By Aishah Ali
Quarter of young Britons said that they do not trust Muslims and feel that the country would be better off without them, a recent poll found. The study, for BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat, showed that 44 per cent believe Muslims did not share the same values as the rest of the population.
Of the one thousand 18-24 year olds questioned, 27 per cent said that they did not trust Muslims and 60 per cent thought the British public had a negative image of Muslims. 26 per cent blamed the rise in Islamophobia on terror groups abroad, while 21 per cent think the reason is UK Muslims who have committed acts of terror. However, 23 per cent felt the blame rested with the media and its portrayal of Islam.
Other government findings have found major problems with the role of the media and Islam. The Leveson inquiry into press standards report concluded there was “a serious and systemic problem of racist, anti-Muslim reporting within sections of the British media.”
This BBC poll carried out by ComRes, a UK research group, was conducted in June, a few weeks after the Woolwich terrorist attack. The findings were “understandable but no less shocking”, according to spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain, Talha Ahmad. He also blamed the results on a “climate of negativity” in the British media.
Asked about other religious groups, the poll found that 16% said they didn’t trust Hindus or Sikhs, 15% said they didn’t trust Jewish people, that figure was 13% for Buddhists and 12% said they didn’t trust Christians.
Almost one in three (29%) think Muslims are doing enough to combat extremism in their communities. However, overall young people are more likely to agree (48%) than disagree (27%) that Islam is a peaceful religion.