A report published on Tuesday by the London-based Islamic group 5pillars shows that 95 percent of British Muslims and other Muslims living in the United Kingdom strongly agree that the so-called Islamic State is not truly Islamic.
150 prominent Islamic figures from a broad range of British-Muslim communities were interviewed as part of the annual study. The aim of the study is to find out how Muslims in the UK view the important topics surrounding their religion.
Interviewees were shown a variety of statements based on current issues, from Palestine to interpretations of the Quran. They could then choose to strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement in question.
Overall, the study showed a great deal of unity between communities, and that British Muslims almost universally agree on most issues. Throughout the 95 statements, on average 86 percent voted to strongly agree with statements.
90 percent of those questioned strongly agreed that the killing of civilians is always unlawful, as “Islam teaches compassion and justice for all people regardless of religion, social status, race or any other context”. 95 percent strongly agreed that the so-called Islamic State is not a “legitimate Islamic State”.
These results are in stark contrast to The Sun’s recent depiction of Muslims. In November of last year the paper was forced to apologize after misinterpreting the results of a study suggesting that 1 in 5 British Muslims sympathize with extremists.
Many criticized The Sun for aiming to mislead, but others called for a proper study on Islamic values in the UK in light of the headline. Many hope that this new study will begin to redress that balance.
Roshan Muhammed Salim, an editor at 5pillars, used his speech during the release of the study to call on those in power to acknowledge the findings, saying the study was an “easy reference point for media and politicians, [they] need to start engaging with mainstream views on Islam.”
“We believe the Muslim community is badly treated by the media and politicians,” who use “catch-all terms to describe Muslims,” he added.