More Survey Research from a British Islamist Hell
by Daniel Pipes
I summarized two surveys of British Muslim attitudes yesterday at “British Opinion Surveys from an Islamist Hell.” Wouldn’t you know it, but a third one came out today, commissioned by the Guardian newspaper and carried out by ICM. Its results basically confirm the prior two. Some highlights:
- Muslims who believe that “foreign Muslims who incite hatred should be … allowed to live in the UK”: 38 percent.
- Who agree that “ordinary Muslims … should not do more work with the police to root out extremists from the Muslim community”: 8 percent.
- Find it acceptable “for religious or political groups to use violence for political ends”: 4 percent.
- Support the July 7 attacks and say more such attacks are justified: 5 percent.
But the question in this poll that rightly received the most attention was this one: “In light of recent events, have you considered whether or not you want to remain in the UK?” To this, 63 percent of respondents said yes, 34 percent no, and 3 percent did not know. Those 35 or over are slightly more negative than those under 35, with 67 percent of the former contemplating an exodus and only 61 percent of the latter.
Comment: While the idea that close to two-thirds of British Muslim have thought about emigrating certainly makes for a dramatic headline, I don’t believe that even 1 percent would do so unless their circumstances change dramatically for the worse. (July 26, 2005)
Sep. 18, 2005 update: An ICM survey of 500 Muslims in early September found:
- Would not inform police if they suspected a fellow Muslim was planning a terror attack: 5 percent.
- Want greater separation from British society: 6 percent.
- Oppose moves to deport Islamic extremists who preach messages of hate: 27 percent.
- Bear a little or no responsibility for stamping out religious fanaticism: 28 percent.
Sep. 22, 2005 update: The Federation of Student Islamic Societies, a British organization, released the results of its survey of 466 British Muslim students, taken in August, that shows:
- Percentage who see a conflict between loyalty to the ummah (the global Muslim community) and loyalty to the UK: 27 percent.
- Do not condemn the London attacks: 4 percent.
- Do not think organisations accused of extremism should be shut down: 52 percent.
- Would not inform the police that a fellow Muslim is planning an attack: 18 percent.
This as good a place as any to note the results of two ICM polls of 500 random Muslims contacted by telephone dating from 2004, both done for the Guardian newspaper. The first was conducted March 3-11, 2004:
- Condemn all forms of violence, but if one had to live in the same situation as a Palestinian, might consider becoming a suicide bomber: 47 percent.
- Regard further attacks by Al Qaeda, or similar organizations, on the USA as justified: 13 percent.
The other was asked in the period November 15-21, 2004:
- The Muslim community in Britain is integrated too much already into mainstream British culture: 20 percent.
- Find it acceptable for religious or political groups to use violence for political ends: 11 percent.
- Disagree with the idea that Muslims should inform on people who are involved or connected with terrorist activities: 25 percent.
- Disagree with the idea that people who criticise Islam are simply exercising their rights to free speech: 38 percent.
- Back Shari`a courts to settle civil cases among Muslims, so long as penalties do not break the law: 61 percent.
- Agree that there should be a new law to make incitements to religious hatred a criminal offence: 81 percent.
- Agree that despite the right to free speech, in Britain, those who insult or criticise Islam should face criminal prosecution: 58 percent.
- Schools should not be allowed to ban female pupils from wearing the hijab on the premises: 55 percent.
- Schools and workplaces should accommodate Muslim prayer times as part of their normal day: 88 percent.
- Say that the Muslim Council of Britain Muslim generally does not reflect his or her views: 45 percent.
- Consider marrying somebody who was not a Muslim: 62 percent.
- Disagree that a member of one’s immediate family could marry somebody who was not a Muslim: 53 percent.
Feb. 7, 2006 update: The results of a Populus poll for a coalition of Jewish community groups of 500 British Muslims during December 9-19, and reported on in The Times.
- Agree that the Muslim community should boycott Holocaust Memorial Day: 56 percent.
- Believe that Jews in Britain have no interest in the plight of the Palestinians: 57 percent.
- Believe that Jews in Britain have too much influence over British foreign policy: 53 percent.
- Believe that Jews in Britain are in league with the Freemasons to control the media and politics: 46 percent.
- Believe that Jews in Britain are “legitimate targets as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”: 37 percent.
- Agree that the state of Israel has the no right to exist: 30 percent. (52 percent say has the right to exist. )
- Agree that suicide bombings can be justified in Israel: 16 percent. (Among 18 to 24-year-olds: 21 percent.)
- Agree that suicide bombings can be justified against civilians in Britain: 7 percent. (Among 18 to 24-year-olds: 12 percent.)
- Agree that suicide bombings can be justified against the military in Britain: 21 percent. (Among 18 to 24-year-olds: 28 percent.)
Feb. 12, 2006 update: Non-Muslims in Great Britain have increasingly negative views about their Muslim neighbors, according to a YouGov poll of 1,617 respondents on February 9-10 commissioned by the Sunday Times (London).
- Muslim protestors in Britain who carried placards which celebrated the London bombings of last year and urged violence against those who insult Islam should have been arrested at the time by the police for incitement to violence: 76 percent.
- The sight of the protestors make me angry: 58 percent.
- Agree that, in general, British police and politicians are too tolerant of Muslims in Britain urging extreme acts: 80 percent.
- Believe that Muslim leaders in Britain could do much more to condemn unacceptable behaviour and violence by extremist followers of their religion: 61 percent.
- Agree that the attitudes of senior policemen like Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, are too “politically correct” to deal properly with Islamic extremists: 67 percent.
