A new survey of British muslims finds that two thirds say they would not choose to inform police about terrorist plots if they had prior knowledge.
The poll, conducted by ICM for Channel 4 found that only 34 per cent said they would immediately report it to the police if they thought someone close to them was becoming involved with people who support terrorism in Syria.
A further 46 per cent said they would talk to the person directly about the terror plot in an attempt to dissuade them, while 37 per cent said they would not inform the police, but would look for help elsewhere.
While there is no doubt that this is alarming, it does not mean, as other media outlets have suggested, that two thirds of British Muslims support or sympathize with terrorism.
The poll found that 4 percent said they sympathised with people who took part in suicide bombings (1% said they completely sympathised and 3% said they sympathised to some extent).
In addition, 4 percent said they sympathised with people who committed terrorist actions as a form of political protest.
A majority of 96 per cent of muslims said they were not at all sympathetic to extremism.
Trevor Phillips, the former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the man who popularised the phrase ‘Islamophobia’, declared the survey to be extremely worrying, claiming that the 4 percent figures explained above constitute a potential “equivalent of 100,000 Muslims”.
Perhaps a more telling finding from the survey is that one in four muslims (23%) say that they wish to see the implementation of sharia law in some areas of Britain.
The poll also found that half of British muslims think homosexuality should be made illegal. That figure compares to a general population figure of 5 percent in Britain. Almost half (47%) also said they did not agree that it was acceptable for a gay person to become a teacher, compared with 14% of the general population.
Over 20 percent did not condemn stoning adulterers, while almost a third (31%) want polygamy (having multiple wives) to be made legal, compared with 8% of the wider population.
Explaining the poll’s findings, Mr Phillips noted that “On specific issues – families, sexuality, gender, attitudes towards Jews and on questions of violence and terrorism – the centre of gravity of British Muslim opinion is some distance away from the centre of gravity of everyone else’s opinion.”
“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].” Phillips added.
“We are more nervous about Muslims because we feel people will be offended. But my view is that looking at the results of this survey, which have surprised me, that we have gone beyond the situation where we can say: ‘OK, don’t worry; they will come round in time,’ because that is not going to happen we have to make things change now.” the former Labour Party MP added.
While the findings of the survey, commissioned for a documentary titled “What British Muslims Really Think”, have rattled many, the left leaning mainstream media has desperately attempted to play it down, arguing that the poll is skewed.
The Independent and The Huffington post gave column inches to those who argued that the survey consists only of Muslims living in areas where they make up at least 20 per cent of the population, claiming that these people are likely to be poorer, less integrated with non-Muslims, and ‘more conservative’.
The Guardian published comments by Miqdaad Versi, of the Muslim Council of Britain, who described the poll as “skewed” and “divisive”. In another piece, The Guardian focused on findings in the poll that indicate the majority of muslims surveyed do strongly identify as British, arguing that this is a positive that somewhat offsets the other findings.
The Metro argued that some of the findings were not as alarming as one might believe because “the word ‘Caliphate’ actually means very different things to different Muslims,” and that not enough white muslims were included in the survey, concluding that “While there are some areas of concern, the real take away from this is to always scrutinise statistics. It’s all down to interpretation.”