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Half of UK adults believe 'Islam is incompatible with British values'

The i logo The i 01/08/2019 Katie Grant
a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Almost half of all UK adults believe Islam is incompatible with British values, with men significantly more likely than women to hold this view, a survey has found.

In total, 48 per cent of respondents said that they disagreed with the statement “Islam is compatible with British values”, a ComRes poll of more than 2,000 people found. One quarter of people said they strongly disagreed with this statement, according to the research, commissioned by the UK leaders of Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

Nearly one third of people (30 per cent) said they thought Islam is compatible with British values, though only eight per cent of this group strongly agreed with this sentiment. About one quarter (23 per cent) said they did not know.

Respondents were not asked to specify what they believed constitutes “British values”.

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Men were more likely than women to regard Islam as incompatible with British values - 54 per cent of male respondents held this view compared with 42 per cent of female respondents. And while one in five (19 per cent) of women firmly believed this to be the case, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of men felt like this.

And men were also more inclined than women to link Islam with violence – 33 per cent of male respondents said they thought the religion encourages Muslims to carry out acts of violence against non-Muslims, compared with 25% of female participants.

Muslim children studying in classroom © Getty Muslim children studying in classroom

'Widespread Islamophobia'

The majority of the public (58 per cent) recognised that Islamophobia is widespread - yet close to one third of respondents (29 per cent) said they believed Islam encourages Muslims to carry out acts of violence against non-Muslims. Overall two thirds of everyone polled (67 per cent) agreed that most people in the UK have a negative view of Islam.

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The findings of the survey will be discussed this weekend at the UK’s largest Muslim convention, the Jalsa Salana, in Hampshire, where 38,000 Muslims from than 100 countries gather Hampshire with the aim of dispelling misconceptions around Islam.

Commenting on the findings Rafiq Hayat, president of the UK’s Ahmadiyya Muslim community, said they highlight “just how misunderstood Islam is in the UK”.

He added: “If people want to know if Islam really does promote violence, they should come and meet the thousands of [Muslims] at the convention where they can have frank but respectful conversations.”

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