Muslims make up 4.8 percent of the British population, yet a survey in 2013 showed that 62 percent of the British population agrees that the country will lose its identity if more Muslims live in Britain. Public attitude toward Muslims in Britain are sometimes troubling. It seems that no matter how hard Muslims try at integrating and however successful they become on cultural, social, and economic levels, the level of public discourse remain the same.
Last night, Sadiq Khan, the son of an immigrant bus driver became the first Muslim Mayor of London. This follows a series of significant developments over the past two weeks, including a Muslim woman becoming the first black, Arab Muslim to become President of the National Union of Students (NUS) in the UK.
In the same week, Nadiya Hussain, a headscarf-wearing Muslim woman, baked the Queen’s 90th birthday cake. Despite being positive role models to young people of any minority, and despite shedding a progressive light on what it means to be Muslim in Britain, public sentiment continues to be worryingly negative.
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It is important to recognize that integration is not strictly limited to cultural integration but perhaps more importantly to economic integration.Yara al-Wazir