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Tuesday, June 08, 2010 06:55:08 PM, ummid.com Staff Reporter
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Malegaon: The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has expressed deep concern today following the findings of a YouGov Survey commissioned by the Exploring Islam Foundation into the attitudes of the wider public of Islam and British Muslims.
“We must not view these findings in isolation. We have sadly witnessed sections of the media and far right groups who, in the name of free speech, have been taking liberty in demonising Muslims", Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said today in a press statement while commenting on findgings of the YouGov survey.
“These findings confirm that even though British Muslims themselves feel well integrated and more patriotic to this country than ever before, we have much more to do to better communicate to our fellow Britons."
He added, “This communication gap between the overwhelming majority of British Muslims and the wider public calls for British Muslims to renew and redouble their efforts to reach out to fellow Britons and to continue to play a positive and pro-active role in challenging myths around Islam and Muslims. The ‘Inspired by Muhammad’ campaign is a timely and positive initiative and we must all join such endeavours”.
"Islamophobia is not only a threat to British Muslims, but to the very fabric of our society. Responsible journalism is central to challenging this menace. We call on our politicians to look closely at these findings and take measures to stamp out all forms of hatred", he added.
The poll reveals the grave misconceptions held by the great majority of the British public. It found that 58% of those surveyed associated Islam with extremism and exactly half associated Islam with terrorism, while more than two-thirds believed that Islam encouraged the repression of women.
Crucial to these findings, the survey further brings to light that most of the information obtained by the public on Islam was from the mainstream media: 41% from the print press while over half pointed that they obtain most of their information about Islam from TV News.
The findings, however, are in contrast with the views sampled in May 2009 by Gallup and the Coexist Foundation looking into Muslim attitudes on such issues. It clearly showed that contrary to most perceptions, 82% of British Muslims are loyal to this country and on the issue of terrorism, 89% agreed that attacks in which civilians are targeted could not be morally justified at all.
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