"Too often today, people are ready to tell us, 'this is not possible; that is not possible'. I say, whatever the true interest of our country calls for, is always possible!"
- Enoch Powell.
Sunday, 12 December 2010
One third of British Muslim students say it's acceptable to kill for Islam
Nearly one third of Muslim students believe it can be acceptable to kill in the name of religion, according to a survey published yesterday.
It also found that 40 per cent want to see the introduction of Islamic sharia law in Britain, 40 per cent think it wrong for Muslim men and women to mix freely together, and 33 per cent want to see a worldwide Islamic government based on sharia law.
The findings were described by researchers at the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, which commissioned the poll, as 'deeply alarming'.
But a prominent Muslim student group called the report 'weak and unrepresentative' and said it undermined 'positive work carried out by Islamic societies'.
The Centre for Social Cohesion, founded last year to study religion and tolerance, has drawn attention to the extremist influence of Islamic societies and study centres at British universities.
The survey was based on a YouGov poll of 1,400 students, 600 of them Muslims, at 12 universities with influential Islamic societies.
These included eight in London, among them the London School of Economics, Imperial College, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester and Manchester.
It found that a large minority of Muslim students express views that are strongly socially conservative or which suggest they are open to extremist thinking.
Survivors flee the terror bomb blasts in London on 7/7
While 32 per cent justified killing in the name of religion if the religion was under attack, 60 per cent of students active in Islamic societies did so. Four per cent thought killing to promote religion was permissible.
More than half, 54 per cent, wanted an Islamic political party to stand up for Muslims at Westminster.
There was strong criticism of the British Government over Iraq - 66 per cent of Muslim students said they had lost respect for it.
But 30 per cent of Muslim students said their respect for British society had grown because of the negative public reaction to the Iraq war.
Report author Hannah Stuart said: 'These findings are deeply alarming. Students in higher education are the future leaders of their communities, yet significant numbers of them appear to hold beliefs which contravene liberal, democratic values.
'These results are deeply embarrassing for those who have said that there is no extremism in British universities.'
Miss Stewart also said that ministers should be wary about treating university Islamic societies as representative because their members appeared to be more extreme than other Muslim students.
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies called the survey mischievous.
Its president Faisal Hanjra said: 'This is yet another damning attack on the Muslim community by elements within the academic arena whose only purpose seems to be the undermining of sincere efforts by mainstream Muslim organisations to tackle the threat of terror which wider society faces.
'The report is methodologically weak, it is unrepresentative and above all serves only to undermine the positive work carried out by Islamic societies across the country.'
Concerns over extremism among the 90,000 Muslims studying at British universities have grown alongside the spread of radical groups, including the Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation which Tony Blair said in 2005 should be banned.
Terrorists who have passed through British universities include Kafeel Ahmed, who died after driving a burning vehicle into a Glasgow airport terminal last year, and Jawad Akbar, jailed for life in April 2007 for conspiring to attack shopping malls and nightclubs. He was said to have become involved in militancy while a student at Brunel University.