What should we make of that poll? ‘What Muslims Really Think’

A poll of British Muslims for a forthcoming television documentary suggests they are more anti-Semitic than the general population. The poll also indicates that they differ from the wider community on numerous social issues.

Trevor Phillips, the host of the forthcoming television programme.
Trevor Phillips, the host of the forthcoming television programme.

The programme, which will air on Wednesday on Channel 4, is called “What British Muslims Really Think.”

While 6 percent of the British population in a parallel poll believed Jews are “responsible for most wars,” more than 25 percent of Muslim respondents for the television poll held that view. In addition, nearly 40 percent of the Muslims polled said Jews had “too much control over global affairs,” a view shared by just 10 percent of the overall British population.

The poll of Muslims also found that more than one-third believe Jews talk too much about the Holocaust, 30 percent believe Jews “think they are better than other people” and 40 percent believe Jews are “more loyal to Israel than to the UK.”

Some British Muslim leaders are questioning the accuracy of the poll, with one scholar saying it interviewed Muslims only in areas where they are 20 percent or more of the population and thus less likely to be integrated into and with British culture.

Writing in The Guardian, a leader of the Muslim Council of Britain called the poll “skewed” and “divisive.”

The poll further indicated British Muslims believe Jews wield too much power: 40 percent said Jews have too much power over financial markets and 39 percent said the same about the media.

“It is sad that ancient stereotypes still play out in society at large and in particular within parts of the Muslim community,” Jewish Leadership Council leader Simon Johnson said, according to the Jewish News. “This report shows a clear need for further education.”

While their views differed from their non-Muslim countrymen, the Muslims polled expressed positive feelings about the United Kingdom, with 88 percent saying Britain was a good place for Muslims and 86 percent saying they feel a strong sense of belonging in the country.

The poll was conducted in person in the spring of 2015 with a representative sample of 1,000 Muslims across the country. For comparison, the pollsters also interviewed by phone a representative sample of 1,008 British people.

What do you think about the findings in the poll? Do they chime with your experiences or interactions? Let us know via the comments section below or by email at secretary@antisemitismwatch.com

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