Moroccan Migration to the UK and Europe
Although major Moroccan migration to the UK happened in early 1960’s, Moroccans have been living in the UK since 1800’s and Moroccan and British relations, both economic and political go back to the thirteenth century.
Morocco has one of the world’s largest Diaspora communities, in 1975 the number of Moroccans in Europe reached 400 000, thirty years later, the figure rose to 2.3 Million in 2005. Almost half live in France (47%) then Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, with others settling in Spain and Italy.
Over the last 40 years France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK have traditionally had largest Moroccan communities, however in recent years, Spain and Italy have seen an increase in Moroccan migration.
Moroccan Community in the UK
According to official reports there are an estimated 60, 000 – 70,000 Moroccans in the UK of which 35,000 live in London, mainly in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lewisham and Hackney.
The largest Moroccan community in London is in North Kensington, where the population is thought to be up to 8,000.
Goldborne road, just off Portobello road, is home to a large Moroccan community. There are shops selling Moroccan products, cookware, and clothing. For those that like to cook, you will find all the cooking equipment for making your tagine at home.
During the summer, it is the perfect time to sit outside one of the restaurants, have a tagine and mint tea, while taking in the market atmosphere.
Moroccan Community and Religious Faith
According to the 2001 Census, 83.4% of Moroccans living in the UK are Muslim, 6.8% Christian and 5% is Jewish (Sepharade).
The majority of Moroccan Muslims are Sunni and the London Moroccan Muslim based community frequent two main mosques. The Golborne Road Mosque in North Kensington, and the Al Manaar Mosque in Westbourne Park also known as the Muslim Cultural heritage.
British Moroccans have a strong national identity to their country of origin. Whether it is for business or family purposes they travel to Morocco at least once a year.