This morning the BBC published details of a major poll of the attitudes of Britain’s Muslims. The headline on the front of the BBC website linking to the research states: “Muslims ‘oppose cartoon reprisals’”. This of course relates to attitudes within the Muslim community towards the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks.
It’s a reassuring headline. It’s also wrong. Many Muslims – a majority – do indeed utterly oppose the murderous killings in Paris. But a very, very large number of Muslims don’t.
Presented with the statement “I have some sympathy for the motives behind the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris”, 27 seven percent agreed with the statement. A further 2 per cent refused to answer the question. And an additional eight percent said they were unsure whether they had some sympathy or not.
….All of this raises two serious questions. The first relates to the BBC’s reporting. Let’s set aside their use of the word “reprisal” in the headline (reprisal for what, exactly?). Imagine if the BBC had commissioned a poll in the wake of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and that poll had found 27 per cent of white Britons agreed with the statement “I have some sympathy for the motives behind his stabbing”.
Imagine if, in an additional finding, 32 per cent of white Briton’s refused to endorse the statement “acts of unprovoked violence against black men can never be justified”.
Rightly, there would be outrage at those findings. [25 February, The Telegraph] Read more
BBC defends reporting of Muslims survey
The BBC has defended its coverage of a survey that showed that more than a quarter of British Muslims have some sympathy for the motives behind last month’s Islamic extremist murders in Paris.
The News Letter asked the corporation why it highlighted other findings from the ComRes poll for Radio Four’s Today programme ahead of the finding of 27 per cent sympathy for the motives for the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
Wednesday’s 7am Radio Four news report on the survey first mentioned the fact that two-thirds of British Muslims oppose violence against those who publish offensive images without any immediately accompanying reference to the 24 per cent who did not oppose violence.
…. Yet the poll had numerous alarming findings, such as the fact that 11 per cent of those questioned expressed sympathy for those who want to fight against the Western interest.
It found that almost half of British Muslims, 45 per cent, were unable to agree with the notion that Muslim clerics who preach that violence against the West can be justified are out of touch with mainstream Muslim opinion.
A quarter of the people surveyed (24 per cent) disagreed with the statement that acts of violence against those publishing images of the Prophet can never be justified. [27 February, News Letter] Read more
Playing the victim card – BBC survey
There are problems in some Muslim communities that allow for unpleasant and often dangerous views to fester.
A BBC poll of 1,000 British Muslims, published last week, found that 27% had sympathy for the motives for the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. A Muslim man from Bradford, when asked on Radio 4 about the cartoons, remarked, “If they hadn’t poked fun at our prophet, no one would have died.”
Even seemingly modern Muslims share these views. Many do not support violence or murder, but they believe their communities are always under attack and unfair scrutiny. Just listen to the BBC Asian Network’s phone-in show on any given day and hear how many Muslim callers either deny the existence of Isis, insisting it is a CIA plot (no, really), or condemn as non-Muslims anyone who follows a different interpretation of Islam. [Mick Hartley] Read more
BBC spins disaffected Muslims to deflect from emerging Islamists
The BBC published the results of a ComRes poll yesterday, which they spun in their own inimitable multiculturally-sunny and cloudless way. ‘Most British Muslims “oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals“‘, they informed us, with verifiable quantitative analysis:
95% of British Muslims feel a loyalty to Britain.
93% say they should obey British laws.
73% said they had no sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.
This isn’t so bad, you might think, until you consider the statistical corollaries:
5% of British Muslims feel no loyalty to Britain.
7% say they should not obey British laws.
27% said they had sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.
[26 February, Archbishop Cranmer] Read more
Most British Muslims ‘oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals’
The majority of British Muslims oppose violence against people who publish images depicting the Prophet Muhammad, a poll for the BBC suggests.
The survey also indicates most have no sympathy with those who want to fight against Western interests.
But 27% of the 1,000 Muslims polled by ComRes said they had some sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.
Almost 80% said they had found it deeply offensive when images depicting the Prophet were published. [25 February, BBC] Read more
We can debate the extremists, listen to them, scream and shout and insult them. But we must never ban them
…. I’ll repeat: the fact that 27 per cent of British Muslims have some sympathy with the motives of the Charlie Hebdo attackers is not a cause for celebration but for shame. The principles of an inclusive and secular society cannot be sacrificed on the altar of religious freedom. The schism opening up between Britain’s Muslims and the rest of British society can no longer be ignored or tolerated.
But these issues have to be discussed face to face. Driving organisations like Cage onto the dark web will solve nothing. What next, ask Paul Loughran if he’ll agree to voice the words of Moazzam Begg, like he used to for Gerry Adams when the Sinn Fein broadcast ban was in place?
We have to listen and we have to talk and we have to shout and we have to scream and we have to hurl insults and obscenities at one another. But above all, we have to engage.
