British Public Most Likely to Blame the Media for Islamophobia

By Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Uk, PRNE
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

LONDON, July 21, 2011 -


A new ComRes survey on Islamophobia - the fear of the Muslim
faith - reveals that people think that the media is most to blame
for whipping up a climate of fear of Islam in the UK.

People are twice as likely to say the media is to blame for
Islamophobia (29%) than far-right groups (13%), or indeed Muslims
themselves either abroad (14%) or in the UK (11%).

Conservative Party Chairman, Sayeeda Warsi, recently said
Islamophobia had ‘passed the dinner table test’, becoming a social
norm.  Indeed, just 1% of people do not think that
Islamophobia exists in the UK.

The poll was commissioned by one of the UK’s oldest Muslim
groups, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, in order to inform its
plans to counter the tide of prejudice against Islam and highlight
strategies to promote better community relations.

The poll comes on the eve of Britain’s biggest annual Islamic
convention which will see 30,000 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim
Community gathering at a 220-acre site in Hampshire. Foremost on
the agenda will be ways to build bridges between communities and
spread the word that Islam means peace.

Ahmadiyya Muslims recently launched a ‘Muslims for Loyalty,
Freedom & Peace’ campaign with bus adverts, door-to-door
pamphleting, fundraising for UK charities, blood donor sessions,
inter-faith sessions, peace symposiums and more across the UK.

Now, at the annual convention between July 22-24, community
members will reassert their ethos Love for All, Hatred for None, by
pledging to counter hatemongers and extremism through a commitment
to peace and amity.

Rafiq Hayat, National President Ahmadiyya Muslim
Community, said:

“The results of the survey reveal that more needs to be done to
refocus media attention on the valuable contributions Muslims make
to Britain and rather than excessively focusing on the
troublemakers who scream at us through media headlines but have
nothing to do with Islam. Their nefarious activities do a
disservice to this country and are an affront to our faith.

“The poll shows quite clearly that there needs to be greater
positive engagement between the media and Muslims in order to
address Islamophobia in the UK.”

Following the furore over the Pastor Jones controversy in the
US, the ComRes survey also investigated perceptions over the
Islamic scripture, the Holy Quran. Just 14% of the British public
agree that the Quran justifies the use of violence against

“It is heartening to learn that the vast majority of people
realise that there is no religious justification for terror and
violence and the Holy Quran does not sanction hatred or
discrimination. It states clearly that there is no compulsion in
matters of religion.”

The survey does throw up other interesting results:

  • Muslims abroad (14%) are deemed to be more responsible than far
    right political groups (13%) and UK Muslims (11%) for contributing
    to Islamophobia.
  • Younger people are more likely to think that the media is
    responsible for Islamophobia than older people - 40% of 18-24 years
    olds think this, compared to just 18% of people 65 and over.
  • People who say that they do not belong to any religion (33%)
    are more likely to say that the media is responsible for
    Islamophobia than people who say that they are Christian
  • Just 7% of people from social group C1 agree that the Quran
    justifies the use of violence against non-Muslims - this compares
    to 17% of people from group AB, 16% from group C2 and 15% from
    group DE.

Andrew Hawkins, ComRes Chairman, said:

“Two-thirds of the public do not believe the Quran justifies the
use of violence against non-Muslims, providing evidence of the
public’s predominantly tolerant, liberal view of religious
minorities.  British Muslims should also be encouraged that
only one in ten of the British public believe they are to blame for
Islamophobia.  Instead, more than four in ten British people
say the media or the far-right are principally to blame for

Methodology: ComRes interviewed 1004 GB adults
by telephone between the 8th and 10th July 2011. Data were weighted
to be demographically representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a
member of the British Polling Council and abide by its rules. Full
data tables available at


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