Britain’s Muslim Problem
At least 800 British Muslims have left the country to wage jihad with Islamic State. Another 600 were caught trying to join the group. If that isn’t warning enough about the failure of Britain’s three million Muslims to assimilate, a new survey of British-Muslim attitudes should be.
The survey of 1,081 adult Muslims, conducted by the research firm ICM using face-to-face interviews, will be featured in a documentary on Britain’s Channel 4 on Wednesday. The Times of London has published some of the findings, and they make alarming reading.
Thirty-one percent of respondents believe that a British Muslim man should be permitted to marry more than one woman. Fifty-two percent believe homosexuality should be illegal. Twenty-three percent support replacing British law in some areas of Britain with Shariah law, the system of Muslim jurisprudence. Under its strictest versions, a woman’s testimony and parental inheritance rights are legally worth half of a man’s, and adultery is punishable by stoning.
More than a third of Muslims think Jews have too much power in Britain, compared with 9% of the general population. Meanwhile, 7% of respondents support the establishment of an Islamic state, and 4% sympathize with the idea of committing terrorism “as a form of political protest.” Those last two figures seem small, until you consider that they could total some 100,000 to 200,000 British Muslims.
Some Muslim organizations dispute the results. The pollsters concentrated on communities where 20% of the population is Muslim. These are some of Britain’s poorest neighborhoods, critics argue, and the pollsters were more likely to interview the country’s least-integrated Muslims, skewing the results.
That doesn’t change the fact that large numbers of British Muslims are physically and ideologically segregated, and want to stay that way. Intermarriage rates are extremely low, and one of five ICM respondents never visits a non-Muslim home.
Many Muslim leaders perpetuate this segregation, and the authorities too often have helped them—for instance, by allowing concerns about political correctness to dictate the level of police presence in majority-Muslim neighborhoods and the enforcement of British laws. That was the case in Rotherham, where the police and other municipal authorities for years ignored or played down widespread allegations that Muslim men were “grooming” underage girls for sexual exploitation.
Prosecutors also resisted investigating allegations of political corruption in a heavily Muslim East London neighborhood, where the former mayor last year was ousted by an election judge in part for having cooperated with local imams to exercise “undue spiritual influence” over voters.
The poll is sparking discussion about a “state within a state.” The government has belatedly wised up to the danger, cracking down on Muslim efforts to segregate public schools in cities like Birmingham. Prime Minister David Cameron proposes to make English-language proficiency a visa requirement, in particular so that the estimated 190,000 Muslim women who speak little or no English can’t be prevented by their husbands from participating more fully in British life. The results are also encouraging fresh calls to stop the flow of overseas funding for radical, segregationist preachers.
This survey shows how tardy such measures are, and also how little Britain can afford further delay. The longer it persists, the greater the threat Britain’s Muslim cultural isolation will pose to Britain’s liberal civilization.