Muslims have been living in Britain and Ireland since Elizabethan times. There have been Muslims in Northern Ireland for well over a hundred years, the first reported purpose-built place of prayer being the ‘Cockle House’ (facing Makkah) in Crumlin, reportedly built for a Muslim servant of the local landlord at the time.
Belfast Islamic Centre was established in 1978 by a group of Muslims from the local community to provide a focus for all Muslims living in Northern Ireland. The centre operates for the benefit of all Muslims irrespective of their ethnic background, gender, country of origin or age. At present those who use the centre represent 42 nationalities. No-one is absolutely certain about the number of Muslims in Northern Ireland, The total population of the Muslim community in Northern Ireland (from the 2011 census) is around 4000 individuals. We believe this figure only reflects the settled community in Northern Ireland and does not take into account other social demographics such as students. There may be up to 10,000 Muslims currently resident in the province.