- Believe that tensions will get worse with Muslims in Britain: 63 percent.
- Think there will be more violence in the next few years by non-Muslims against Muslims in Britain: 62 percent.
- Think the West can never co-exist peacefully with mainly Muslim nations: 45 percent.
- Think, compared to a year ago, that Muslims in the UK have become more alienated from British and Western society: 60 percent.
- Think, compared to a year ago, Muslims in the UK have become more radical in their views toward British and Western society: 46 percent.
- Think that relations between Muslims and white, British people are getting worse: 50 percent.
- See Western society is decadent and immoral and Muslims should seek to bring it to an end, if necessary by violent means: 7 percent.
- Think it was right for Muslims to attack Danish embassies in Muslim countries as a result of the publication of the cartoons: 14 percent.
- Think it was right for Muslim demonstrators to carry placards calling for the killing of those who insult Islam: 12 percent.
- Think it was right for Al-Qa’eda or those sympathetic to Al-Qa’eda to attack Western targets: 4 percent.
- Personally have any sympathy with the feelings and motives of those who carried out the London attacks: 20 percent.
- Support there being areas of Britain which are pre-dominantly Muslim and in which Sharia Law is introduced: 40 percent.
July 4, 2006 update: A Populus survey for The Times and ITV News of 1,131 Muslim adults aged 18 and over by telephone and online between June 1-16, the largest poll of British Muslims ever taken, finds:
- Agree that the four men who carried out the London transport bombings of July 7, 2005, should be regarded as “martyrs”: 13 percent.
- Agree that the 7/7 bombers were acting according to the true principles of Islam: 6 percent.
- Agree that the 7/7 attacks were wrong but the cause of the bombers was right: 16 percent.
- Agree that suicide attacks on civilians in the UK can sometimes be justified: 7 percent.
- Agree that suicide attacks on the police in the UK can sometimes be justified: 10 percent.
- Agree that suicide attacks on military targets in the UK can sometimes be justified: 16 percent.
- Would be proud if a family member decided to join al-Qaeda: 2 percent.
- Would be indifferent if a family member decided to join al-Qaeda: 16 percent.
- Accept that the intelligence services need to infiltrate Muslim organisations to gather information about their activities and fundraising: 48 percent.
- Agree that the Muslim community needs to do more to integrate into mainstream British culture: 65 percent.
- Agree that modern British values are a threat to the Islamic way of life: 36 percent.
July 6, 2006 update: The Pew Global Attitudes Project conducted a 13-country study of Muslim and non-Muslim attitudes, and British Muslims are included in the study. The survey was conducted by telephone between April 4-26 among an oversample of 412 Muslims. It finds:
- Think of myself first as a Briton, rather than as a Muslim: 7 percent.
- Think of myself first as a Muslim, rather than as a Briton: 81 percent.
- Think there is a growing sense of Islamic identity among British Muslims: 77 percent.
- Think that a growing sense of Islamic identity among British Muslims is a good thing for Great Britain: 86 percent.
- Were sympathetic to the French youths who rioted in late 2005: 75 percent.
- Favor Iran acquiring nuclear weapons: 40 percent.
July 11, 2006 update: I wrap this topic up in a column, “Trouble in Londonistan.”
Aug. 7, 2006 update: GfK NOP Social Research has published a survey, “Attitudes to Living in Britain,” and made the topline findings available. Despite the generic title, only Muslims were polled. They numbered 1,000 in all, and included young and old, male and female.
- Refer to the United Kingdom as “my country”: 49 percent.
- Agree with the idea that Muslims should keep themselves separate from non-Muslims: 4 percent.
- Prefer to live under Sharia law: 30 percent.
- Wish to see Britain as an Islamic state: 28 percent.
- Punish the people who published the Danish cartoons: 78 percent.
- Arrest and prosecute British people who insult Islam: 68 percent.
- The Jewish Holocaust did not happen or has been exaggerated: 19 percent.
- 9/11 was a conspiracy by America and Israel: 45 percent. (Plus 35 percent reply “don’t know.”)
- Princess Diana was killed to stop her marrying a Muslim: 36 percent.
- Likely that British Muslims will become victims of extreme religious persecution: 56 percent.
- Agree that the July 2005 transport bombings were justified because of British support for the war on terror: 22 percent. (Of note: 31 percent of young Muslims agree, compared to 14 percent of those 45 and over.)
- Can understand why young British Muslims might want to carry out suicide operations: 13 percent.
- Think that a Muslim who knew about an act of terrorism being planned by another Muslim and did not report it to the authorities is not at all to be blamed: 9 percent.
Sep. 24, 2006 update: ICM did a survey of 502 Muslims ages 16 and over by telephone between Sept 8 and 20 for the News of the World and came up with these results.
- If there were a new terrorist attack in the UK and you suspected a fellow Muslim, you would not report him to the police or intelligence services: 9 percent.
- Same question asked of Muslims aged 16 to 24: 15 percent they would not report the fellow Muslim.
- Think attacks by British suicide bombers on British targets are justified: 6 percent.
Jan. 29, 2007 update: Populus conducted a survey of 1003 British Muslims over 18 years old between December 4 and 13, 2006, for the Policy Exchange think tank, , which wrote up the results in a study, “Living apart together: British Muslims and the paradox of multiculturalism.”
- “I feel more in common with Muslims in other countries than I do with non-Muslims in Britain”: 31 percent.
- “I admire organisations like Al Qaeda that are prepared to fight against the West”: 7 percent.
- “If I could choose, I would prefer to live in Britain under Sharia law rather than British law”: 28 percent.