Muslims in Great Britain are asking for greater representation in the House of Lords, based on the apparent fact that there are more practicing Muslims in Britain today than practicing Anglicans. This from the Hindustan Times, with thanks to the many who sent this to me:
More people in Britain attend mosques than the Church of England. It is for the first time that Muslims have overtaken Anglicans. According to figures 930,000 Muslims attend a place of worship at least once a week, whereas only 916,000 Anglicans do the same. Muslim leaders are now claiming that, given such a rise of Islam in Britain, Muslims should receive a share of the privileged status of the Church of England.
A spokesman for David Hope, the Archbishop of York, second in the church hierarchy, said the archbishop had conceded defeat, but added: "He believes that many more people have an affinity to the church than the number recorded as having attended once on a Sunday." The figures were compiled from government and academic resources.
According to the 2001 census, three-quarters of the British population regards itself as Christian. Although there are no registers kept at mosques regarding attendance, but the census had included a question about religious adherence. Those figures have been further supported by surveys to give the first assessment of worshipping Muslims.
Although the census recorded 1.59 million Muslims but Ceri Peach, professor of social geography at Oxford University said the census could not record the correct balance because the question was voluntary. Academics believe the figure to be at least 1.8 million.
Tariq Modood, a professor of sociology at Bristol University has found that 62 per cent of Muslims pray in places of worship. The figure, after excluding young children, most of whom do not worship in mosques, is about 930,000. The figure is said to underestimate the number of practising Muslims. Many, it is said, pray at home.
Immigration from Eastern Europe and conversions are believed to be adding to the number of Muslims. Lord Ahmad Patel, a Labour peer said 10 extra seats should be allocated to other religions. The Church of England has 26 seats in the House of Lords. However, the recent figures do not include Catholics. The Catholic church has 1.5 million British worshippers.