Unsettled Belonging: A survey of Britain’s Muslim communities

In the most extensive research of British Muslims ever conducted, Policy Exchange in conjunction with the polling company ICM surveyed more than 3,000 British Muslims and held a number of focus groups across the UK to understand their attitudes towards a range of issues.

The report, ‘Unsettled Belonging: Britain’s Muslim Communities’, finds they broadly share the same views as the rest of the population. Despite the greater religiosity and social conservatism of British Muslims, their life-styles are largely secular with only limited interest in sharia finance or separate religious education. However, the report also highlights a mentality of victimhood in Muslim communities and a belief in conspiracy theories about 9/11.

It also finds that some of the best known organisations, such as the Muslim Council of Britain, have very little support among British Muslims.They are also much more comfortable than is commonly believed with government-led initiatives against radicalisation and almost half believe that Muslims should do more to combat extremism in their own communities. [Policy Exchange] Read more

Over 40% of UK Muslims support “aspects” of sharia law

Muslims hold concerns on the NHS and the economy (among other political issues) that are normal among the rest of the population, but as other polls have shown, on specific issues there are marked differences between British Muslims and the general public.

“There are relatively large levels of support among British Muslims for the implementation of elements of Sharia law,” Policy Exchange said.

43% said they supported “the introduction of Sharia Law” and just 22% were opposed. 16% of British Muslims “strongly support” the “introduction of aspects of Sharia law into Britain”.

35% of 18-24 year olds expressed support for “aspects” of sharia and nearly half of the over-55s supported some “provisions” of sharia.

The report noted that other polls conducted in the past had found younger Muslims were more likely to support sharia, but Policy Exchange suggested that sharia might have “diminished appeal” “in an age in which this concept has become associated with, and tarnished by, ISIS.”

49% of respondents in London favoured “Sharia provisions.”

Just over half of British Muslims said they wanted to “fully integrate” (53%), and 37% said they wanted to integrate “on most things” with what Policy Exchange described as “separation in some areas, such as schooling and laws.” 6% sought a “separate Islamic life as far as possible” and 1% wanted a “‘fully separate Islamic area in Britain, subject to Sharia Law and government”. [National Secular Society] Read more

Almost half of UK Muslims would not report someone with IS links

British Muslims have a “deeply worrying” belief in conspiracy theories and almost half would not go to the police if they knew someone with links to Islamic State (IS), a major study has found.

Attitudes towards many issues, such as the NHS, unemployment and immigration, are broadly in line with the rest of the population, according to the Policy Exchange study.

But 31% of Muslims thought the United States government was behind the 9/11 terror attacks and 7% blamed Jews while just 4% believed al Qaeda was responsible, the think-tank said.

It found that 26% of Muslims did not believe in extremism and 48% would not turn to the police if someone close to them became involved with people linked to Syrian terrorism, the research revealed. [News Letter] Read more

UK Muslims show worrying belief in conspiracy theories, claims thinktank

Britain’s Muslim communities have “separatist” tendencies and a “deeply worrying” belief in conspiracy theories, according to one of the government’s favourite centre-right thinktanks.

The controversial Policy Exchange report however does acknowledge that 93% of British Muslims have a strong attachment to Britain and their attitudes to many issues such as the NHS, unemployment and immigration are broadly in line with the rest of the population.

The report published on Friday comes out before the findings of a government-commissioned review, chaired by Dame Louise Casey, into integration and community cohesion in Britain are due to be published early next week.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) strongly criticised the thinktank’s report, saying it seemed to pursue an agenda to cast British Muslims as separate, dangerous and in need of saving, while the thinktank had “provided ample fodder to countless headlines demonising Muslims”. [The Guardian] Read more

Most Muslims want full integration with British way of life

More than half of British Muslims want to “fully integrate” with society, according to the most extensive survey of its kind.

Research involving more than 3,000 Muslims shows that they broadly share the views and priorities of the wider population, rather than being shaped by supposedly “Islamic” concerns. Ninety-three per cent feel a fairly or very strong attachment to Britain and are likely to identify the NHS, unemployment and immigration as the biggest issues facing the country.

British Muslims were more likely than the general population to condemn terrorism, the survey by ICM and Policy Exchange, the right-of-centre think tank, found. They were also more likely to give credence to conspiracy theories that the United States government or Jewish influences were behind the September 11 attacks. [The Times (£)] Read more

Only one in 25 British Muslims believe Al Qaeda carried out 9/11 terror attack and believe ‘wild and outlandish conspiracy theories’ – but 93 per cent say they love the UK

Only one in 25 British Muslims believe Al Qaeda was responsible for the September 11 attacks on the US, a poll has found.

