Guardian Unlimited reports :
“Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have thought about leaving Britain after the London bombings, according to a new Guardian/ICM poll.
The figure illustrates how widespread fears are of an anti-Muslim backlash following the July 7 bombings which were carried out by British born suicide bombers.
The poll also shows that tens of thousands of Muslims have suffered from increased Islamophobia, with one in five saying they or a family member have faced abuse or hostility since the attacks.
Police have recorded more than 1,200 suspected Islamophobic incidents across the country ranging from verbal abuse to one murder in the past three weeks. The poll suggests the headline figure is a large underestimate.one in five saying they or a family member have faced abuse or hostility since the attacks……..
Britain’s Muslim population is estimated at 1.6million, with 1.1million over 18, meaning more than half a million may have considered the possibility of leaving………..
The poll finds a huge rejection of violence by Muslims with nine in 10 believing it has no place in a political struggle. Nearly nine out of 10 said they should help the police tackle extremists in the Islamic communities in Britain.
A small rump, potentially running into thousands, told ICM of their support for the attacks on July 7 which killed 56 and left hundreds wounded – and 5% said that more attacks would be justified. Those findings are troubling for those urgently trying to assess the pool of potential suicide bombers.
One in five polled said Muslim communities had integrated with society too much already, while 40% said more was needed and a third said the level was about right.
More than half wanted foreign Muslim clerics barred or thrown out of Britain, but a very sizeable minority, 38%, opposed that.
Half of Muslims thought that they needed to do more to prevent extremists infiltrating their community.”
I am absolutely astonished that this reporting sees 5% as a “small rump”. Eighty thousand muslims who believe more attacks are justified is a major, major security concern. Does this mean that Blairs new anti-incitement legistlation will see thousands upon thousands of Muslims deported? Will the media continue to reassure us that the “vast majority” of Muslims are anti-violence? What will the Muslim community do to either root out this 80,000 or pursuade them that living in a peaceful tolerant society is in their own interests?
Osama Bin Laden wants to ignite a religious war, and as a result I can understand why governments and newspapers are eager to paint the majority of Muslims as peaceful law abiding citizens. We need the average Muslim to remain committed to peaceful co-operation. As many as 5% of British Muslims being supportive of violence is a serious problem for us- we MUST find ways of winning the hearts and minds of our Muslim fellow-citizens.