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More Muslims identify as 'British' than Christians

More Muslims identify as 'British' than Christians

Categories: Latest News

Thursday June 06 2013

The Daily Mail reports on the release of data on the 2011 Census by academics at Manchester University studying changing attitudes to national, religious and ethnic identity.

According to analysis conducted by the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CDoE), Muslims are more likely to identify with a British only national identity than Christians and Jews, the latter two more likely to identify with an English only identity. Of all ethnic groups, Bangladeshis are more likely to identify as British (72%).

The study shows:

· Bangladeshi (72%), Pakistani (63%) and Indian (58%) ethnic groups are the most likely to report only a British national identity.

· White British (72%) and Mixed (47%) ethnic groups are more likely to see themselves as English rather than British

· In England, Muslims are more likely than Christians to report British national identity only (57% as compared to 15%).

· Muslims are less likely to report Other national identity only than Buddhists or Hindus (24% compared to 42% and 32%).

· Sikhs (62%), Muslims (57%) and Hindus (54%) are all more likely to report British only national identity than all other religious groups. Christians (15%) are least likely to describe themselves only as British.

· Christians (65%) and Jews (54%) are much more likely to identify with only an English national identity.

Dr Stephen Jivraj told the Daily Mail, “‘If you believe what you read in the newspapers, Muslims are less likely to feel British than anyone else. In fact, the opposite is true.

“For many non white residents, including Muslims, this feeling of Britishness is probably partly a result of the citizenship process: they are surely less likely to take their Britishness for granted.

“Our findings are at odds with the present and previous Government’s emphasis on encouraging ethnic minorities and new migrants to accept “British’ life and “British” values.”

The affinity expressed by Muslims towards Britishness and British identity has been well documented in surveys polling Muslim attitudes, such as this one by Gallup and Coexist in 2009, which found that 77% of Muslims identify with the UK, compared to 50% in the rest of the population. Or the YouGov poll for Demos in 2011, which found that Muslims are more patriotic than most Brits with 83% of Muslims agreeing with the statement, ‘I am proud to be a British citizen’ compared to 79% among the general populuation.

Despite the scaremongering engaged in by sections of the British media on British Muslims, and much as Ian Birrell observed in a column in the Evening Standard some weeks ago on the UK’s changing demography, Britain ‘has nothing to fear from its Muslim citizens’.

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