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Results of UK Study Concerning Perceptions of Islam
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Results of UK Study Concerning Perceptions of Islam

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23rd July 2010

The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) will present the results of their UK study concerning the perceptions of Islam, Muslims and how Islam is presented to non-Muslims (known in Islamic theology as dawah). The study was based on a statistically robust sample of randomly selected NonMuslims representative of British society. iERA will present the results of their research and will discuss their recommendations in a press conference to be held on Friday 23 July 2010 at the London Muslim Centre. A copy of the research paper will be provided and the programme will be followed by a dinner to guests.

Highlights of Results Knowledge of Islam:

  • 80% had less than very little knowledge about Islam
  • 51% learnt Islam from school
  • 20% had come into contact with the Qur’an
  • 93% had very little knowledge or no knowledge at all about the Qur’an
  • 40% did not know who Allah is Presenting Islam (dawah) & Religion
  • 5% described Islamic dawah material as quite positive and very positive.
  • 71% had never come into contact with any dawah material.
  • 70% did not change their perceptions about Islam after coming into contact with dawah
    material.
  • 14% slightly worsened or significantly worsened.
  • 76% had never spoken to a Muslim about Islam.
  • 63% had no change in their perception after interacting with a Muslim.
  • 13% had perceptions that significantly worsened or slightly worsened.
  • 62% preferred not to receive any information about religion.

Perceptions of Islam and Muslims

  • 27% had negative perceptions regarding Muslims
  • 75% believed Islam and Muslims had provided a negative contribution to society
  • 32% believed that Muslims are a major cause of community tension
  • 2% responded positively concerning perceptions about Islamic law
  • 76% did not agree to the statement that Muslims positively engage in society
  • 36% did not know who the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was
  • 61% did not respond positively when asked about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)
  • 71% of all participants did not agree that the media is negatively biased towards Islam and Muslims
  • 63% did not disagree to the statement that “Muslims are terrorists”
  • 70% did not disagree with the statement “Muslims preach hatred”
  • 94% did not disagree with the statement “Islam oppresses women”
  • 86% did not disagree with the statement “Islam is outdated”
  • 72% did not agree with the statement “Muslims are law abiding”
  • 85% did not disagree with the statement “Islam is irrational”
  • 71% did not agree with the statement “Muslims are peaceful”
  • 73% did not disagree with the statement “Islam cannot positively contribute to modern society”

Qualitative Data: Selected Quotations

When asked about their perception of the Prophet Mohammad: “I don’t like the idea of chopping off people’s hands and feet sometimes without making sure they are innocent. It’s not a fair way” and “Don’t know, don’t care. We don’t choose religion when we were born and where we were born”.

When asked what about material on Islam had given a negative impression: “Some I find negative, some I’m neutral don’t let it affect me I find some doctrine to be negative and customs concerning women” and “Because they twist what they preach, not according to the Qur’an.”
When asked what contribution Islam and Muslims had had on British society: “They have took our country over it’s not England any more we have to make changes to please them” and “If I had my way I’d kick them all out of here and it’s not something I want to talk about.”