Almost half of Britons think Islam is incompatible with British values, shock poll reveals

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Nearly half of Britons have a negative view of Islam, despite 5 percent of the population being Muslim (GETTY)

A new shock poll has laid bare the extent of hostility towards Islam in Britain.

The survey, conducted by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and ComRes and released on Friday, suggests the religion is widely misunderstood by non-Muslims.

It comes despite over two million Muslims - or five % of the UK population - currently living in Britain.

Nearly half of those polled - 48% - believe the religion is not compatible with British values.

Older people were more likely to hold this view, with 56% of over 55s agreeing with the sentiment compared to 28% of 18-24s.

Almost a third of Britons think Islam encourages Muslims to carry out acts of violence against non-Muslims (GETTY)

58% of those polled agreed Islamophobia is widespread throughout the UK.

29% of those surveyed believe Islam encourages Muslims to carry out acts of violence against non-Muslims.

A further two-thirds - 67% - also believe the majority of people in the UK have a negative view of the religion.

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Imam Farhad Ahmad said of the study: "The findings reinforce the fact that people for a long have thought Islam in itself is a problem. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Islam is actually a religion of peace and it teaches very clearly in the Holy Quran that 'There is no compulsion in religion' and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) even said “loyalty to your country is a part of your faith”.

“This is the peaceful message of Islam that I have grown up with and some thing we are focusing on at UK's biggest convention of Muslims where we will raise the Union Jack as a show of loyalty to Britain.

Islam is widely misunderstood in the UK (GETTY)

“The media for a long time has shown Muslims and Islam in a constantly negative light. I think the way media has focused on negative actions of a few individuals has created false perceptions of the world's second largest religion.

“The media needs to play a much stronger role in countering the false perceptions that exist and create a much more balanced dialogue."

Earlier in July, an analysis by the British Council of Muslims suggested news stories in the media about Islam were negative and had contributed to the rise in Islamophobia in the UK.

The results of the survey are due to be unveiled at the UK’s largest Muslim convention.

The Holy Quran teaches lessons of tolerance and peace (GETTY)

The Jalsa Salana will see 38,000 Muslims from over one hundred countries will gather to challenge misunderstandings around the faith.

Rafiq Hayat, National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, said:“The findings of this survey show just how misunderstood Islam is in the UK.

“Islam actually places an emphasis on integration and contributing to the society you live in, which is what the 35,000 Muslims who'll be gathering at the UK's largest Islamic convention aim to show - that loyalty to your country is in fact a part of your faith.

“We are saying that if people want to know if Islam really does promote violence, they should come and meet the thousands at the convention where they can have frank but respectful conversations.”

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