Nearly 80% of Muslims are dissatisfied with the government

Boris Johnson Credit: Michael Tubi / Shutterstock.com

A new survey has found that 79% of British Muslims are dissatisfied with the government.

The poll by Muslim Census questioned 1,000 Muslims aged 16-64+ and found that 42% were “very dissatisfied” with the government, with a further 37% saying they were “somewhat dissatisfied.”

Meanwhile, only 3% of Muslims said they were satisfied with the Conservative government.

The survey also found that over 95% of Muslims said they were either “unsure” or “tend not to trust” the government.

57% said this lack of trust was due to the government’s previous or current mishandlings and injustices, with most issues not centring around Muslims.

For example, responses mentioned The Windrush scandal, injustice towards victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, the disparity regarding poverty throughout the UK, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel’s comments on the Black Lives Matter movement, and the handling of the current coronavirus pandemic.

And 41% said that their lack of trust was due to Islamophobia from the government.

Moreover, in almost a unanimous agreement 92% of Muslims said that there was a problem of Islamophobia within the government.

Almost one in two of them mentioned Prime Minister Boris Johnson as one of the main reasons why. Comments included references to the Prime Minister’s remarks on women who wear niqabs looking like “letterboxes,” his reluctance to start an inquiry into Islamophobia within the Tory Party, and his lack of comment on international acts of oppression.

Other frustrations included the lack of action addressing the growing Islamophobic climate, not agreeing a legal definition of Islamophobia, the media narrative against Muslims, and policies that seemingly target all British Muslims – Prevent being the most commonly referred to example.

The survey also found that:

  • British Muslims vote at a higher rate than the total UK population – almost 10% higher than the total 2019 general election turnout
  • 31% of Muslims are either fairly or very politically engaged
  • 44% of Muslims said that Islamophobia incentivises them to become more politically involved
  • 47% of British Muslims feel as though their freedom of speech is not protected in the UK
  • 43% cited racial or religious bias as the reason why they feel as though their speech is not valued the same as other groups
  • 65% of British Muslims mentioned that the perception of their faith is why they feel their freedom of speech is limited
  • Over 65% of Muslims believe participating in politics can improve their lives
  • Over 40% of Muslims feel no party represents them well enough to support

In terms of recommendations, legislative change was the most popular method that Muslims recommended to tackle Islamophobia within government, including a change in the legislation of the press and counter-terrorism policies.

25% of participants expressed the desire to carry out an investigation into Islamophobia within government and for public figures to be held accountable for their Islamophobic remarks and actions.

Muslim community empowerment was mentioned by 24% of participants who wanted to create change, including government engagement with grassroots organisations and empowerment of Muslims through encouraging civic participation and increasing representation within politics, the civil service, media and broadcasting.

Finally, wider engagement was mentioned by 19% of participants, which included increasing awareness of Islam and Islamophobia, inter-community engagement, development of training programmes and resources to educate.

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