From multiculturalism to integration: Timeline of events that shaped Britain’s policies on multiculturalism and integration of ethnic minorities. Waves of immigration from Commonwealth countries begin to generate interest and debate on the relationship between Britain and people of different cultures and ethnicity. Home Secretary Roy Jenkins delivers a speech to the National Committee.


Anglo-Saxon ruler King Offa Rex mints coins imitating that of Arab currency. Ironically, inscribed in Arabic on the coins is the Muslim profession of faith (shahada) with "Offa Rex" inscribed upside down.









Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales references Islamic scholars

1579 - 1583

Via negotiations with William Harborne, the Ottomans open correspondence with Queen Elizabeth. England begins its diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Empire by dispatching William Harborne as ambassador to Istanbul. From this point on, diplomatic relations and trade continues between England and the Ottomans
16th century
  John Nelson converts to Islam becoming the first Englishman convert to the religion. No exact date known  
17th century: details...


Oxford and Cambridge Universities establish chairs of Arabic Studies... read more...







18th century


The first large group of Muslims arrives to Britain from India. Sailors recruited in India by the East India Company form the first Islamic communities in port towns such as London, Liverpool, and Cardiff. Others Muslims arrive later from Sylhet, now Bangladesh







19th century: details...


Britain's first mosque recorded in the register of religious sites, at 2 Glyn Rhondda Street, Cardiff, Wales read more...







20th century: details...


Syed Ameer Ali, an Islamic scholar, convenes a public meeting at the Ritz Carlton calling for the establishment of "a mosque in London worthy of the tradition of Islam and worthy of the capital of the British Empire". read more...







21st century: details...


Race riots erupt in the "mill and mosque" towns of Oldham, Bradford and Burnley. read more...


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