Muslims appear as the largest faction amongst the minority religions in Europe. Muslim migrants who settled in the European countries did so after the Second World War. In the United Kingdom, the history of Muslims who migrated from all corners of the world is long. As a result, the populations living in the UK comprise of the Pakistan Muslims.
This is one of the largest groups of the UK Muslims after those who migrated from India. The Pakistan Muslims are the second largest ethnic minority in the United Kingdom. They live in cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Bradford, where they benefit from political and social influence. According to universal statistics, more than 1,601,000 Muslims subsist in the UK.
The tuning of Muslim lives after immigration takes a long period. In their new areas of living within the UK, incorporation, and application of Muslim’s spiritual and cultural beliefs come from the uninterrupted age groups. While making these life changes, stress, and tension may affect dan ifferent persons, kin, and societies.
Moreover, the broader British community was known as the Muslim society and their families regard the young Muslia ms as nexus groups. The young Muslims are the antithetical scheme that links Muslims and the British in a society where socialization, expectations, and self-worth competitions are paramount. Consequently, British Muslims are at the forefront of economical, social, and political marginalization (True & Mintrom 2001, p. 35).
In general, it is upsetting trying to measure the Muslims individual accomplishment, the existence outlook, and self-confidence. This comes from the fact that diffusion and integrations are hardly observed amongst the Muslims living across the globe. This research explores the Muslim immigrants in the United Kingdom, particularly the Pakistanis.
While studying Muslim immigrants in the United Kingdom, the research seeks to answer the following research questions.
- What are the struggles of Muslim immigrants in the UK (mostly Pakistan)?
- What policies do the UK government uses towards Muslim immigrants?
- What terrorism challenges do Muslim immigrants in the UK face?
It is indicated in various studies that young Muslims in Britain are considered as outcasts. This is evident in view of how the mainstream society treats the minority group particularly the Pakistanis. They are considered to present competing values and expectations (True & Mintrom 2001, p.36).
Muslims living in Britain contain a wide array of persons from diverse cultural settings. Besides, young Muslims particularly practice diverse religious practices and they are noted to be having solidarity in their community. A young Muslim’s view may be completely different from those possessed by others. As a result, the association of Islam with terrorism became evident in 1980s. Previous generations living in the UK pursued integration.
However, younger generation sought to associate with Ummah, which is a constituent of Islam. Muslim population living in the UK experiences rising Islamophobia due to political, social and economic deprivation. The phobia was heightened by the 9/11 terrorism acts on the America landmarks. In fact, the events were associated with the Al Qaeda. The extremists subscribe to Islam thus making the distinction between Islam and terrorism difficult (Ali, 2008).
From the integration concept, it is apparent that the assimilation of Muslims into the mainstream British society raises concern for the government (Castles & Miller, 2003). The antagonism between the UK government and Islam is long standing (Fukuyama, 2006). The bombings that were executed by Islamists in Madrid and London increased the fear for the UK national security. The association of Muslims with terrorism further magnified the practices undertaken by the UK authorities against religious extremism.
The choice of a research method depends on its strengths and weaknesses (Heine, 2010). For instance, the quantitative technique draws on the numerical value as it explains the research and solves the problem. The quantitative research method is important in the sense that it focuses on collecting data for numerical and statistical analysis (Baker 2010, p.45).
Qualitative researchers however claim that when a study draws on quantitative data only, it might ignore the cultural and social variables of the statistics that have been acquired (Chen & Tsai 2010, p.50).
Chen and Tsai (2010) further stated that a factor like approach including the struggles of Muslim immigrants in the UK (mostly Pakistan), the policies the UK government uses towards Muslim immigrants, as well as terrorism challenges faced by Muslim immigrants in the UK can hardly be expounded on using a sequence of numerical analytical research assumptions.
According to Elkins and Simmons (2005), the qualitative technique is a multi-method including interpretative and naturalistic research approaches. This implies that a research that is qualitative in nature will study various aspects of Muslim immigrants in the UK within their natural sets.
Since the study aims at exploring Muslim immigrants in the UK, it will focus on the struggles of Muslim immigrants in the UK (mostly Pakistan), the policies the UK government uses towards Muslim immigrants, and terrorism challenges faced by Muslim immigrants in the UK. Most of such study information is readily available from global reports, journals, newsletters, and bulletins. Besides, the information on Muslim immigrants in the UK can be obtained through internet search and documentary analysis.
Data can be collected from interviews, questionnaires, databases, internet or even mail. However, each of these data collection methods has its own conditions. The data collection method that is used will always be affected by the way the gathered statistics or data will be used. This particular research study uses secondary and primary data including information from interviews.
Relevant secondary information and data on Muslim immigrants in the United Kingdom were collected from books, articles, journals, and interviews. The sample size for this study included two Pakistani immigrants and two UK government officials. Besides, a preview of the documentary analysis, internet search, and reports on the previous interviews conducted to the Muslim immigrants in the UK was done to obtain the required research information.
