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Nearly 1 in 2 Muslims think prejudice against Islam makes it difficult to be a British Muslim

Nearly 1 in 2 Muslims think prejudice against Islam makes it difficult to be a British Muslim

Categories: Latest News

Thursday February 26 2015

The Independent and the Daily Telegraph follow the poll commissioned by the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and conducted by ComRes on the opinions of British Muslims on topics as far ranging as loyalty to the UK and the effectiveness of the Muslim Council of Britain on representing Muslims’ views, to intolerance towards Islam in the UK and drawings of the Prophet (saw).

The media coverage is interesting in its variance with the BBC News story leading with “Most British Muslims ‘oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals” and “most [Muslims] have no sympathy with those who want to fight against Western interests” while the Daily Telegraph and Independent headline the poll finding on 27% of British Muslims expressing “some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris”.

The poll, which questioned 1000 Muslims between 28 January and 20 February in three regions; North, South and the Midlands, found that 78% of Muslims said they were personally deeply offended when images of the Prophet are published. But 85% of those polled disagreed with the proposition that organisations which publish images of the Prophet Mohammed deserve to be attacked. Around two thirds said that acts of violence against those who published such images could never be justified. Just under a quarter disagreed but the questions do not allow further scrutiny of what sort of sanction those who reject no violence reprisals might consider befitting.

Just under two thirds of Muslims said they were not surprised the Hebdo attacks happened, which perhaps reinforces the views expressed by Lord Woolf and Sir John Sawers, about publication of such images provoking a predictable reaction.

An overwhelmingly majority of Muslims declare their loyalty to the UK, 95% and 93% agree that Muslims in Britain “should always obey British laws”.

A little over a third said they didn’t think British people trusted Muslims and nearly half (46%) said prejudice against Islam makes it difficult to be a Muslim in the UK.

Other findings of the poll which are not widely covered in the media include:

More Muslim women than men say they do not feel safe as a Muslim in Britain, 19% to 10%

·         Muslims living in the South were least likely to say they would leave Britain and go to live in a Muslim country if they could; 12% in the South compared to 15% and 16% in the North and Midlands respectively

·         Around a third of those question said they would like their child to attend a Muslim state school if they had the choice

·         94% of those polled said they would inform the police if they knew of someone planning an act of violence.

Poll results can be found here.


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