UK Muslims blame Islamophobia on the portrayal of their religion in the media, a survey has revealed.
The research found that 40% of Muslims blamed anti-Islamic feelings on the media, while 74% of non-Muslims blamed Islamophobia on the 9/11 bombings.
The internet survey of 1,360 people was carried out by Global Market Insite, Muslim Voice UK, Queens University in Belfast and the University of Liverpool.
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The report by Shaista Gohir, from online forum Muslim Voice UK, stated: “The Muslim-West relations have become increasingly strained due to a string of events such as the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Afghanistan war in 2002, the Iraq war, the London bombings in 2005 and the Danish cartoon row.
“In this current climate, it is essential to gauge Muslim and non-Muslim attitudes with a view to resolving differences.”
The research found that both sides agree that Muslims and non-Muslims “don’t understand each other” but have different concerns about the cause of the culture clash.
She sets out recommendations including action by the Muslim community and police; breaking down barriers to integration and misunderstandings; tackling discrimination and Islamophobia; measures to deal with extremism; reviewing foreign policy; protecting human rights and more responsible reporting by the media.
She said: “It was striking that Muslims feel more strongly about international issues than say, their treatment by police or discrimination in the UK.
“It also appears that Islamophobia, Western foreign policy and human rights abuses of Muslims are contributing substantially to the alienation of UK Muslims.
“On the other hand, non-Muslims are concerned about extremism, the lack of integration, Muslims not being proud to be British and the lack of tolerance by Muslims. However, the biggest threat to good Muslim and non-Muslim community relations is the misinformation on Islam in the media.”