The Home Office plans to commission a series of telephone polls to survey British Muslims’ attitudes towards extremist ideas and ideologies, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Ministers hope that the polling will not only measure respondents’ existing views but also allow them to track the effectiveness of counter-extremism initiatives such as the controversial Prevent programme.
But Muslim leaders voiced concerns that the polling reinforced the notion that the Muslim community was suspect, and said sampling difficulties meant the results could be “plain wrong”.
The Home Office has confirmed the plans, although a spokesperson said it would not comment on costs. BuzzFeed News understands the government will spend “about £1 million” on the polls.
The polling is part of a broader counter-extremism strategy, set out in a document published at the end of last year, that covers all forms of extremism, including that of the far right. In the document the government said its approach “will always be informed by an understanding of the way extremists work, their ideologies and the harm they cause”. [BuzzFeed] Read more