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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > "Deeply Alarming" Study- Nearly Two Thirds of UK's Activist Muslim Students Justify Violent Jihad

"Deeply Alarming" Study- Nearly Two Thirds of UK's Activist Muslim Students Justify Violent Jihad

July 28, 2008

"Deeply Alarming" Study - Nearly Two Thirds Of UK's Activist Muslim Students Justify Violent Jihad

Fundamentalist Islam "Incompatible With Democracy"

By WILLIAM MAYER and BEILA RABINOWITZ

July 28, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - A study released today which calls into question some of the most basic and prevalent attitudes in the West regarding the possibility of reaching accommodation with fundamentalist Muslims Executive Summary, Islam on Campus: A survey of UK student opinions] shows that 60% of students active in university based Islamic societies believe that, "killing in the name of religion can be justified," 40% support the introduction of Shar'ia into the legal framework and 33% favor the establishment of the Caliphate, a world-wide Islamic theocracy.

The report was commissioned by the Centre for Social Cohesion and conducted by YouGov.

Given the extreme nature of the Muslim students views, non-Muslim students have developed negative attitudes regarding them, with half stating that Islam was, "very or fairly incompatible with democracy."

Regarding the findings, the report's co-author, Hannah Stuart said, "These findings are deeply alarming...Students in higher education are the future leaders of their communities. Yet significant numbers of them appear to hold beliefs which contravene liberal democratic values." [source, UK Guardian, Radical Islam gains ground on campuses, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/27/islam.highereducation]

Realizing the damage such a study could do to the prevailing liberal attitude supportive of extreme cultural accommodation, apologists have stepped into the breach with Wes Streeting, president of the National Union of Students [NUS] claiming, "This is just another report by a biased, right-wing think-tank...a willful misrepresentation of the views of Muslim students," however Mr. Streeting failed to demonstrate the alleged defects in the polling methodology. He also failed to note that the poll [involving a sample universe of 1,400 - 600 Muslims and 800 non-Muslims] was not conducted by the Center for Social Cohesion, but only commissioned by them and conducted by a respected UK research company.

The ferocious response to this study is understandable since it challenges the twin hallowed post-modernist Western paradigms of moral equivalency and secular humanism, because it demonstrates that the strategy of obtaining "social inclusion" via policies of cultural appeasement and faith outreach to militant Muslims has failed. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=ukislamid=7.28.08%2Ehtm

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NOTE: The poll data is posted in the report at http://www.socialcohesion.co.uk/pdf/IslamonCampusExecutiveSummary.pdf [Executive Summary, attached] and http://www.socialcohesion.co.uk/pdf/IslamonCampus.pdf [full report, 6.2 MB]. 3 clips from British press are pasted below.

Radicalism and support for sharia is strong in British universities

Abul Taher

From The Sunday Times (London) July 27, 2008 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4407115.ece

ALMOST a third of British Muslim students believe killing in the name of Islam can be justified, according to a poll.

The study also found that two in five Muslims at university support the incorporation of Islamic sharia codes into British law.

The YouGov poll for the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) will raise concerns about the extent of campus radicalism. "Significant numbers appear to hold beliefs which contravene democratic values," said Han-nah Stuart, one of the report's authors. "These results are deeply embarrassing for those who have said there is no extremism in British universities."

The report was criticised by the country's largest Muslim student body, Fosis, but Anthony Glees, professor of security and intelligence studies at Buckingham University, said: "The finding that a large number of students think it is okay to kill in the name of religion is alarming.

"There is a wide cultural divide between Muslim and nonMuslim students. The solution is to stop talking about celebrating diversity and focus on integration and assimilation."

The researchers found that 55% of nonMuslim students thought Islam was incompatible with democracy. Nearly one in 10 had "little respect" for Muslims.

In addition to its poll of 1,400 Muslim and nonMuslim students, the centre visited more than 20 universities to interview students and listen to guest speakers. It found that extremist preachers regularly gave speeches that were inflammatory, homophobic or bordering on antisemitic.

The researchers highlighted Queen Mary college, part of London University, as a campus where radical views were widely held. Last December, a speaker named Abu Mujahid encouraged Muslim students to condemn gays because "Allah hates" homosexuality. In November, Azzam Tamimi, a British-based supporter of Hamas, described Israel as the most "inhumane project in the modern history of humanity".

James Brandon, deputy director at CSC , said: "Our researchers found a ghettoised mentality among Muslim students at Queen Mary. Also, we found the segregation between Muslim men and women at events more visible at Queen Mary."

