28% of young UK people 'do not trust Muslims' - poll

Results of BBC Radio 1 survey indicate need to educate young people about Islam
28% of young UK people 'do not trust Muslims' - poll
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 28 Sep 2013 10:49 AM

More than a quarter of young adults in Britain do not trust Muslims, the results of a BBC Radio 1 poll has suggested.

Of the 1,000 18 to 24-year-olds questioned, 28 percent said Britain would be better off with fewer Muslims, while 44 percent said Muslims did not share the same values as the rest of the population.

Another 60 percent thought the British public had a negative image of Muslims, according to the poll which was published by BBC Online.

Akeela Ahmed, from a cross-government working group on anti-Muslim hatred, was quoted as telling the BBC: "These findings indicate that we need to ensure young people are mixing at local levels and that they're working on projects together so that people can get to know Muslims and vice versa."

Made up of civil servants, academics, and members of the Islamic community, the group was launched last year and its job is to advise the government on how to tackle prejudice.

Other findings in the survey, conducted in June, included only three in 10 think Muslims are doing enough to combat extremism in their communities.

However the results also showed that overall young people are more likely to agree (48 percent) than disagree (27 percent) that Islam is a peaceful religion.

Young people also said they are divided over whether or not immigration is good for Britain overall. Two-fifths (42 percent) said it is a good thing but more than a third (35 percent) disagreed.

The government group said constant negative media coverage on Islam was shaping people's views.

Figures from the Metropolitan Police released in August suggest there has been a 61 percent rise in anti-Muslim crime in London over the past year, the BBC reported.

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