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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 13:04 GMT
British Muslims poll: Key points
Key findings from a survey by the centre-right think tank, Policy Exchange, of more than 1,000 Muslims living across the UK.


  • 86% of Muslims feel that religion is the most important thing in their life
  • 36% of 16 to 24-year-olds believe if a Muslim converts to another religion they should be punished by death, compared with 19% of over-55s
  • 62% of 16 to 24-year-olds feel they have as much in common with non-Muslims as Muslims, compared with 71% of over-55s


  • 60% of Muslims would prefer to send their children to a mixed state school, compared with 35% who would prefer to send their child to an Islamic school
  • 37% of 16 to 24-year-olds would prefer to send their children to Islamic state schools, compared with 19% of over-55s


  • 59% of Muslims would prefer to live under British law, compared with 28% who would prefer to live under Sharia law
  • 37% of 16 to 24-year-olds prefer Sharia compared with 17% of over-55s


  • 74% of 16 to 24-year-olds would prefer Muslim women to choose to wear the veil, compared with only 28% of over-55s
  • 21% of Muslims have consumed alcohol
  • 65% have paid interest on a normal mortgage
  • 19% have gambled
  • 9% have admitted to taking drugs


  • 7% "admire organisations like al-Qaeda that are prepared to fight the West". 13% of 16 to 24-year-olds agreed with this statement compared with 3% of over-55s
  • 41% named foreign policy as an important issue to Muslims but they were not necessarily more informed or engaged than the wider population
  • 58% believe that "many of the problems in the world today are a result of arrogant Western attitudes"


  • 37% believe that "one of the benefits of modern society is the freedom to criticise other people's religious or political views, even when it causes offence"
  • 28% of Muslims believe that authorities in Britain go over the top in trying not to offend Muslims
  • 75% believe it was wrong for a council to ban an advertisement for a Christmas carol service in 2003 for fear of causing tension
  • 64% believe it was wrong for a council to ban all images of pigs from its offices, for example on calendars and toys in 2005, for fear of offending Muslims


  • Stop emphasising difference and engage with Muslims as citizens, not through their religious identity
  • Recognise that the Muslim "community" is not homogenous, and attempts to give group rights or representation will only alienate sections of the population further
  • Stop treating Muslims as a vulnerable group. The exaggeration of Islamophobia does not make Muslims feel protected but instead reinforces feelings of victimisation and alienation
  • Encourage a broader intellectual debate in order to challenge the crude anti-Western, anti-British ideas that dominate cultural and intellectual life. This means allowing free speech and debate, even when it causes offence to some minority groups
  • Keep a sense of perspective. The obsession of politicians and the media with scrutinising the wider Muslim population, either as victims or potential terrorists, means that Muslims are regarded as outsiders, rather than as members of society like everyone else

Muslims give their views to pollsters


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