Maybe Moazzam Begg is a monster. But if he is, I want him out in the sunlight, where I can see him, and study him, and understand why and how he wants to devour me.
[TOP RATED COMMENT] Imagine if 27% of Chelsea fans said they had some sympathy with keeping black people off trains? Or 45% of white football fans thought racist chanting at matches wasn’t being out of touch with race relations? The newspapers and BBC would erupt. The data would be headlines for weeks. A poll that suggests almost 700,000 Muslims in the UK have sympathy with men who machine gun cartoonists brings barely a murmur.
Until we are ready to challenge evil, even if it is wrapped up in minority communities and religions, then our own way of life will be under threat.
Incidentally, it took less than 24 hours after Muslims murderers had “avenged the prophet” before the words Islamophobia were uttered on the BBC .. Stockholm syndrome writ large.
We are at war. Only one side seems to know it. [The Telegraph] Read more
Why the survey of British Muslim attitudes is so profoundly disconcerting
How do you react to the news – the result of a major BBC survey – that 11 per cent of British Muslims sympathise with fighting against the West? That 20 per cent of them believe Western liberal society can never be compatible with Islam? That 11 per cent feel that organisations which publish images of the Prophet Mohammed deserve to be attacked?
I find these numbers profoundly disconcerting. But they are far from surprising.
…. Supporting British values might seem like an overt focus on nationality, but really it fosters inclusivity and will help us tackle extremism, building a stronger Britain.
Beyond this, we must break this trend by pushing back against underlying narratives. This will require not just the voice of Muslims, but the whole of civil society standing in solidarity with those Muslims who are brave enough to challenge extremists in their midst.
Islam is an idea: like other ideas, it must be open to scrutiny. But supporting secularism and challenging Islamism is not fighting “Islam”. It is moving from extremism to liberal pluralism. By neglecting to challenge extremist views, we will only increase anti-Muslim bigotry.
This is what happens when you ignore Islamist ideology. It’s time for a wakeup call.
[TOP RATED COMMENT] So one in four Muslims in Britain approve of the merciless slaughter of 12 innocent people armed with pencils because they felt “offended”, and it is Whiteh’s fault.
Would it be Islamophobic to suggest that the blame lies with the archaic and backward religion from which these murderous savages and their army of nutjob wanna-be Jihadistas draw their inspiration?
We are sitting on a powder keg, yet our politicians and the liberal commentariat are simply too effete, cowardly and dishonest to face up to the real enemy within our midst.
[2ND] “Half of British Muslims interviewed stated that prejudice against Islam makes it very difficult to be a Muslim in this country.”
It is an awful lot easier to be a Muslim in this country than it is in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, Yemen, Uzbekistan. You are much more likely to be murdered for your beliefs in any of these countries, especially if you are the wrong kind of Muslim. Or if you are gay, or if you are an apostate, or if you commit adultery, or if you are a woman, or if you smoke, or if you drink alcohol, or if you say the wrong thing, or if you are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, e.g. if a suicide bomber is in the vicinity.
Tens of thousands of Muslims are killed or injured every year as a result of violence perpetrated by their co-religionists.
‘Prejudice against Islam makes it very difficult to be a Muslim in this country’?
What absolute nonsense.
[3RD] Some people come from Pakistan, settle in Little Pakistan in East London or West Yorkshire, don’t learn a world of English. Their kids learn pigeon playground English but have no hope of integrating or competing in the wider world. The p.c. crowd think this is diversity. It is not, it is division and a recipe for utter disaster.
[4TH] The problem is that Muslims in general will not allow any criticism of their ideology or their founder. They tend to react violently. Buddhism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Christianity, Confucianism etc. are all willing to discuss their ideas without becoming violent and blowing up themselves and other people. Neither do these religions have a concept of a FATWA which allows them to try to kill people e.g. Salman Rushdie.
Additionally most Muslims believe that the penalty for leaving the religion is death. Becoming a Muslim or being born one tends therefore to be a one way trap door. When extremist Muslims encounter those who are more moderate, they accuse the moderates of not being proper Muslims and call them apostates – for which the penalty is death. The moderates then either turn a blind eye or join the extremists.
[5TH] Muslims ought to try to be Christians in Muslim countries, that will give them a wake up call.
No one has to stay in this country, it’s not a prison. People are free to leave.
[6TH] I fear for the future of my country and my grandchildren.
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” Marcus Tullius Cicero, 58 BC.
[7TH] This is not about western society. Islamic society doesn’t mix south, east or North. It is incompatible with other societies unless it dominates. This is all documented in the Koran. This plays out everywhere in the world. North Africa, Europe, Russia, Thailand, Burma, India. Every border. It plays out all through History too.
This is not about needing these people to move away from extremism. We need them to move away from Islam.
…. I can understand as a moderate Muslim you don’t want to see the faith as the problem but it is. You are a moderate not because you have a better interpretation of the Koran but because you reject most of it. [The Independent] Read more