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01 March 2015

Playing the victim card - BBC survey

There are problems in some Muslim communities that allow for unpleasant and often dangerous views to fester.

A BBC poll of 1,000 British Muslims, published last week, found that 27% had sympathy for the motives for the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. A Muslim man from Bradford, when asked on Radio 4 about the cartoons, remarked, “If they hadn’t poked fun at our prophet, no one would have died.”

Even seemingly modern Muslims share these views. Many do not support violence or murder, but they believe their communities are always under attack and unfair scrutiny. Just listen to the BBC Asian Network’s phone-in show on any given day and hear how many Muslim callers either deny the existence of Isis, insisting it is a CIA plot (no, really), or condemn as non-Muslims anyone who follows a different interpretation of Islam. [Mick Hartley] Read more

BBC defends reporting of Muslims survey

The BBC has defended its coverage of a survey that showed that more than a quarter of British Muslims have some sympathy for the motives behind last month’s Islamic extremist murders in Paris.

The News Letter asked the corporation why it highlighted other findings from the ComRes poll for Radio Four’s Today programme ahead of the finding of 27 per cent sympathy for the motives for the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Wednesday’s 7am Radio Four news report on the survey first mentioned the fact that two-thirds of British Muslims oppose violence against those who publish offensive images without any immediately accompanying reference to the 24 per cent who did not oppose violence.

.... Yet the poll had numerous alarming findings, such as the fact that 11 per cent of those questioned expressed sympathy for those who want to fight against the Western interest.

It found that almost half of British Muslims, 45 per cent, were unable to agree with the notion that Muslim clerics who preach that violence against the West can be justified are out of touch with mainstream Muslim opinion.

A quarter of the people surveyed (24 per cent) disagreed with the statement that acts of violence against those publishing images of the Prophet can never be justified. [27 February, News Letter] Read more

BBC spins disaffected Muslims to deflect from emerging Islamists

The BBC published the results of a ComRes poll yesterday, which they spun in their own inimitable multiculturally-sunny and cloudless way. ‘Most British Muslims “oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals“‘, they informed us, with verifiable quantitative analysis:

95% of British Muslims feel a loyalty to Britain.
93% say they should obey British laws.
73% said they had no sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.

This isn’t so bad, you might think, until you consider the statistical corollaries:

5% of British Muslims feel no loyalty to Britain.
7% say they should not obey British laws.
27% said they had sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.

[26 February, Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

Over a quarter of British Muslims have sympathy for the Charlie Hebdo terrorists. That is far too many

This morning the BBC published details of a major poll of the attitudes of Britain’s Muslims. The headline on the front of the BBC website linking to the research states: “Muslims ‘oppose cartoon reprisals’”. This of course relates to attitudes within the Muslim community towards the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks.

It’s a reassuring headline. It’s also wrong. Many Muslims - a majority - do indeed utterly oppose the murderous killings in Paris. But a very, very large number of Muslims don’t.

Presented with the statement “I have some sympathy for the motives behind the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris”, 27 seven percent agreed with the statement. A further 2 per cent refused to answer the question. And an additional eight percent said they were unsure whether they had some sympathy or not.

....All of this raises two serious questions. The first relates to the BBC’s reporting. Let’s set aside their use of the word “reprisal” in the headline (reprisal for what, exactly?). Imagine if the BBC had commissioned a poll in the wake of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and that poll had found 27 per cent of white Britons agreed with the statement “I have some sympathy for the motives behind his stabbing”.

Imagine if, in an additional finding, 32 per cent of white Briton’s refused to endorse the statement “acts of unprovoked violence against black men can never be justified”.

Rightly, there would be outrage at those findings. [25 February, The Telegraph] Read more

Most British Muslims 'oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals'

The majority of British Muslims oppose violence against people who publish images depicting the Prophet Muhammad, a poll for the BBC suggests.

The survey also indicates most have no sympathy with those who want to fight against Western interests.

But 27% of the 1,000 Muslims polled by ComRes said they had some sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.

Almost 80% said they had found it deeply offensive when images depicting the Prophet were published. [25 February, BBC] Read more

We can debate the extremists, listen to them, scream and shout and insult them. But we must never ban them

.... I’ll repeat: the fact that 27 per cent of British Muslims have some sympathy with the motives of the Charlie Hebdo attackers is not a cause for celebration but for shame. The principles of an inclusive and secular society cannot be sacrificed on the altar of religious freedom. The schism opening up between Britain’s Muslims and the rest of British society can no longer be ignored or tolerated.

But these issues have to be discussed face to face. Driving organisations like Cage onto the dark web will solve nothing. What next, ask Paul Loughran if he’ll agree to voice the words of Moazzam Begg, like he used to for Gerry Adams when the Sinn Fein broadcast ban was in place?

We have to listen and we have to talk and we have to shout and we have to scream and we have to hurl insults and obscenities at one another. But above all, we have to engage.

Maybe Moazzam Begg is a monster. But if he is, I want him out in the sunlight, where I can see him, and study him, and understand why and how he wants to devour me.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Imagine if 27% of Chelsea fans said they had some sympathy with keeping black people off trains? Or 45% of white football fans thought racist chanting at matches wasn't being out of touch with race relations? The newspapers and BBC would erupt. The data would be headlines for weeks. A poll that suggests almost 700,000 Muslims in the UK have sympathy with men who machine gun cartoonists brings barely a murmur.

Until we are ready to challenge evil, even if it is wrapped up in minority communities and religions, then our own way of life will be under threat.

Incidentally, it took less than 24 hours after Muslims murderers had "avenged the prophet" before the words Islamophobia were uttered on the BBC .. Stockholm syndrome writ large.

We are at war. Only one side seems to know it. [The Telegraph] Read more