British Muslims Criticized In New Poll

British Muslims Poll Criticized For ‘Being Too Narrow,’ Focusing On Anti-Homosexuality Views

British Muslims do not share the views of their fellow countrymen and women, according to a controversial new poll that points out more than half of respondents believe homosexuality should be illegal.

The ICM polling institute conducted the highly criticized survey, which questioned 1,081 respondents on their views toward the country’s values.

According to the findings, 52 percent of British Muslims said homosexuality should be against the law while only 22 percent of Britons agreed.

Furthermore, 39 percent believed that women should always obey their husbands no matter what, and almost one in four (23 percent) believed that Sharia law should take precedent in areas of a high Muslim population.

Trevor Phillips, an anti-racism campaigner, tells the Associated Foreign Press via Yahoo that what “it reveals is the unacknowledged creation of a nation within the nation, with its own geography, its own values and its own very separate future.”

He said the integration of British Muslims into the British way of life would be “the hardest task we’ve ever faced.”

However, the polling has come under heavy fire from British Muslims who believe the methodology was flawed in targeting areas where Muslim populations were naturally more conservative instead of trying to get a good cross-section of the British Muslims already assimilated into the country’s culture.

Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, was particularly angered by ICM’s polling, stating that “the starting point should not be that Muslims are the problem, ‘not quite British enough’, and must be civilized into a pre-existing notion of Britishness,” in comments to the Guardian.

Shiraz Maher, a King’s College London researcher, pointed out that the survey took place in areas with a 20 percent concentration of British Muslims and called it “a narrow survey of Muslim attitudes in highly ghettoized areas,” though he did acknowledge that “isn’t to suggest there isn’t a problem with deeply conservative views in parts of British Muslim life.”

The criticisms didn’t stop on Twitter either.

Areeba Hanif is a fashion, corporate, and documentary filmmaker living in London.

Khalida Khan is a U.K. community activist who frequently tweets examples of British Muslims who are/have assimilated and are even taking extremists to task for their beliefs.

Still, most news outlets have latched onto the polling, and it doesn’t look good for British Muslims as a whole.

Conservative news website The Daily Caller latched onto another aspect of the polling that went unmentioned in the Yahoo/AFP report, pointing out that of those responding to ICM, two-thirds said they would not tell the government if they knew of a terror plot.

They also included one additional quote from Phillips who admitted that he at one time thought British Muslims “would become like previous waves of migrants, gradually abandoning their ancestral ways, wearing their religious and cultural baggage lightly, and gradually blending into Britain’s diverse identity landscape.”

He continued.

“Liberal opinion in Britain has, for more than two decades, maintained that most Muslims are just like everyone else…. Britain desperately wants to think of its Muslims as versions of the Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, or the cheeky-chappie athlete Mo Farah…. But thanks to the most detailed and comprehensive survey of British Muslim opinion yet conducted, we now know that just isn’t how it is.”

What do you think of the ICM polling and of Phillips’ comments? Are British Muslims as a whole really cause for concern or is this veiled bigotry based on selective sampling? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons/Gigi-dreams]

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