Most British Muslims feel a strong connection to their country, but their views on a number of hot-button social issues diverge from those of the non-Muslim population, a recent poll found. While Muslims generally feel the U.K. is a good place to lead a Muslim life, many remain firm on conservative values, including those regarding women's rights and homosexuality.
The survey, conducted by ICM Unlimited, found that 86 percent of those polled reported a strong sense of belonging in Britain; the national average is 83 percent. Even more people — 91 percent — reported feeling a strong sense of belonging to their particular locale, significantly higher than the 76 percent national average. Eighty-eight percent said Britain was a good place to live as a Muslim, and 78 percent said they wished to integrate into British society.
CORRECTION: Half of the 1,800 Muslims polled think homosexuality should be illegal, not half of 2mil+ population _ https://t.co/G80qvrUA0B
— ginge (@rosieannesmith) April 10, 2016
When asked about homosexuality, however, 52 percent said they disagreed with it being legal, while 18 percent said they supported it being legal. Among the general public, just 5 percent of the population disagreed with homosexuality being legal. Some, like Shaista Gohir of the Muslim Women’s Network U.K., said other devout individuals, including Jews and Christians, could hold similar views on social issues, the Guardian reported.
Twenty-three percent of those polled supported introducing Sharia law in parts of Britain, although it was unclear exactly what that entailed. Another 39 percent said wives should obey their husbands. Some viewed the findings as proof that a "nation within a nation" has developed.
On questions related to terrorism, Muslims overwhelmingly opposed violence. Just 1 percent said they completely sympathized with those who take part in suicide bombing, and 3 percent said they sympathized to some extent.
Polling shows British Muslims significantly at odds with other Britons on social issues https://t.co/XcuojuXG6k
— Bernard Keane (@BernardKeane) April 11, 2016
The poll was conducted in face-to-face interviews with 1,000 British Muslims between April 25 and May 31 last year. It was commissioned by Channel 4 for a documentary set to air Wednesday, entitled “What British Muslims Really Think.” ICM did not include a margin of error in its survey report. There are about 3 million Muslims in the country, which has a total population of about 64 million.
Muslim communities in Britain have come under scrutiny amid growing concerns of Islamic extremism. Leaders have routinely sought to distance themselves from terrorism.