A closer look at reports about the growth of Islam in the UK
Two reports seem to suggest that Islam in the UK is growing faster than anyone realised. The first, published by Faith Matters, looks specifically at conversions to Islam, concluding that between 2001 and 2010 the number of British converts rose from 60,000 to 100,000. Meanwhile, a forthcoming US Pew Forum report estimates that the total number of UK Muslims is 2.9 million (4.6%) compared with 1.6 million (2.8%) in 2001.
The alarming increase of Islam, along with the marginalisation of Christianity, is the constant theme of the conservative media, a wearying vuvuzela drone, though doubtless intended as a trumpet blast.
It's worth noting, first of all, that both these figures ought to be taken as provisional. To take the second first, Pew Forum published its estimate in September in a report called Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe, and the only source for the estimate was what it described as a "forthcoming Pew Forum report". It has still not come forth, and until it does we will not know what its surprisingly high estimate was based on or how reliable it is.