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A brief history of the British mosque

The Historic England Blog

Muslims have lived in Britain since the 16th century, arriving initially for temporary periods of time to work and trade.

During the first and second world war around half a million Muslim soldiers fought for the British Empire and in the aftermath of 1945, mass immigration from former colonies began. Today, Muslims make up around 4% of the population of the UK.

A new book, The British Mosque: An Architectural and Social Historyby Shahed Saleem is the first ever overview and explanation of Islamic architecture in Britain, and records the buildings used, adapted or built by Muslim communities which have become an established part of our urban fabric.

There are no specific architectural requirements of a mosque, domes and minarets are not compulsory, meaning British Muslims have been free to build mosques in a variety of styles, the diversity of which reflects the diversity of the Muslim community…

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