Redbridge charity calls for unity after research shows almost a third of Britons thinks Islam encourages Muslims to carry out violent acts
PUBLISHED: 07:59 02 August 2019
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A Redbridge charity is calling for unity after a study shows that nearly 50per cent of the country believe Islam is not compatible with British values.
According to a new poll by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and ComRes, 58per cent of adults believe that Islamophobia is widespread in the UK and almost a third (29pc) think Islam encourages Muslims to carry out acts of violence against non-Muslims.
The findings were revealed at the largest Islamic Convention, the Jalsa Salana, today (Friday, August 2) where 38,000 Muslims from over a hundred countries will gather to show the peaceful message of Islam and challenge the widespread misunderstandings of the faith and its adherents.
David Landau of Redbridge Equalities and Community Council (RECC) said the research is of "grave concern" especially when looking across Europe and seeing the success of anti-Islamic political parties.
"We know that a party which puts hostility towards Muslim centre stage is also likely to target other groups in the future.
"This puts a responsibility on politicians, the media, religious leaders and other opinion formers to show leadership, challenges myths and encourage unity in the community."
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Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the League of British Muslims in Ilford said Islam can be misunderstood in the west.
"Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, respect and caring for the poor which are core British values," he said.
"Unfortunately all faiths are misused by a tiny minority of individuals who use faith as a tool for political aims - take the IRA for example - and many more organisations world wide like this."
Rafiq Hayat, national president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, said: "The findings of this survey show just how misunderstood Islam is in the UK.
"Islam actually places an emphasis on integration and contributing to the society you live in, which is what the 35,000 Muslims who'll be gathering at the UK's largest Islamic convention aims to show - that loyalty to your country is, in fact, a part of your faith.
"We are saying that if people want to know if Islam really does promote violence, they should come and meet the thousands at the convention where they can have frank but respectful conversations."