Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Guess who've been called "model citizens" in Britain in the latest Gallup poll?

Poll reveals Muslims as model citizens
The Times
Contrary to popular stereotypes, Muslims in London have almost twice as much confidence in the Government as the general public and are noticeably more trusting of the judicial system, elections and the police.
More than half identify very strongly with Britain, and about four in every five believe that it is important for integration to master the English language, get a better education and find a job.
The findings, to be revealed tomorrow, are the result of an independent survey of Muslim attitudes by the Gallup Organisation, and point to a much more hopeful outlook for integration than recent reports of extremism, alienation and a ghetto mentality have suggested.
The poll also finds that almost nine out of ten Muslims in London believe attacks that target civilians are unjustified and morally wrong — only 4 per cent fewer than the view of nonMuslims. Some 81 per cent also condemn violence even if used in a noble cause — a figure that is 9 per cent higher than the general public’s view.
But Muslims are overwhelmingly more likely to identify very or extremely strongly with their religion than nonMuslims — 69 per cent compared with 30 per cent.
Only 13 per cent of Muslims say it is necessary to remove the face veil (niqab ) for integration in British society, compared with 55 per cent of nonMuslims who see this as essential. Even fewer, 6 per cent, believe it necessary to remove the headscarf (hijab) compared with 21 per cent of nonMuslims who do think so.
The findings are part of a global survey of Muslim attitudes carried out by Gallup, which conducted face-to-face interviews with individuals aged 15 or older in 40 Muslim countries. As part of this survey, Gallup looked last year at how integrated Muslims were in three European countries — Britain, France and Germany — and how much they identified with their nations, their faith and their ethnicity.
Loyalty to Britain was high: 74 per cent (compared with 45 per cent of nonMuslims). So too was respect for other religions: 82 per cent, compared with 54 per cent. Nevertheless, Muslims were twice as likely to say that they had experienced racial or religious discrimination in the past year, with 28 per cent reporting this. The 14 per cent of nonMuslims who suffered discrimination includes a cross-section of all London’s other ethnic and religious minorities.
Gallup found that there were still striking differences between London’s Muslims and nonMuslims on moral issues. Only about 10 per cent believed that sex outside marriage was acceptable, compared with more than 80 per cent of the general public. Even fewer — less than 5 per cent — found homosexual acts acceptable, compared with 65 per cent generally. Slightly more Muslims than nonMuslims accepted “honour killing” and crimes of passion, but the numbers in each case were tiny, at about 2 per cent. Abortion was acceptable to more than three times as many nonMuslims as Muslims, and there were similar big discrepancies on suicide and viewing pornography. Only on the death penalty were the figures fairly close, with about 36 per cent approval by Muslims and 43 per cent by nonMuslims.
The Gallup poll echoed similar polls which have shown that British foreign policy plays a large role in Muslim attitudes.
Gallup found that 59 per cent thought the ousting of Saddam Hussein’s Government by US and British forces was not justified, compared with 40 per cent of the general public. By contrast, only 14 per cent of Muslims thought that the invasion of Iraq was justified, compared with 23 per cent of the public.
The poll is financed by the Gallup Organisation, and so claims that it has no partisan interest in any of the findings. It will be welcome news to many British Muslims, who complain that they are misrepresented as insular, extremist, mistrustful of the police and unwilling to integrate into British society.

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