Monday, July 25, 2005

Dodgy surveys

The Telegraph ran a survey last week and headlined the result that 32% of British Muslims believe that Western society is decadent and immoral. This was the result of a survey of just over 500 Muslims by YouGov. We are told that this was an online survey, but we don't know how this group was selected. To be honest, I don't know what that headline tells us. If you change it to 32% of Catholics or Anglicans or Jews, would any of us be particularly surprised? Religions tend to be fairly moralistic - they exist to create and justify an ethical structure for life, so it isn't a surprise when they object to some behaviours and attitudes that secular society accepts.

I'd also note that over half of Muslims reckoned that Western society wasn't perfect, but that they should live with it and not try to bring it to an end. Aside from the 'don't know' option, those who took the survey were only offered three degrees of negativity about our society. The Telegraph report tells us that
'Most Muslims are evidently moderate and law-abiding but by no means all are.'

Which is hardly a great revelation - the same can be said of any community in this country. There are issues raised within the survey that do require attention - half believe that British political leaders don't respect Islam or mean what they say about equality and there seems to have been an increase in hostility towards Muslims by others in society, with a serious concern that further attacks could make it worse.

On the positive side, 70% feel that they should report suspicions to the police, 90% would tell somebody if they came across someone trying to radicalise young British Muslims, two-thirds believe that the Muslim community has to share the responsibility for dealing with terrorism and over three-quarters feel loyal to this country.

Saying that we have a broadly loyal, law-abiding community who are worried about being attacked wouldn't have made quite such a good headline, would it?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Telegraph? That neo-nazi newspaper!

PoliticalHack said...

Not exactly.

I'd just expect a little better from them and the author.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what I expect from them. Lots more to come.