UK: Independent fact-checking charity pours scorn on mosque claims

FullFact.org says that claims of 3000 mosques in the UK are too high

Wednesday 28 August - A recent claim that there are over 3,000 mosques in the UK has gone viral on social media.

The independent fact-checking website FullFact.org says that this figure is probably too high. Although there is no definitive source, it says that the true figure is likely to be between 1,000 and 2,000.

Counting the number of mosques in the UK is difficult, as it is for churches, synagogues and other places of worship. Definitions can vary from purpose-built premises to hired halls and multi-faith chaplaincies.

The Home Office maintains a list of premises that have been registered for marriages under the Marriage Act 1949, but this is far from definitive.

Mosques are under no obligation to be recorded under the Marriage Act. Further, British Religion in Numbers notes that not all redundant properties are de-registered and although religious denomination is included in the register, this may be recorded in all sorts of different ways, including misspellings, which makes identifying mosques a challenge.

In our own analysis of these registrations, we identified about 1,300 out of nearly 30,000 records where religious denomination indicated the registration of a mosque, for example 'Muslims', 'Moslem', or 'Sunni'.

According to MuslimsInBritain.org, which maintains an unofficial directory of mosques in the UK and Ireland, 'there are currently 2,864 locations listed' though cautions that 'about 1,850 are mosques, prayer rooms and shared places', with the remainder defunct, multi-faith, or uncertain.

Editor's comment - The time has clearly come for compulsory registration of existing mosques, with a moratorium on the building of new mosques, until in the words of the American President, 'we can figure out what the hell is going on.' Registration should include madrassahs, Islamic 'cultural centres', prayer rooms and anywhere else where the teachings of Islam are promoted.

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