London, 7 Jumadil Awwal 1436/26 February 2015 (MINA) – A new BBC poll has found the majority of UK Muslims are well integrated in Britain, with 95% saying they are loyal to Britain and a similar percentage stating their respect for British laws.
“There is no Islamic regulation or law that prevents integration,” Mohammed Al Hakaroon, a Muslim student, told BBC on Wednesday, February 25, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
“Everyone should be treated as equal: Muslim, white, black, Asian, as the Prophet himself has said,” he added.
The BBC survey, based on opinions of 1000 Muslims across Britain from 26 January to 20 February, found almost all Muslims living in Britain feel a loyalty to the country (95%). A closer percentage, 93%, believes that Muslims in Britain should always obey British laws.
The poll found that almost half of British Muslims believe they face discrimination because of their faith and that Britain is becoming less tolerant. A similar percentage feel prejudice against Islam makes it difficult being a Muslim in the UK.
Some 35% said they felt most British people did not trust Muslims, and a fifth said they thought Western liberal society could never be compatible with Islam.
Nearly 20% of Muslim women questioned said they felt unsafe in Britain, compared with 10% of men. Asked if acts of violence against those who publish images of the Prophet Muhammad can “never be justified”, 68% agreed that such violence was never justifiable.
But 24% disagreed with the statement, while the rest replied “don’t know” or refused to answer. Official results put the number of Muslims at nearly 2.7 million of the British people. In 2011, think tank Demo found that Muslims in the United Kingdom are more patriotic than the rest of population.
Responding to the statement “I am proud to be a British citizen”, 83% of Muslims said they are proud of being British. Reflecting a deep-rooted relationship, a synagogue in the northern British city of Bradford has appointed, this month, its first Muslim member, in a decision passed unanimously by its ruling body.
While showing great loyalty to Britain and British values, many Muslims accused politicians and media of alienating the religious minority. “It is up to the rest of British society to stop looking at us as some kind of threat, to accept us,” student at Bradford College, Samaia Aslal, told the BBC.
“To not always ask us how British we feel, that’s as stupid as asking ‘how do you feel about your red hair today?’” she added referring to politicians and media role in dehumanizing the image of Muslims.
“To ask this whilst alienating us, spying on us, making us feel like we don’t fit in,” she added.
Former Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi said the poll highlighted her view that the government’s terrorism policy was not based on enough evidence. “What is the evidence that shows us how people are being radicalized?” she said while speaking on Radio 4’s Today program.
“What is the evidence that shows us the route to someone becoming a terrorist. We just don’t have this.
“We don’t have definitive data that we work to and that is why I think we get much of our policy wrong.”
Last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron said he will be seeking the introducing “more comprehensive” powers to monitor terror suspects in Britain.
Cameron said that in case he wins the next election, he will introduce a communication data bill dubbed the “snooper’s charter” that will give police a sweeping power to monitor online communications. (T/P011/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agenc y (MINA)