Global Independent Analytics

52% of British Muslims in poll think homosexuality should be illegal

The results have sparked debate about the integration of the Britain's largest religious minority

Tim Hume and Richard Allen Greene for CNN report: More than half of British Muslims (52%) think homosexuality should not be legal, and nearly half (47%) think it is not appropriate for gay people to teach in schools, according to a new survey of British Muslims.

The study has demonstrated that Muslim society shares mainstream public opinion on many topics, but homosexuality is not one of them. Among other things, British self-identified Muslims tend to have adamant and conservative views on issues related to gender, sexuality, anti-Semitism and political or religious violence. The poll results showed that while the general public was more liberal on issues related to homosexuality, British Muslims proved that over years they have grown even more conservative.

The survey also found that British Muslims are four times more likely to sympathize with terrorism "as a form of political protest." Moreover, the Muslims express their enthusiasm towards ISIS objective of creating an Islamic State regardless of the methods involved.

“Muslims were also much more likely to say Jewish people had too much power in Britain (35% agreed, compared with 9% of the general population); that it was acceptable for Muslim men to have more than one wife (31% of Muslims agreed versus 9% of the public); and that a woman should always obey her husband (39% of Muslims agreed, compared with 5% of the public),” continue Hume and Greene.

  Trevor Phillips, host of "What British Muslims Really Think," wrote that the poll revealed a "chasm" opening between Muslims and non-Muslims on fundamental issues. "And the chasm isn't going to disappear any time soon," wrote Phillips, a former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. "Indeed, the gaps between Muslim and non-Muslim youngsters are nearly as large as those between their elders."

The Muslim Council of Britain issued a statement claiming that the poll was not representative, lacked “academic rigor” and did “nothing but harden attitudes on all sides." "Many British Muslims will find it bemusing that commentators and the media have constantly tried and failed to paint a picture of British Muslims at odds with the rest of the country," an MCB spokeswoman said in a statement. "The way this poll has been formulated and presented in this climate of fear against Muslims is most unfortunate. And we note that similar attitudes (have) not been compared in other faith communities."

The group added that Muslims, "like people in other faiths, must reconcile their deeply held beliefs and the evolving norms of our British society." "But this cannot be done by stigmatizing and scapegoating Muslims," it said. "The vast majority of Muslims are appreciative of their nation and what it offers, particularly in the respect of religious plurality."

The results of the survey have triggered debates in the U.K., where there has been growing distress regarding the potential Islamization and considering that the threat level in Britain is ‘severe’ meaning a terrorist attack is ‘highly likely.'

“Britain's large and diverse Muslim community has produced many success stories and role models, from pop star Zayn Malik to Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah and London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan.

But as with other Western European nations, hundreds of radicalized young British Muslims have left the country to join ISIS in recent years, according to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence,” conclude Greene and Hume.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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