On Monday 11th April 2016, the market research company ICM published the findings of a juniper survey on Muslim opinions, which will coincide with a Channel 4 documentary entitled ‘What do British Muslims really think?’ tomorrow (Wednesday 13th April 2016) at 10pm .
1,081 Muslims participated in the survey, and there were some interesting findings, which displayed a significant number of participants holding mainstream Islamic views, whilst remaining proud of identifying themselves with Britain.
However, it was expected that the poll findings would be distorted by the mainstream media, who chose to report on the most “controversial” findings pertaining to homosexuality, polygamy, Sharia law, and Muslim perceptions of Jews.
Additionally, it did not help that Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), who was brought into analyse the results, concluded that Muslims in the UK were a ghettoised “nation within a nation”. The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) feel that this kind of language on a subjective interpretation of a poll with potential methodological flaws is not conducive to community cohesion.
It is understandable that a significant number of Muslims would hold normative views enshrined in the Islamic source texts, the holy Qur’an and the Prophetic teachings but this should not be conflated with indicators to radicalisation or terrorism.
Numerous academic studies and analysis by security officials have proven that religion is not the sole driver to violence, rather it is found to be a contributing factor to a host of personal grievances and external realities.
iERA would like to take this opportunity to remind Muslims living in the UK, that as adherents of Islam, we have a duty to carry the compassionate, rational, and peaceful message of Islam to the wider society, and not isolate ourselves from non-Muslims, who have a right for this message to be conveyed to them correctly.
Muslims are a people who desire for humanity what they desire for themselves, and that is attaining the Divine love and mercy of Allah by enjoining in all that is good and forbidding evil in its entirety.
“And let there arise from among you groups who invite to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.”
[The Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verse 104]
Notes to editors:
The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) is a UK-based charity dedicated to providing a better understanding of Islam in order to create a more peaceful and harmonious society.
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Photo courtesy of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.