Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist. UK Counter-Extremism Strategy
Islamic terrorists are certainly extremists who use violence to further their cause of Islam. And time and time again, we are told by our politicians and much of the liberal media that these extremists are only a tiny minority who have perverted the otherwise peaceable religion of Islam. That is why it is so important to assess the views of the wider Muslim population by way of polls and surveys, in order to test scientifically the assumption that the majority are not radical or extremist in outlook. This page summarizes some of the main findings on the attitudes of Muslims in the UK towards key aspects of civilized behaviour. The statistics are all the more interesting because several of the polls were commissioned by organizations with the probable aims of supporting multiculturalism and subduing public concern. We also collate significant findings from surveys of young Muslims to test whether they are more moderate than their elders.
The Pew Research Center estimates that there were 4.13 million Muslims in the UK in 2016, constituting 6.3% of the population. Of those, slightly more than half were born overseas.
When considering the data and its truthfulness, bear in mind that:
Islamic doctrine permits various forms of lying, dissimulation and omission to manipulate non-believers in order to defeat them and advance the cause of Islam. The studies below show several examples of statistically suspicious results, for example, high levels of "don't know" replies, suggesting masking of actual opinions.
Research finds that it only takes 10% of a group to be zealots for them to inevitably win over the entire group with their views.
16% believe suicide attacks against Israelis are justified.
37% believe Jews in Britain are "legitimate targets".
7% overall (12% of young Muslims) believe that suicide attacks against civilians in Britain can be justified and 21% overall (28% of young Muslims) believe that suicide bombings can be justified against the military in Britain.
7% (compared with 2% of whole population) support Islamic State's objective of creating a caliphate; plus 14% "don't know".
3% (compared with 1% of whole population) support the way Islamic State is trying to establish a caliphate; plus 13% "don't know".
ICM, 2015 for The Mirror: Around half of Britain's three million Muslims could be ISIS sympathisers as 3% of the overall population strongly favour the Islamic State, with another 6% somewhat favourable.
Populus, 2007 for Policy Exchange: 7% overall (13% of 16-24 year olds) admire organisations like Al-Qaeda that are prepared to fight against the West; a further 5% didn't know or refused to answer.
Populus, 2006 for The Times and ITV News: 18% would be proud or indifferent if a family member joined Al-Qaeda.
ICM, 2004 for The Guardian: 13% regard Al-Qaeda or similar attacks on the USA as justified.
ComRes, 2015 for BBC Radio 4: Up to 7% believe that Muslims should not always obey British laws.
YouGov, 2008 for Center for Social Cohesion: Muslims have the highest disability rates - with 24% of men and 21% of women claiming a disability - and Muslims are also the most likely group to be unavailable for work or not actively seeking employment due to illness, studies or family commitments.
31% identify more with Muslims in other countries than with non-Muslims in Britain.
53% overall (74% of 16-24 year olds) preferred Muslim women to wear a veil.
58% think many of the problems in the world today are a result of arrogant western attitudes.
84% feel they have been treated fairly in this society, regardless of religious beliefs.
20% think the authorities in Britain don't make enough effort in trying not to offend Muslims.
Chester University, 2007 for BBC News: Only 8% of imams preaching in British mosques were born in the UK, but 50% were from Pakistan and 20% from Bangladesh. Only 6% speak English as a first language and 45% have been in the UK for less than five years.
Pew Global, 2006: 81% consider themselves a Muslim first, rather than British. 7% consider themselves British first.
GfK NOP, 2006 for Channel 4: 62% do not believe in the protection of free speech. Only 3% are consistently for freedom of speech.
Performance and Innovation Unit, 2002 for Cabinet Office: Pakistani Muslims are three times more likely to be jobless than Hindus are. Indian Muslims are twice as likely to be unemployed than Indian Hindus are.
31% of 18-24 year olds (34% overall) would report it to the police if they thought someone close was getting involved with people who support terrorism in Syria; and 24% don’t think someone close would get involved with terrorism.
33% of 18-24 year olds (29% overall) think that there will be a Charlie Hebdo type attack in Britain; plus 24% "don't know".
6% of 18-24 year olds (6% overall) sympathize with those who threaten terrorism in political protest.
4% of 18-24 year olds (4% overall) sympathize with those who commit terrorism in political protest.
3% of 18-24 year olds (4% overall) sympathize with those who take part in suicide bombing to fight injustice.
44% of 18-24 year olds (53% overall) aren't convinced that Muslims should do more to tackle the causes of extremism in the British Muslim community.
51% of 16-24 year olds (45% overall) believe that 9/11 was a conspiracy by America and Israel.
31% of 18-24 year olds (22% overall) agree that the 7/7 bombings were justified.
Populus, 2006 for Jewish community groups: 12% of young Muslims (7% overall) believe that suicide attacks against civilians in Britain can be justified and 28% of young Muslims (21% overall) believe that suicide bombings can be justified against the military in Britain.
24% of 18-24 year olds (18% overall) sympathize with people who are violent against those who mock Muhammad.
29% of 18-24 year olds (24% overall) sympathize with those who use violence organised by groups to protect their own religion.
11% of 18-24 year olds (9% overall) sympathize with those who use violence in political protest.
YouGov, 2008, etc for Center for Social Cohesion: 32% of Muslim students believe killing in the name of religion is justified.
Populus, 2007 for Policy Exchange: 37% of 16-34 year olds (31% overall) agree that Muslim conversion is forbidden and punishable by death.
GfK NOP, 2006 for Channel 4: "Hardcore Islamists" constitute 12% of 18-24 year olds (9% overall) of the British Muslim population, and another 38% of 18-24 year olds (29% overall) would aggressively defend Islam.