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April 11, 2016 3:00 pm

Muslims in UK More Likely Than Other Groups to Believe Jews Control Media, Banks, New Poll Shows

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Muslim men standing outside an Islamic centre in Little Harwood, United Kingdom. Photo: Wikipedia.

Muslim men standing outside an Islamic center in Little Harwood, United Kingdom. Photo: Wikipedia.

Muslims in Britain are more likely than non-Muslims to believe antisemitic conspiracy theories, according to a new poll, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported.

The survey — part of a Channel 4 documentary called “What British Muslims Really Think” and scheduled to air on Wednesday — was conducted by ICM Research. It revealed that the Muslim community in Britain overall holds negative attitudes towards Jews when compared to the rest of the public.

British Muslims are more likely to believe, for example, that Jews hold great influence and power over global media, business, financial markets, governments and international affairs. 

When asked specifically about whether antisemitism has become a “problem” in Britain, only 26 percent of British Muslim respondents answered in the affirmative, as compared to 46% of non-Muslims. Thirty-four percent of British Muslims, the poll found, believe Jews talk “too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust,” and 40% believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the UK. Twenty-seven percent said openly that people hate Jews because of Jewish behavior.  

Polling data, as reported by The Guardian, also revealed that 23 percent of British Muslims support the implementation of sharia law in Britain. Thirty-nine percent agreed that “wives should always obey their husbands,” as compared to five percent of the rest of the country. Fifty-two percent of British Muslims disagreed when asked if homosexuality should be legal in Britain, as compared to 5% of the rest of the public.

However, according to ICM, a higher number of British Muslims (86%) said they felt a sense of belonging in Britain, as compared to the national average (83%).

Trevor Phillips, who hosts the documentary and is the former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program on Monday that the findings of the poll are a major cause for concern.

On specific issues – families, sexuality, gender, attitudes towards Jews and on questions of violence and terrorism – the center of gravity of British Muslim opinion is some distance away from the center of gravity of everyone else’s opinion,” he said. “One in six Muslims say they would like to live more separately, a quarter would like to live under sharia law. It means that as a society we have a group of people who basically do not want to participate in the way that other people [do].”

“What we also found is that there is a correspondence between this desire to live separately and sympathy for terrorism,” Phillips added. “People who want to live separately are about twice as likely to say that they have sympathy for terrorist acts. Anybody, including most people in the Muslim community, would find that extremely worrying.”

One thousand British Muslims and 1,008 non-Muslim British citizens — representative of the national average — participated in the poll, and responded to questions on an array of social and religious issues.

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