Previous research studies conducted on this topic were also obtained from databases such as EDGAR, ProQuest, and Emerald. Such data sources contained useful information on Muslim immigrants in the United Kingdom, as indicated by researches that have already been conducted. News and magazines that contain information on Muslim immigrants in the United Kingdom were also drawn on.
The researcher first edited the relevant data obtained. Thereafter, qualitative methods were applied in the analysis of the collected data on Muslim immigrants in the United Kingdom. In fact, techniques such as content analysis and logical analysis methods were used to analyze the obtained research data.
The Muslim immigrants struggle in the United Kingdom
The migration of Muslims to the United Kingdom after the Second World War came with countless life challenges. In this context, the Muslims who came from Pakistan incessantly faced numerous restrictions in their day-to-day existence despite boosting the labor shortages in the UK. The Muslims struggle heaped pressure and tribulations in their lives given that they faced economical, social, and political marginalization.
At the outset, Muslims who migrated to the UK faced severe labor market challenges. The rate of employed Muslim inhabitants as compared to other religions or races in the UK is drastically low (Baker 2010, p.4). The scenario increases noteworthy diversity in the Muslim society that until today faces discrimination in Britain.
Equally, the Muslims probably struggle from the acute disadvantage due to poor quality housing. They reside in owner-occupiers houses and can only have possession of homes scheduled on mortgages. Besides, accessing better houses seems to be a terrible experience for the immigrant Muslims in the UK.
In the labor markets, the institutional discrimination facing Muslims in the UK has fostered racial inequalities. Thus, Muslim immigrants in the UK appear as destitute in terms of access to resources and power. Similarly, the Muslim immigrants in the United Kingdom struggle to get proper accommodation given the prevalent housing problems. The encompassing antagonistic force stipulates that cluster houses come from ethnic attack.
Therefore, Muslim community has poorly progressed in the United Kingdom owing to racial discrimination, institutional prejudice, and structural biases. The Pakistani Muslims in the UK also face a number of national and religious hitches augmented by public and cultural criticism.
Initially, Muslims were hardly part of the multiculturalism dialogue that incorporated Christians (Castles & Miller, 2003). This denied the Muslims total participation in various multicultural activities. For instance, the Muslims were left out of the contemporary dialogue concerning the prospect and distinctiveness of different cultures.
The functions of Islam alongside other religious faiths lack clear-cut guidelines in the Muslim immigrant communal life. Actually, the Sharia Law was not part of the United Kingdom governing laws. As a result, this brought controversial disagreements and denied the Muslim community a sense of belonging in the United Kingdom as a secular nation. On the other hand, Muslims struggle to get into the legislative body of the UK.
The UK political bodies are disinclined to incorporate Muslim immigrants in the parliamentary business. For instance, merely four Muslims out of the possible forty-eight made it to the august house in the fiscal 2005 elections. The Muslims lack adequate representation with only eight members of parliament presently serving in the government. Thus, UK Muslims immigrants continue to suffer from the breach of minority national rights (Duncan & Tatari 2011, p.171).
From the subject of Muslim organizations, the populace remains in dark as per the degree at which such Muslim institutions symbolize the United Kingdom. The UK government is uncertain on the stretch out of these organizations to the outside world. In addition, the UK administration cares less about the deliberate manipulation and vulnerability of the Muslim community towards radicalism.
Similarly, the Pakistani Muslims struggle to get some form of learning despite poor accessibility to education in non-Muslim school in the UK. Harsh conditions, along with the deficiency of resources hinder Muslim students from learning Arabic, which is a vital language for understanding the Quran. Further, there was un-regulated language guidance owing to the government’s failure to fund the marginalized faith schools (Elkins & Simmons 2005, p. 37).
The Islamic community that came from Pakistan experienced discrimination and bias in the UK old-university institutions. In fact, during admission, the number of white students was triple compared to that of the Pakistani Muslim students. The violence acts, arsons, and assaults have risen due to the sentiment based on anti-Islamism.
The percentage of bias felonies, aggression, and discrimination have been gradual and it was about eighty percent (80%) by the year 2004. The ban on discrimination by the Equality Act of 2006 had a direct impact on the Muslim. The Act expelled discrimination in relations to public participation, education, administration of premises, services, and amenities, as well as sexual, faith, and religious provision of commodities.
The policies used towards Muslim immigrants by the UK government
In the United Kingdom, a number of guidelines are in ground to deal with the Muslim immigrants living in the nation. From the integration theory, these policies aspire to promote and integrate the cultural diversity eminent within the UK population. Policies used towards the Muslims in the UK might be the tool of national security, population growth, foreign policy, and economic growth. The policy makers seek to exercise power over migration structure in the United Kingdom.
