Baroness Warsi: Fewer than one in four people believe Islam is compatible with British way of life

 

Fewer than one in four people now believe that following Islam is compatible with a British way of life, Britain's most senior Muslim minister will warn today.

Highlighting unpublished research showing that a majority of the country now believes that Islam is a threat to Western civilisation Baroness Sayeeda Warsi will say that “underlying, unfounded mistrust” of Muslims is in itself fuelling extremism.

And she will cite new figures from the Association of Chief Police Officers showing that between 50 to 60 per cent of all religious hate crimes reported to police in Britain are now perpetrated against Muslims.

“My fear is that seeing one community as the ‘other’ is a slippery slope that will enable extremists to advance their twisted interests unchecked,” she will say.

“I don’t have to remind anyone what happens when an unfounded suspicion of one people can escalate into unspeakable horror.”

Two years ago Baroness Warsi, who has responsibility in Government for faith and communities, was criticised claiming that Islamophobia in Britain “had passed the dinner table test”.

But in her speech to a support service for those who have suffered anti-Muslim attacks Baroness Warsi will say new data supports the evidence of widespread anti-Muslim feeling in the UK.

She will cite new research by academics that shows that just 23 per cent of a representative sample questioned said that Islam was not a threat to Western civilisation.

Just 24 per cent thought Muslims were compatible with the British way of life – with nearly half of people disagreeing that Muslims were compatible.

This compares with research among Muslims that showed 83 per were proud to be British, compared to 79 per cent of Britons overall.

“When I said that Islamophobia had ‘passed the dinner table test’ I got a fair amount of stick,” she will say.

“There were those who denied the problem existed. There were those who said talking about it was dangerous. But let me tell you what’s really dangerous: It’s when a country turns a blind eye towards that discrimination.”

She said preliminary figures from the Association of Chief Police officers found that between 50 to 60 per cent of religious hate crimes were now perpetrated against Muslims - amounting to hundreds of attacks a year.

But Baroness Warsi will warn that not enough leadership is being given by politicians to tackling Islamaphobia and misconceptions about Islam in the UK.

“Anti-Muslim hatred is a form of prejudice and there should be no place in Britain for this prejudice,” she will say.

“It would be a more powerful message from a non-Muslim, someone for whom this is not personally painful.

”The fact is that everyone should have an interest in this issue.

“It’s not just a matter for Muslims or a matter for people of faith. It’s a matter for everyone who cares about Britain being the modern, equal, fair society that we want it to be.”

Baroness Warsi said more work needed to be done highlighting Muslim role models such as Mo Farah.

“To those who say that there is a conflict of being loyal to Britain and a Muslim, you have to look no further than Mohamed Farah,” she will say.

“Our national hero is a practising Muslim. The double gold medallist saw no conflict between crossing the finish line in the Union Flag and dropping to the ground in prayer.

”In fact, he showed how seamlessly religion and patriotism can go together.“

She will also cite Muslim like her own family - who fought alongside British soldiers in both world wars.

”Thousands of Muslims from the Commonwealth fought alongside the Allies in both the world wars. These patriots fought and died for the freedoms we all enjoy today.

“People like my two grandfathers who fought for this country long before my parents came to its shores.

And you will therefore understand why I will not take lessons on loyalty from those on the extreme right who demonstrate the ideology of intolerance – the very fascism that my grandparents fought all those years ago.”

It’s a matter for everyone who cares about Britain being the modern, equal, fair society that we want it to be.“

Baroness Warsi will pledge further Government support for combatting all types of Muslim discrimination and restore Britain's reputation for tolerance.

”Let’s prove that we once again can rise to the challenge and stamp out this new and rising form of prejudice. There should be no place in Britain for this prejudice.“

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial