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Who are Britain’s Muslims?

Inside London's central mosque, near Regents Park

An introduction to Muslim denominations and religious diversity 

by Abdul-Azim Ahmed

Dr Abdul-Azim Ahmed is an academic and freelance journalist based in Cardiff. He has written for the Independent, the New Statesman, and is currently authoring a book on contemporary British mosques. Abdul-Azim is also editor of On Religion Magazine, an online publication that examines religion and society.

Diversity of Islam in Britain - broad outlines
Some subdivisons
Middle-Eastern reform movements
Some misconceptions - Sunni/Shia hostility; Sufis; good/bad Muslims
Other variations - modernist, traditionalist, political, apolitical etc

This essay was originally published at

The illustration on the British Values index shows the Shah Jahan mosque in Woking, the earliest known purpose built mosque in Britain (built in 1889).