Saturday, October 28, 2006

British poll: many British Muslims put Islam first

Many British Muslims Put Islam First
NRO: Survey Shows Many Are More Loyal To Fellow Muslims Outside U.K.
Patrick Basham
cbsnews.com
Aug. 14, 2006

Quotes:

(National Review Online) This column was written by Patrick Basham.

"There is a real concern that British Muslims do pose a threat to that country and its traditional values. So how prevalent are such radical views among British Muslims?

Some answers are provided by the most comprehensive survey to date of Muslim opinion in Britain. The results from NOP Research, broadcast by Channel 4-TV on August 7, are startling.

Forty-five percent say 9/11 was a conspiracy by the American and Israeli governments. This figure is more than twice as high as those who say it was not a conspiracy. Tragically, almost one in four British Muslims believe that last year's 7/7 attacks on London were justified because of British support for the U.S.-led war on terror.

When asked, "Is Britain my country or their country?" only one in four say it is. Thirty percent of British Muslims would prefer to live under Sharia (Islamic religious) law than under British law. According to the report, "Half of those who express a preference for living under Sharia law say that, given the choice, they would move to a country governed by those laws."

Twenty-eight percent hope for the U.K. one day to become a fundamentalist Islamic state. This comports with last year's Daily Telegraph newspaper survey that found one-third of British Muslims believe that Western society is decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to end it.

The news is no less alarming on the question of freedom of speech. Seventy-eight percent support punishment for the people who earlier this year published cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed. Sixty-eight percent support the arrest and prosecution of those British people who "insult Islam." When asked if free speech should be protected, even if it offends religious groups, 62 percent of British Muslims say No, it should not.

Also concerning freedom of speech, as the NOP Research survey reports, "hardcore Islamists" constitute nine percent of the British Muslim population. A slightly more moderate group is composed of "staunch defenders of Islam." This second group comprises 29 percent of the British Muslim population. Individuals in this group aggressively defend their religion from internal and external threats, real or imagined.

The scary reality is that only three percent of British Muslims "took a consistently pro-freedom of speech line on these questions.""

Patrick Basham is director of the Democracy Institute, a Washington-based think tank.