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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 May 2006, 23:10 GMT 00:10 UK
Muslim hardship under spotlight
Muslims at mosque
Muslims suffer high unemployment and deprivation
Many Muslims in England face bleak employment prospects and endure poor standards of housing, a government-backed study has found.

The report revealed Muslims were more likely than any other faith group to be jobless and living in poor conditions.

It said 14% of Muslims aged over 25 were unemployed, compared with the national unemployment rate of 4%.

University researchers in Birmingham, Derby, Oxford and Warwick also found Muslims had poorer levels of education.

The study, commissioned to review the prospects of faith communities in England, also said Muslims were more vulnerable to long-term illness.

And one in three lived in the most deprived areas of England.

'Multiple deprivation'

"Taking the Muslim population as a whole, they face some of the most acute conditions of multiple deprivation," the report said.

John Prescott's former department, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), commissioned the academics to review data on the Hindu, Sikh and Muslim communities.

As well as highlighting the disadvantages suffered, the report found members of these communities were likely to remain concentrated in the same areas.

This was because families wanted to stay close together and many prefer to live near to their places of worship.

Researchers reviewed a variety of data, including information from the 2001 national census.

The government will use the study in its work to encourage equal opportunities for members of all religious communities, a spokeswoman said.

Hear from report author Professor Paul Weller

Britain's Islam future examined
10 May 06 |  Bradford


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