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issues_islam
(07/17/07) -

Blame Fanatics, Not Islam, Say Britons

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in Britain have a positive view of Islam, according to a poll by Communicate Research. 60 per cent of respondents believe Islam is fundamentally a religion of peace that some fanatics have interpreted in a violent way.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in Britain have a positive view of Islam, according to a poll by Communicate Research. 60 per cent of respondents believe Islam is fundamentally a religion of peace that some fanatics have interpreted in a violent way.

Conversely, 17 per cent of respondents consider Islam as a religion of war that is not compatible with modern Western values.

On Oct. 17, 2001, United States president George W. Bush declared that the war on terrorism was “not a war on Islam.” The same sentiment was echoed by then-British prime minister Tony Blair.

On Jul. 7, 2005, four blasts in London killed at least 53 people and injured 700 more. Investigators say three British nationals of Pakistani descent and a Jamaican-born man were responsible for the explosions at three underground stations and a double-decker bus. Authorities believe the event was a coordinated suicide bombing, the first to ever occur in Western Europe.

In late June and early July, two attempted car bombings were reported in the British capital, and a car—filled with gas cylinders and fuel—crashed into the doors of Scotland’s Glasgow Airport in another apparent attack. Six people have been arrested in connection with the incidents, which according to British investigators, are related. All are non-British Muslims who had worked in Britain’s state-run National Health Service (NHS).

On Jul. 14, Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims around the world and a billionaire anti-poverty activist, talked about the current tension between Muslims and the West as he opened his personal art collection to the public in London, declaring, “Political situations with a theological overlay are causing disaffection or antagonism between communities of the same faith, and even more so amongst different faiths. At the centre of this turbulence is Islam. We cannot let this continue.”

Polling Data

What is your view of Islam?

Islam is fundamentally a religion of peace but
fanatics have interpreted it in a violent way

60%

Islam is fundamentally a religion of war which
sits uneasily with modern Western culture

17%

Islam means too many things to too many people to tell

3%

Refused

6%

Don’t know

14%

Source: Communicate Research
Methodology: Interviews with 1,001 British adults, conducted from Jul. 6 to Jul. 8, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.