Saturday, November 29 2014

New poll reveals 3/4 of UK population believe Islam is negative for Britain



 The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) has today released its report on 'Perceptions on Islam and Muslims: A study of the UK Population', authored by Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, Dr. Iman Khalaf and Sadia Salam.
 
The report, capturing views from interviews with a random sample of 500 non-Muslim Britons, reveals that:

  • 80% have less than very little knowledge about Islam
  • 51% learnt Islam from school
  • 95% had come into contact with the Bible
  • 20% had come into contact with the Qur’an
  • 93% had very little knowledge or no knowledge at all about the Qur’an
  • 40% did not know who Allah is

The study also illustrates the extent to which attitudes towards Islam and Muslims are formed via secondary sources. The study notes that 76% of those interviewed ‘had never spoken to a Muslim about Islam’.

The results are not all that dissimilar to the results of the Gallup survey ‘Religious Perceptions in America’ which found that while a little over half (53%) of Americans admitted to holding “not too favorable” or “not favorable at all” views about Islam, asked about their knowledge of the faith 40% claimed to have “very little knowledge” and 23%, “none at all”.

Other troubling results from the iERA survey:

  • 75% believed Islam and Muslims had provided a negative contribution to society
  • 32% believed that Muslims are a major cause of community tension
  • 76% did not agree to the statement that Muslims positively engage in society
  • 71% of all participants did not agree that the media is negatively biased towards Islam and Muslims
This latter result is baffling if one is to understand the results comprehensively. Where 76% claim not to have spoken to a Muslim about Islam and when knowledge of Islam from primary sources (Qur’an, or from Muslims directly) is so weak among those interviewed, and yet opinions towards Muslims so negative, it begs the question of what informs this negative disposition?

The Gallup survey on American attitudes towards Islam and Muslims cites analysis of media coverage on Islam and notes:

‘While 14% of statements about religion in television news referred to Christianity, references to Islam accounted for 36% of all statements analyzed by Media Tenor between January and August 2009. In addition, the tone of the coverage of statements about Islam (40%) was twice as likely to be negative than the statements made about Christianity (20%). Further, Media Tenor’s analysis shows that two-thirds of the television coverage about Islam associates Muslims with extremism. In light of the preponderance of negative media coverage of Islam, Gallup’s findings suggest it is the observed behavior of fringe elements that may shape Americans’ unfavorable attitudes toward Muslims.’


In both UK and US cases, the fact that negative attitudes appear to be formed of ignorance and a lack of accurate knowledge about Islam offers considerable opportunities for Muslims to counter prejudice borne of ignorance with the dissemination of the proper teachings of Islam. The iERA report itself takes as its point of departure the verses from Surah Fussilat:

“Who is better in speech than one who calls to God, works righteousness and says ‘I am one of those who submit’?” 
(Qur’an 41:33)







Last Updated on Monday, 13 September 2010 15:50

Comments

 
-1 #1 No mysteryLibertyPhile 2010-08-03 12:41
It isn’t baffling at all.

And, the implication that if only non-Muslims knew more Muslims and if only these non-Muslims had read the Koran it would all be different, is false. (How, for example, do you think that might have changed the disgust non-Muslims felt with the Islamic sentence of stoning a woman to death for adultery.)

Just study the actual news of what Muslims do and say in this country and throughout the world.

Have a look at thelibertyphile.blogspot.com/ It is a collection of over 1000 items of news, comment and analysis concerning Islam and Muslims over the last 12 months. And, please note the site deliberately avoids “terrorism”, Palestinian, Iraqi, and Afghanistan related news.

Now, of course, I know the response to this. The media are biased, they make up stories, and they don’t report the good Muslim news.

In my opinion 80 to 90 percent of the news, perhaps more, gives a fair account. Islam is the cause of some problem. There is something which non-Muslims with every justification don’t like. Even if I am wrong; say only 50 percent is truly fair, it is still an awful indictment.

As for the good news, there is a little, but very little. And, you have to wonder why there are no Muslim web sites reporting what the mainstream media has been missing.

Perhaps, the Saudi Gazette got it wrong when they recently quoted Yusuf al-Qaradawi as saying "Secularism can never enjoy a general acceptance in an Islamic society. …. As Islam is a comprehensive system of worship (Ibadah) and legislation (Shari’ah), the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Shari’ah, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah’s injunctions."

Perhaps he really said “secularism is a jolly good idea, and each human being can find his own way to God”

A little vignette. About a month ago on one of the mainstream TV channels the Sunday religious audience discussion included a Muslim gentleman, in a western suit but wearing the typical Muslim cap, who in all sincerity said everyone in the audience who wasn’t a Muslim was going to hell. The whole room sat there with its mouth open.

P.S. If anybody wants to quote Mr Livingstone’s “Common Ground” study have a look at: libertyphile2.blogspot.com/2010/01/common-ground-or-not_30.html
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