Besides, these policies aspire to build up tough security, consign economic migration, and encourage openness in migration. The UK migration policy does not limit or restrict the migration of Muslims since the political groups mutually embrace economic migration.
The new visa controls initiated after the 11 September bombing provides a fresh security technique that seeks to decrease the asylum quest and curb illegitimate immigration. Moreover, the alteration of the postwar integration pillar helps the Muslims when it comes to dealing with labor markets issues.
In order to promote the shared personal effects and morals of the diverse communities, the policy on the agenda quality of the UK is significant. The policy has facilitated labor to strengthen anti-discriminatory actions through emergent policies and ideas. The government permissions as well as the new-fangled programs in the labor markets that culminate the growth of point-based system encourage the international Muslims learners.
From fiscal 2002, a more preventive outline of tightening up visas as government policy on unlawful immigrant and asylum seekers has risen. Conversely, the government has interior measures besides visas systems to fight immigration problems. These internal measures fall under regularization, observance of public service policies, augmented employer compliance, and identity administration.
Over the past decade, the government was able to standardize between sixty to one hundred thousand Muslim immigrants. Through the makeshift decision and administrative alterations policy, the government’s regulation attempt was effective. Secondly, public service providers’ observance measures have enabled the removal of boundaries placed on non-emergency healthcare access. The UK schools ensure that all the school-going children are in good health irrespective of their race or religion.
Besides, the amplified sections such as 7,500 dollars fine imposed on the employers who recruit illegal personnel are on the increase. Thus, the fines inflicted to the Muslim illegal-workers are directly imposed on the company owners.
Lastly, the biometric data identification is in place to assist in identifying the legitimate Muslim asylum seekers who opt to reside in the UK for more than six months. All these policies help the government in handling security matters through proper identification and reduced the degree of illegal entry of Muslims in to the UK.
The terrorism challenges faced by UK Muslim immigrants
The Muslims in the United Kingdom encounter a number of challenges related to terrorism conveyed by the anti-terrorism decrees put in place by the government. The Muslim defendants suffer vehemently from these statutes of anti-terrorism as stipulated in the empirical study conducted by the IRR (Institute of Race Relations).
There is only little conviction currently despite the rampant arrest of Muslim suspects that is estimated at hundreds. Moreover, the Muslims suffer from unmitigated laws of anti-terrorism that render them susceptible besides their perceptions as law violators and habitual criminals.
The Muslims’ supposed misdemeanors go unprosecuted by the authorities of immigration. The scenario has seen many Muslim immigrants face unlawful arrests for unheeded crimes like the credit cards swindles. The UK police officers excessively apply powers granted by the anti-terrorism decrees and brutally assault the innocent Muslims (Chen & Tsai 2010, p.450).
On the other hand, the British populace has a sense of disillusionment towards their Muslim counterparts thus Muslims live in fright of linkage to terrorism. The Muslims feared to be terrorists face deportation as passed in the harsh 2006 Terrorism Act. This act affects Muslims as well as other non-Muslims who are innocent but living in the UK thus a blessing in disguise. In addition, the recent unyielding enforcement and constraints concerning the eligibility of immigrants has affected Muslims negatively.
The Asylum and Immigration Bill 2003 proposed several restrictions and enforcement that render Muslims ineligible for staying in the UK. The well being and health status of Muslims in the UK deteriorates following the restriction in the provision of funds to the Asylum seekers who fail to apply in time (Ali 2008, p.30). Generally, the immigration laws in the UK are tighter and the introduction of contentious identification cards is underway. All these tend to affect the UK Muslims.
According to Muslim immigrants interviewed in the research, it was apparent that Pakistanis face immense challenge when moving into the UK. A woman interviewee stated that seeking a visa from the UK embassy in Pakistan required her to undergo rigorous assessment from the police as well as the embassy representatives. Pakistanis travelling from the country to the UK are often considered as threats hence have to endure multiple cross-examinations.
The male interviewed in this study stated that the arrival at Heathrow was coupled with many challenges. The authorities sought to declare him an illegal immigrant despite having been granted a travel visa to the country. According to government officials who responded to this research, various guidelines are established to deal with Muslim population in the country. Government officials are expected to ensure that national security is not threatened by immigration.
Pakistani Muslims form a large group of people living in the United Kingdom. They have lived in the country for decades. The number continues to rise due to immigration. Pakistan immigrants face many challenges beginning from seeking travel documents in their country to getting admission in the UK.
In fact, the UK policy on Muslim immigrants is strict due to terrorism associated with Islam. Majority of young Muslims face challenges despite having been born in the country. The challenge is compounded for the immigrants irrespective of age or political association. The association of Pakistani immigrants with Islamic fundamentalism is developed by the worldview of non-Muslims.
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