University of Birmingham survey reveals Islamophobia is the posh person’s prejudice

University of Birmingham survey reveals Islamophobia is the posh person's prejudice

University of Birmingham survey reveals Islamophobia is the posh person’s prejudice

A survey led by the University of Birmingham says people from middle and upper-class occupational groups are more likely to hold prejudiced views of Islam than people from working class occupational groups.

The survey, which was carried out in conjunction with YouGov, found that 23.2% of people who come from the social group ABC1 harbor prejudiced views about Islamic beliefs compared with only 18.4% of people questioned from the C2DE group.[1] However, when asked their views about Muslims, or most other ethnic or religious minority groups, older people, men, working class people and Conservative and Leave voters are consistently more likely to hold prejudiced views.

The survey, presented in a report titled ‘The Dinner Table Prejudice: Islamophobia in Contemporary Britain’, interviewed a sample of 1667 people between 20th and 21st July 2021 which was weighted by age, gender, social grade, voting record, region and level of education to ensure representativeness. Weighting was based on the census, Labor Force Survey, Office for National Statistics estimates, and other large-scale data sources.

Other key notable findings in the survey are:

1. Muslims are the UK’s second ‘least liked’ group, after Gypsy and Irish Travelers

2. More than one in four people, and nearly half of Conservative and Leave voters, hold conspiratorial views about Sharia ‘no-go areas’

3. Support for prohibiting all Muslim migration to the UK is 4-6% higher for Muslims than it is for other ethnic and religious groups

4. The British public is almost three times more likely to hold prejudiced views of Islam than they are of other religions

5. British people are more confident in making judgements about Islam than other non-Christian religions but are much more likely to make incorrect assumptions about it

Prejudice towards Islam and Muslims stands out in the UK, not only because it is much more widespread than most forms of racism, but also because prejudice toward Islam is more common among those who are wealthier and well-educated.

The survey also has made specific recommendations to scale back the rise of Islamophobia:

• Government and other public figures should publicly acknowledge and address the lack of public criticism that Islamophobic discourses and practices trigger, and how Islamophobia stands out compared with other forms of racism and prejudice.

• Civil society organizations and equality bodies concerned with prejudice and discrimination should acknowledge that systemic miseducation about Islam is common in British society and forms an important element of Islamophobia.

• Educators should provide clear guidance clarifying when tropes about the Islamic tradition move from acceptable criticism to become harmful.

• Civil society organizations should introduce religious literacy as a component part of any large-scale equality and diversity campaign or policy initiative.

• The BBC and other broadcasters should maintain their commitments to religion programming, but with renewed emphasis on combatting intolerance.

Commenting on the recommendations Dr Stephen H. Jones says: “No-one is calling for laws regulating criticism of religion, but we have to recognize that the British public has been systematically miseducated about Islamic tradition and take steps to remedy this.”

Read the full report HERE.

Source: University of Birmingham

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