Poll: Most Britons tolerant of Islam and Muslims, but strong minority isn’t

The majority of Britons are tolerant of Islam and Muslims but a strong minority isn’t, a new poll has revealed.

The ComRes survey of over 2,000 people was conducted between October 15-16 and was commissioned by Muslim group MEND.

The survey found that:

  • 58% of British adults agree Islamophobia is a real problem in today’s society.
  • 48% agree prejudice against Islam makes it difficult to be a Muslim in this country.
  • 47% say Britain is becoming less tolerant of Muslims.
  • 38% say they would not be concerned if a member of their family married a Muslim.
  • 43% say they would be concerned if a mosque was built in their neighbourhood.
  • 43% say Western liberal society can never be compatible with Islam.

In terms of who is to blame for Islamophobia in the UK:

  • 58% blame the media.
  • 59% blame Muslims abroad.
  • 45% blame Muslims in the UK.
  • 61% blame far right groups such as the EDL.

The poll comes a few weeks after Home Office figures revealed there has been a surge in hate crime against Muslims in England and Wales.

In 2017/18, just over half (52%) of religious hate crime offences were targeted against Muslims (2,965 offences). This is a much greater proportion than the proportion of the population in England and Wales who identify as Muslims (4.8 per cent of the population).

The total number of hate incidents reached a record 94,098, from April 2017 to March 2018 – a rise of 17% from the previous year. Just over three-quarters of those – a total of 71,251 – were classified as “race hate” which was most probably also experienced by many Muslims.

In the past year, the types of anti-Muslim offences have included: a man soliciting murder after sending letters calling for “Punish a Muslim Day”; a man attempting to murder a Muslim woman and 12-year-old schoolgirl in “revenge” for terror attacks; and a Britain First supporter telling police “I’m going to kill a Muslim. I’m doing this for Britain” before ploughing his car into an Indian restaurant.

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