In recent times, due to immigration and the Syrian conflict, Islam has become the fastest growing religion in Europe.
As of mid 2016, with the wave of muslim immigrants and asylum seekers from Iraq and Syria, muslims made up 4.9% of Europe’s population (Pew Research Centre). The size of muslim population varies from country to country in Europe, with France holding 5,720,000 million muslims. Germany holding 4,950,000, UK 4,130,000 million, Italy 2,870,000 million, Holland 1,210,000 million and with Spain 1,80,000. Overall there are probably 26 million muslims in the European Union.
Top Muslim Cities in EU
Marseille (France) – 25%
Bradford (England) -24.7%
Birmingham (England) -21.8%
Malmo (Sweden) – 20%
Robaix (France) – 20%
Leicester (England) -19%
Antwerp (Belgium)- 17%
(Pew Research Centre)
At present time muslims make up 5% of the European muslim population, in which Germany and France have the largest muslim population in Europe, followed by the UK.
From 2010-2016, the share of muslims in Europe rose from 19.5 million for 25.8 million. By 2050 the muslim population will double and this takes into consideration the depreciation of migration into Europe. About 50% of all European muslims are under the age of 30 compared with 32% non muslims.
Views of Muslims that come to Europe:
Syrian muslims that came to Germany, and settled in Cologne were astonished to see muslims with long beards, who attended ultra conservative mosques, mosques that were more modelled on Saudi Arabia places of worship.
In Germany, Turkish muslims mostly attended Turkish speaking mosques which are funded by Ankara. However in recent times, these mosques have faced funding shortages, and these shortages have been fulfilled by Saudi Arabia, which tends to teach ultra conservative form of Islam ‘Wahhabism’. New comers, from a moderate muslim background, were taken back, they couldn’t believe their eyes. A 7th century ultra conservative type of islam was being practiced in the heart of Euope within a liberal progressive framework.
In contrast to European muslims, American muslims are more educated and reasonably well off in comparison to their fellow non muslim citizens. Muslims that came to Europe after post world war, were generally from a poor background, and they were seen as more as guests workers, who were seen as ‘economic migrants’ as tending to return back to their country of origin. Even after coming to Europe, majority of the muslim community still remain relevantly poor compared to the rest of the nation, this is highlighted in the high unemployment rates in the muslim communities. Since 2010, Sub Sahara African nations (Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Egypt) were the fastest growing migrants into Europe, and this is second to Syrian migrants and to the middle east region. Sub Sahara migrants journey from their place of orgin, feeling from either civil war, persecution, or they may have just paid human traffickers to get them to the shores of Europe, face uncertainty, torture, and even death through their journey to cross the mediterranean sea. Just to give an overall picture of the African migrant picture. In 2017, there was 5.2 million African immigrants, compared to 3 million in 1990.
All this flow and settlement from North Africa and from the middle east to Europe, has led to the rise of populist parties, especially the rise in the far right populaist parties across Europe. The last decade, in economic terms, has not been kind to Europe. With the 2008 financial collapse, which introduced financial austerity govermment measures, the public pocket was drastically cut and public services saw a dramatic fall in their budget. Coupled with austerity measures and the increase in immigration, which has an effect on the demography of a country, has led to unsettling the nest. This has seen a trend towards the revival in the conservative quarters of the many European political parties, this excludes the triumphant win by Donald Trump in the USA. But what’s really worrying is the rise in the popularity of far right groups and the increase in racial/religious hate crime.
In uncertain financial times, and with the threat of Muslim terrorism and the increase in immigration which is changing the landscape, have led to noises below the surface of mainstream society, that are saying ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!’.