There are over 3 million Muslims in Britain (5% of population) and around 20,000 across the Liverpool City Region. Islam is the second largest religion in Britain and Merseyside.
Muslims have been living in Britain since before the Victorian times, particularly the Lascar seamen who were toing and froing to these shores since the 1750s and resided principally in port cities. The most well known English convert, William Henry Quilliam (later Abdullah) established the first mosque in Britain at Brougham Terrace, Liverpool in 1889. At its height Liverpool was the centre of Islam in UK. During the Great Wars, millions of Muslims fought for the British Empire as colonial subjects. In the aftermath, Britain needed to rebuild its economy and many Muslims came over as factory labourers in the 1950s and 60s, particularly from the Indian subcontinent. In Liverpool, the migration pattern was merchant seamen from Aden and Horn of Africa settling down before subsequent waves of migrants from other parts of the Muslim world followed. This explains the unique diversity of Liverpool’s Muslim population compared with other Northern England cities.
There are approximately 1200 mosques in the UK. The majority of these can be found in major cities but almost every major town with have at least one mosque. This is because the mosque plays an essential role in the life of a Muslim. The Liverpool Region has approximately 12 mosques.
As communities of Muslims throughout the UK grew, so did the need for mosques. The majority of these were founded by Islamic organisations representing traditions from various parts of the Muslim world. Since the 2000s, and the rise of second generation British born Muslims, a new identity arose of British Muslims was born. This explains why there was renewed interest in the work of Abdullah Quilliam as Muslims strove to navigate a way consistent with the precepts of their faith but appreciating British culture and society.
Research shows that the Muslim community report a high level of “Britishness” and are proud British Citizens but remain firm in their belief in Islam and its authentic teachings. Islam teaches us to live in peace and unity with all people and to be positive contributors to the society we are part of. As the Liverpool Region Mosque Network, we are committed to opening our doors and invite everybody to come and learn about our faith, especially within a modern British context.
Aims of the Liverpool Region Mosque Network:
- To unify mosques across the Liverpool Region – enabling strength and support for each other as we seek to develop our communities.
- To create a collaborative partnership between mosques; sharing resources, ideas, offering advice and developing effective working relationships between imams, committees and volunteers.
- To act as a single representative entity, this would be a port of call for statutory bodies such as Merseyside Police, local and central government, as well as others.