United Kingdom

Britain becomes world’s immigrant capital above America

Britain and immigration seem like a counterintuitive combination, but Britain today has a larger proportion of non-native residents than the US, with one in six residents born in another country.

More details in the following report:

The Economist has dedicated one of its editorials this week to the question of how England has become the best European country for immigration.

From this publication’s point of view, the idea of Britain as a country of immigration may seem far-fetched as politicians in parliament debate a bill to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

One of the reasons for the increase in immigration in the UK is that, despite efforts to stop the migrant boats, the Conservative government has left the door open for workers, students and victims of authoritarianism, such as Ukrainians.

Statistics show that 54% of the asylum seekers who crossed the English Channel to reach the UK are citizens of five countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Eritrea, Syria and Sudan.

Among the asylum seekers in England, Albanians, Afghans and Iranians are in the first to third ranks, respectively.

Statistics related to legal immigration to the UK show that in the year ending June 2023, more than one and a half million visas, including work, study, family and family reunification visas, and more than 90,000 visas were issued to Ukrainians.

Estimates show that more than 300,000 people of London’s population of 9 million are of Iranian descent, which has increased in recent decades, and there are plenty of restaurants and stores selling Iranian food, books, and clothes in this city.

Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, Newcastle, Liverpool, Brighton, Oxford are among the other cities in England that host Iranian citizens for work, study and living.

Islam is the second largest religion in England, so far about 600 mosques and 60 Islamic schools have been established in this country.

Reports show that 6.5% of the British population, equivalent to about four million people, are Muslims according to the statistics of 2021.

In recent years, Muslims have achieved a lot of success in the British political scene, their activities were previously limited to municipal and local councils, but now they have entered the parliament and some of them have become members of the House of Commons and Lords.

The largest concentration of Shiites in England is in London, Birmingham and Manchester, and they are made up of Iranian, Iraqi, Pakistani, Indian, Lebanese nationalities and in small and scattered numbers from other countries.

Some Iranian and Iraqi taqlid authorities have offices and representatives in England, and in London and several other major cities. Numerous religious, cultural and educational centers have been established by different groups of Shiites with various views, which offer centers for gatherings, answering religious queries and guidance of Shiites. These centers are actively engaged in educational and promotional activities as well as helping the poor.

On special and religious occasions such as the holy month of Ramadan and Nights of Qadr, days of mourning, especially the decade of Hosseini Ashura, and days of celebration, especially the birth of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, and half of Sha’ban, these centers receive tens of thousands of people who are interested in Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them.

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