Monday, July 25, 2005

One in four Muslims sympathizes with motives of terrorists

Anthony King:

YouGov sought to gauge the character of the Muslim community's response to the events of July 7. As the figures in the chart show, 88 per cent of British Muslims clearly have no intention of trying to justify the bus and Tube murders.

However, six per cent insist that the bombings were, on the contrary, fully justified.

Six per cent may seem a small proportion but in absolute numbers it amounts to about 100,000 individuals who, if not prepared to carry out terrorist acts, are ready to support those who do.

Moreover, the proportion of YouGov's respondents who, while not condoning the London attacks, have some sympathy with the feelings and motives of those who carried them out is considerably larger - 24 per cent.

A substantial majority, 56 per cent, say that, whether or not they sympathise with the bombers, they can at least understand why some people might want to behave in this way.

YouGov also asked whether or not its Muslim respondents agreed or disagreed with Tony Blair's description of the ideas and ideology of the London bombers as "perverted and poisonous".

Again, while a large majority, 58 per cent, agree with him, a substantial minority, 26 per cent, are reluctant to be so dismissive.

The responses indicate that Muslim men are more likely than Muslim women to be alienated from the mainstream and that the young are more likely to be similarly alienated than the old.

However, there are few signs in YouGov's findings that Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin are any more disaffected than their co-religionists from elsewhere.

The sheer scale of Muslim alienation from British society that the survey reveals is remarkable. Although a large majority of British Muslims are more than content to make their home in this country, a significant minority are not.

For example, YouGov asked respondents how loyal they feel towards Britain. As the figures in the chart show, the great majority say they feel "very loyal" (46 per cent) or "fairly loyal" (33 per cent) but nearly one British Muslim in five, 18 per cent, feels little loyalty towards this country or none at all.

If these findings are accurate, and they probably are, well over 100,000 British Muslims feel no loyalty whatsoever towards this country.

The proportion of men who say they feel no loyalty to Britain is more than three times the proportion of women saying the same.

Equally remarkable are YouGov's findings concerning many Muslims' attitudes towards Western society and culture.

YouGov asked respondents how they feel about Western society and how, if at all, they feel Muslims should adapt to it. A majority, 56 per cent, believe "Western society may not be perfect but Muslims should live with it and not seek to bring it to an end".

However, nearly a third of British Muslims, 32 per cent, are far more censorious, believing that "Western society is decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to bring it to an end".

Among those who hold this view, almost all go on to say that Muslims should only seek to bring about change by non-violent means but one per cent, about 16,000 individuals, declare themselves willing, possibly even eager, to embrace violence.

Yet again, far more men than women and far more young people than their elders evince this kind of hostility towards the world around them. In addition, tens of thousands of Muslims view the whole of Britain's political establishment with suspicion.

More than half of those interviewed, 52 per cent, believe "British political leaders don't mean it when they talk about equality. They regard the lives of white British people as more valuable than the lives of British Muslims".

Almost as many, 50 per cent, reckon the main party leaders are not being sincere when they say they respect Islam and want to co-operate with Britain's Muslim communities.

British Opinion Surveys From an Islamist Hell

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Battle for the heart of Islam

100,000 MUSLIM BRITS NOT LOYAL TO BRITAIN

Poll of British Muslims

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