Most Britons blame far-right for Islamophobia

30th Nov 2018
Most Britons blame far-right for Islamophobia

English Defence League protest in Newcastle (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Hamed Chapman

Most people in Britain agree that Islamophobia is a real problem in the country and blame the far-right for the growing scourge in society, according to a new poll.

The survey commissioned by Muslim Engagement & Development [MEND] also found that two-fifths of Britons would be concerned if a family member married a Muslim and that one in five would be concerned if a Muslim family moved next door.

Around 40 per cent also voiced concern if a mosque was built in their neighbourhood, while three in ten would not want their child to visit a mosque, MEND also found.

The poll comes on the heels of Home Office figures showing that religious hate crime in England and Wales has soared by a massive 40 per cent in the past 12 months a year with recorded offences hitting a record high and more than half committed against Muslims.

The overall number of recorded hate crimes altogether rose 17 per cent in the year to the end of March, reaching 94,098, more than double the amount five years ago. For 2017-18, race hate crime rose 14 per cent, while religious hate crime went up 40 per cent.

Of those polled in the survey, 47 per cent believed Britain was becoming less tolerant of Muslims, while 48 per cent believed there was more negative discrimination against Muslims than people of other faiths.

More than half (58 per cent) agreed with the notion that Islamophobia is a real problem in the country, while 48 per cent believed that prejudice against Islam makes it difficult to be a Muslim in the UK.

More than one third say that the marginalisation of Islam in British public life is increasing in the media, nearly half felt there is more negative discrimination against Muslims than people of other faiths

Poignantly three in five British adults, or 61 per cent, agreed that far-right political activists such as the English Defence League are to blame for Islamophobia in the UK.

MEND said it was “deeply concerned” by the significant increase of religious and racially motivated hate crime. It called upon the Government to reflect upon the Home Office figures and “improve their relationships with grassroots Muslim organisations tackling this scourge in our society.”

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