts (especially converts from the majority White British Ethnic Group) could act as a 'bridge' and a link between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

- 97% felt that some of the practices of born Muslims had more to do with culture rather than Islam

The report can be downloaded here.

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