A new ICM poll examining the attitudes of British Muslims found that a sizeable minority approves of polygamy and the application of Shariah law, while a majority believe that homosexuality should be made illegal.
“Liberal opinion in Britain has, for more than two decades, maintained that most Muslims are just like everyone else, but with more modest dress sense and more luxuriant facial hair; any differences would fade with time and contact,” Trevor Philips, who commissioned the poll as part of an upcoming documentary, writes in the Sunday Times. “But thanks to the most detailed and comprehensive survey of British Muslim opinion yet conducted, we now know that just isn’t how it is.”
Born to a family of Caribbean immigrants, Philips is one of Britain’s best-known progressive activists. He chaired the Commission for Racial Equality and its successor, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, between 2003 and 2012, and also authored a pro-Muslim report two decades ago that is credited with introducing the concept of Islamophobia into public discourse. Yet, Philips writes that he was “astonished” by the results of the survey.
“The data collected by the respected research firm ICM shows what the polling experts call ‘a chasm’ opening between Muslims and non-Muslims on such fundamentals as marriage, relations between men and women, schooling, freedom of expression and even the validity of violence in defense of religion. And the chasm isn’t going to disappear any time soon; indeed, the gaps between Muslim and non-Muslim youngsters are nearly as large as those between their elders,” wrote Philips.
Regarding attitudes towards the family, 39 percent of Muslims, regardless of gender, said that a woman should always obey her husband. In addition, 31 percent of those surveyed said that a man should be entitled to have more than one wife – a practice that is illegal in the UK. Five percent of those asked said that they sympathize with the view that women should be stoned to death for committing adultery...