The research said it was ‘deeply troubling’ that so many were willing to ‘entertain wild and outlandish conspiracy theories’.

A survey of more than 3,000 Muslims found 96 per cent did not believe Osama Bin Laden’s terror group carried out the atrocity. Some 31 per cent thought the American government was behind the strikes on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon, which claimed almost 3,000 lives. Another 7 per cent said it was a Jewish plot, while 58 per cent did not know.

The poll, for the Policy Exchange think-tank, found 93 per cent of those quizzed had a strong attachment to the UK, and more than half wanted to fully integrate with non-Muslims in all aspects of life.

Muslims were also more engaged in the political process than the population at large, and significantly more likely to have raised money for charity or volunteered at a local school.

However, it was described as ‘a cause for concern’ that one in four British Muslims did not believe extremist views existed – despite a spate of major terror attacks and the rise of Islamic State. [Daily Mail] Read more

New poll finds Muslims are more politically engaged and share national concerns

…. The Muslim Council of Britain consistently looks for empirical data to help drive policy development and this ICM poll, despite the interpretation Policy Exchange has chosen to give the findings, provides fresh information about Muslims living in locations where the Muslim population accounts for at least 20% of the total population.

The poll finds that Muslims are more engaged in the political process (72% vs. 54%), significantly more likely to have raised money for charity (23% vs. 4%) and volunteered at a local school or other care-based institution (10% vs. 4%). Muslims seem to care about the same issues as the rest of the population and favour a common national curriculum for young children that would enhance community cohesion, even more so than the rest of the UK population (69% vs. 58%).

On issues related to extremism, a smaller proportion (2%) of Muslims sympathise with those committing terrorist acts as a form of political protest compared to the UK population as a whole (4%), and more Muslims (90%) condemn these individuals compared to the UK population (84%). [Muslim Council of Britain] Read more

Half of British Muslims would not go to cops if they knew someone with ISIS links – A quarter surveyed also don’t believe extremist views exist

The survey – dubbed the biggest ever of its kind – has revealed that only one in 25 British Muslims believe Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

A Policy Exchange poll last night claimed 31 per cent believe the US Government was behind the atrocity than the terrorists – 4 per cent.

And seven per cent said the attack, which killed almost 3,000 people, was a plot by the Jewish community.

Two in five would support the introduction of sharia law, the legal system derived from the Koran.

The poll also found that 40 per cent were in favour of gender-segregated classrooms, while a further 44 per cent thought schools should force girls to wear traditional Islamic dress.

But the survey claimed that in nearly every walk of life the British Muslim community was no different in their views and priorities to their non-Muslim neighbours. [The Sun] Read more

Most British Muslims have strong attachment to Britain: report

Around 93 percent of British Muslims have a strong attachment to Britain but the majority of them believe in “worrying” conspiracy theories, a centre-right think tank report revealed on Friday.

Ninety percent of Muslims condemned terrorism and only 2 percent expressed sympathy towards political radicalism, a report by the Policy Exchange found.

“Britain’s Muslims are amongst the country’s most loyal, patriotic and law-abiding citizens,” MP Khalid Mahmood -also one of the authors of the report – said.

The study found that British Muslims shared the same concerns and priorities as the country’s wider population, as opposed to having their own “Islamic concerns”.

“British Muslims are, on a whole range of issues, no different in their views and priorities than their non-Muslim neighbours,” Mahmood said.

The report found that British Muslim’s attitudes towards issues such as unemployment, immigration and the NHS were largely in line with the rest of the population. [The New Arab] Read more

SHOCK POLL: Four in ten British Muslims want some aspect of Sharia Law enforced in UK

MORE than four in ten British Muslims want to see at least some aspects of Sharia Law in force in the UK, an opinion poll revealed last night.

Forty-three per cent of followers of the religion living in the country believed that parts of the Islamic legal system should replace British law while only 22 per cent opposed the idea.

Researchers also found “deeply worrying” levels of belief among British Muslims in conspiracy theories such as blaming the US government or “Jews” for the 9/11 terror attacks on America.

The findings were revealed last night in one of the biggest surveys of opinion among Muslims ever carried out in the UK. Data from the polling firm ICM showed very similar views to the rest of the UK population on a range of key issues including the NHS, unemployment and immigration.

…. The findings were set out in the report “Unsettled Belonging: Britain’s Muslim Communities” published by Policy Exchange last night. More than 3,000 Muslims living in Britain were quizzed for the research. [Daily Express] Read more