“The integration of Muslims will probably be the hardest task” the UK has ever faced, according to the country's former Equality and Human Rights Commission chairman Trevor Phillips.
He made the comments about a new study conducted for Britain’s Channel 4 TV, analyzing What British Muslims Really Think.
The poll indicated that large numbers of Muslims, 86 percent, feel a strong sense of belonging towards Britain, while 88% think the UK is a good place for Muslims to live. On most things 78% say they would like to integrate.
However, there are key differences where sections of the Muslim community have very different and troubling views.
“On specific issues – families, sexuality, gender, attitudes towards Jews and on questions of violence and terrorism,” Phillips told BBC Radio 4’s Today Program, “the centre of gravity of British Muslim opinion is some distance away from the centre of gravity of everyone else’s opinion.”
Here are some of the more worrying find of the poll:
- 23% support the introduction of sharia into Muslim areas of Britain.
- 39% agree “wives should always obey their husbands” (5% for the general population).
- 52% think homosexuality should be illegal, compared with 5% of the country as a whole. Only 18% of Muslims agree it should be legal.
- 47% believe it is unacceptable for a gay person to be a teacher (14% for the general population).
- 35% say Jews have too much power in Britain (5% of the general population).
The study polled 1,000 Muslims on a range of attitudes. A control group of 1,008 people representative of the country as a whole was also interviewed for comparison purposes.
As head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2003-2012 and an influential Labour politician before that, Trevor Phillips had a hand in the creation of the multicultural policies which are now being blamed for the creation of segregated ghettoes in British society. In 1997 he commissioned the Runneymede Report, which popularized the term "islamophobia" in the UK.
Yet now, in the light of this evidence he has reevalutated his position.
"For a long time, I too thought that Europe’s Muslims would become like previous waves of migrants, gradually abandoning their ancestral ways, wearing their religious and cultural baggage lightly, and gradually blending into Britain’s diverse identity landscape," he wrote in The Times. "I should have known better."
The full survey will be broadcast on Channel Four on April 13 in the UK.
Writing for the Daily Mail, Trevor Phillips laid out the ways in which Britain has failed at integrating Muslims and laid the groundwork for the separatist communities that exist today.
“Liberal-minded Muslims have been saying for some time that our live-and-let-live attitudes have allowed a climate to grow in which extremist ideas have flourished within Britain’s Muslim communities.
Our politicians have tried to reassure us that only a tiny minority hold dangerous views.
All the while, girls are shipped off to have their genitals mutilated, young women and men are being pressured into marriages they do not want, and teenagers are being seduced into donning suicide vests or becoming jihadi brides.
We have ‘understood’ too much, and challenged too little – and in doing so are in danger of sacrificing a generation of young British people to values that are antithetical to the beliefs of most of us, including many Muslims.”
Clarion Project released “By The Numbers” a viral video analyzing polls from countries across the Muslim world in December. We also found that large proportions of the Muslim population hold extreme views on the similar issues of sharia, women’s rights, minority rights and terrorism.
Watch the clip:
Yet rather than listen to Phillips’ warning, some prefer to continue to deny the gravity of the problem. The Guardian’s coverage of the forthcoming documentary highlighted the extent to which British Muslims “feel strong sense of belonging” in the headline, only reporting that half sought to ban homosexuality later.
The Guardian did not report that 35% think Jews have too much power.
Meanwhile, more revelations about extremism continue to surface.
A Muslim Labour Party councilor from the town of Luton (birth place of the ultra rightist English Defence League) has just been stripped of her position for tweeting that Hitler was the “the greatest man in history” and her hopes “LOOOL IRAN ARE GOING TO HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON AND WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP #TEAMAHMEDINEJAD.” The Tweets, posted between 2011 and 2014 have only surfaced now.
Leaflets calling for the death of Ahmadi Muslims who refuse to convert to mainstream Islam were found this week in the Stockwell Green Mosque in London. The Ahmadi are a heterodox minority sect of Islam that believes their founder was the messiah. They are regarded as heretics by other Muslim sects.
Last week an Ahmadi Muslim shopkeeper, Asad Shah, was brutally murdered for "disrespecting Islam". Now a Facebook page praising his murderer has been set up, gaining 700 "likes" according to the Daily Mail.
“Britain’s liberal Muslims are crying out for this challenge to be confronted” Trevor Phillips wrote. “The complacency we’ve displayed so far is leaving them to fight alone, and putting our society in danger. We cannot continue to sit on the fence in the hope that the problem will go away.”