In shocking findings published by The Mirror newspaper, an ICM poll has revealed that one in ten people in Britain regard themselves as supporters of the Islamic State terror group.
The findings indicate that, despite continued atrocities and horrific executions, support for ISIS in the UK has grown from seven per cent to nine per cent since last year.
Three percent of British people alarmingly declared that they had a “very favourable view” of ISIS, a rise of two percent on last year. This indicates that up to half of the three million Muslims living in Britain could be ISIS supporters or sympathizers.
Another 6 percent astoundingly registered a “somewhat favorable” view of ISIS, again an increase on last year’s findings.
While support seems to be on the rise, opposition has strengthened, with 80 percent registering a “very un-favorable” view of ISIS, a rise from 45 percent last year.
Omer El-Hamdoon, president of the Muslim Association of Britain, claimed that the reason for such a rise in support of ISIS in Britain could be down to the government.
“One reason [for the support] may be due to the perception that ISIS represents an opponent to the West and those who are dissatisfied or disenfranchised with the new Tory policies – of further cuts and civil rights strangulation – are using this anonymous platform to express their frustration” El-Hamdoon said.
The findings also come on the back of a separate study, released last week, which collated the results of four other recent polls, highlighting that worldwide support for ISIS stands at 8.5 million people who view the terror group “positively”, and approximately 42 million more who view ISIS “somewhat positively”
Research conducted last year by the Washington Institute found that ISIS has substantially less support in Arab nations than it does in European countries, including Britain.
The group has practically no popularity in Egypt, Lebanon, or Saudi Arabia, according to the study.
An ICM poll last year also indicated that 1 in 6 French people have a positive attitude toward the Islamic State, which at the time represented twice as many as in Britain.
Haras Rafiq of counter-extremism thinktank the Quilliam Foundation noted:
“It is deeply worrying that after a year of carnage and cruelty, there is still this support for Islamic State. But I’m not surprised. For decades now, Islamists have been been indoctrinating young Muslims with extremist ideas without being challenged.”
“The sheer numbers of people going out there to Syria and Iraq indicate that this support is there,” Rafiq added. “Many more might not be ready to move there just yet but the longer that IS retain the land they have seized, the more we will see people being persuaded to join,” he said.
Rafiq urged Muslim leaders “to make Islamism as unfashionable among our young people as fascism and communism”.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.