England is now more pro-immigrant – but it’s more Islamophobic too

Reading through Hope Not Hate’s latest report on their surveys of English attitudes towards race and immigration, one comes away with a mix of optimism and pessimism.

Those of us who are what the organisation describes as “confident multiculturals” – or what the tabloids would describe as out-of-touch liberal elitists – can be heartened by what seem to be an increase in our ranks. We now make up 22% of the sample, up from 8% in the first survey in 2011. The two most pro-immigrant groups now make up 39% of the overall total.

At the other end of the spectrum, those who are “hostile” to immigration have remained consistent, but with a shift from those who are most fiercely opposed – down from 13% to 5% since 2011 – to the group described as “latently hostile,” up to 17% from 10% in the same period.

This indicates that even those people harbouring anti-immigrant views are more likely to engage with the political process than to resort to direct violence themselves or support it in others. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Almost half of English people more suspicious of Muslims as a result of recent terror attacks, study finds

More than four in 10 people in England are more suspicious of Muslims as a result of recent terrorist attacks, despite the country becoming more tolerant and open overall, according to a major new study.

Figures reveal that following recent incidents in Westminster, Manchester and Borough Market, 42 per cent of people have less trust for Muslims in Britain, while more than half (52 per cent) believe Islam is a threat to the West.

A quarter of English people also believe that Islam is a dangerous religion that incites violence, with older people more prone to expressing Islamophobic views, according to the Populus poll, published in a report by campaign group HOPE not Hate.

The increase in negative attitudes towards Muslims comes despite an overall improvement in attitudes among Britons towards different groups in society, with the report also finding that two-fifths of the population (39 per cent) have a liberal outlook – compared with 22 per cent six years ago.

The study, which asked more than 4,000 people in England 140 questions relating to current events, shows that despite the nation becoming more open and tolerant as a whole, responses to Brexit have left Britain more divided, with attitudes towards race and faith becoming increasingly polarised since the last poll in 2011. [The Independent] Read more

Half of Britons think Islam is a threat to the West, according to ‘worrying’ new study

More than 40 per cent of Britons say that recent terror attacks have made them more suspicious of Muslims, according to a wide-ranging study into attitudes surrounding race and religion in Britain.

Hope not Hate, the advocacy group that campaigns to “counter racism and fascism”, revealed that 52 per cent of people think that Islam is a threat to the West in its annual Fear and Hope report.

It said that, since 2011, it has tracked a shift in public anxiety from race and racism to Islamophobia and religious discrimination.

It noted that, while attitudes towards Muslims improved between 2011 and February 2016, recent attacks — such as the Manchester Arena bombing — have seen anxieties about Islam return to levels of six years ago.

Most people (76 per cent) agree that Muslim communities need to do more in response to the threat of Islamic extremism, while 50 per cent feel that most Muslims have integrated well into British society. [Yahoo News] Read more