Nearly 40% of British Muslims blame police and M15 for radicalisation

Nearly 40% of British Muslims blame the actions of the police and MI5 for radicalising the younger generation, suggests a Sky News opinion poll released today.

Some 39% said the authorities were contributing to radicalising young people, with 29% saying they were not.

The survey confirms the widespread anger in the community over harassment, spying and entrapment techniques that the security services seem to be deploying against Muslims.

The research also found that the issue of young people travelling to fight with extremist groups, including ISIS, or becoming so-called “jihadi brides,” remains highly controversial.

However, it suggests both Muslims and non-Muslims were most likely to see families as being responsible for preventing young people heading to Syria: 44% of Muslims and 65% of non-Muslims agreed.

Just 3% of Muslims thought the police were responsible, 15% said the Government, 9% religious leaders and 2% schools.

Sympathy with those leaving the UK to fight for or marry terrorist groups in Syria was highest among women.

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british muslimsSome 11% of female Muslims agreed they had a lot of sympathy, compared to 5% of males. The figures for non-Muslims were at 4% for both sexes.

However, a majority of Muslims and non-Muslims said they had no sympathy for those joining extremist groups.

The Sky News survey is the first of its kind and looked at what Muslims and non-Muslims think about issues including radicalisation, security concerns, political uncertainty, a rise in hate crimes and growing prejudice.

They asked 1,000 Muslims and 1,000 non-Muslims to share their opinions and found that while 71% of Muslims in the UK said the values of British society were compatible with those of Islam, 16% believed they were not.

The results found younger Muslims were more likely to see their values aligned to those of Britain, with 73% of those aged 18 to 34 agreeing, compared to 71% of those aged over 55.

Male Muslims were also more likely to agree – 78%, versus 64% for females.

On the issue of integration into UK society, the survey found 58% of non-Muslims believed their Muslim neighbours were not doing enough, with those aged over 55 more likely to be critical.

Two thirds of Muslims, however, said they were doing enough.

The last few years seem to have seen a significant deterioration in community cohesion: a third of Muslims say they receive more hostility than a few years ago; and 44% of non-Muslims say they feel more hostility.

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