A spokesman for Queen Mary said the university was aware the preachers had visited but did not know the contents of their speeches. "Clearly, we in no way associate ourselves with these views. However, also integral to the spirit of university life is free speech and debate and on occasion speakers will make statements that are deemed offensive."

In the report, 40% of Muslim students said it was unacceptable for Muslim men and women to associate freely. Homophobia was rife, with 25% saying they had little or no respect for gays. The figure was higher (32%) for male Muslim students. Among nonMuslims, the figure was only 4%.

The research found that a third of Muslim students supported the creation of a world-wide caliphate or Islamic state.

A number of terrorists have been radicalised at British universities. Kafeel Ahmed, who drove a flaming jeep into a building at Glasgow airport last year and died of his burns, is believed to have been radicalised while studying at Anglia Ruskin university, Cambridge.

Wes Streeting, president of the National Union of Students, condemned the study. "This disgusting report is a reflection of the biases and prejudices of a right-wing think tank not the views of Muslim students across Britain," he said. "Only 632 Muslim students were asked vague and misleading questions, and their answers were wilfully misinterpreted."

Some of the findings amplify previous research. A report by Policy Exchange last year found that 37% of all Muslims aged 16-24 would prefer to live under a sharia system.

Baroness Warwick, chief executive of Universities UK, said: "Violence, or the incitement to violence, has no place on a university campus."

Related Links

Killing for religion is justified, say third of Muslim students

A third of Muslim students in Britain believe killing someone in the name of religion is justified, a new poll claims.

By Patrick Sawer

July 26, 2008
Last Updated: 1:00AM BST 27 Jul 2008

The Daily Telegraph (London)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/2461830/Killing-for-religion-is-justified,-say-third-of-Muslim-students.html

The survey found that extreme Islamist ideology has a profound influence on a significant minority of Muslims on campuses across the country.

The findings will concern police chiefs, the security services and ministers, who are struggling with radicalisation among Muslim communities.

The YouGov poll was conducted for the Right-wing think tank, the Centre for Social Cohesion, at 12 universities, including Imperial College and Kings College London. It also found:

  • 40 per cent support the introduction of sharia into British law for Muslims
  • a third back the notion of a worldwide Islamic caliphate (state) based on sharia law
  • 40 per feel it is unacceptable for Muslim men and women to mix freely
  • 24 per cent do not think men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah
  • a quarter have little or no respect for homosexuals.

Although 53 per cent said that killing in the name of religion was never justified, compared with 94 per cent of non-Muslims, 32 per cent said that it was. Of these, 4 per cent said killing could be justified to "promote or preserve" religion, while 28 per cent said it was acceptable if that religion were under attack.

There was also sympathy for the view that Muslim soldiers in the Armed Forces should be allowed to opt out of operations in Muslim countries, with 57 per cent agreeing.

The report's authors found that Islamic societies on campus, operating under the umbrella of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, exert a strong influence on many of Britain's 90,000 Muslim students. A quarter of them belong to Islamic societies and their views are often more extreme.

While three-fifths of society members said that killing in the name of religion was acceptable, an equal number of non-member Muslims said it was never justified. The security services have identified Islamist activism at universities acts as a possible "gateway" to violent extremism. Several terrorists and sympathisers began their extremist careers on campuses.

The authors of the report, "Islam on Campus", lay much of the blame for extremism among Muslim students on the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which seeks to build a worldwide Islamic state.

YouGov polled 600 Muslim students and 800 non-Muslim students at universities with a high number of Muslims.

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Radical Islam gains ground in campuses

Poll attacked over claim that a third of Muslim students think killing in the name of religion is justified and 40 per cent support sharia law in the UK

Jamie Doward Home affairs editor The Observer UK

  • Sunday July 27 2008
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/27/islam.highereducation

Almost third of Muslim students on Britain's campuses believe killing in the name of religion can be justified, according to a controversial survey described as the most comprehensive of its kind.

The poll, conducted for Islam on Campus, a new report from the Centre for Social Cohesion think-tank, also found that 40 per cent of those interviewed supported the introduction of sharia law for British Muslims.

But the findings have been fiercely attacked by student groups which described the poll's methodology as 'deeply flawed' and accused the report's authors of isolating Muslims.

The YouGov survey found that 32 per cent of Muslim students polled said killing in the name of religion was justified, compared to 2 per cent of non-Muslims. A third of those polled said they supported a worldwide Islamic caliphate, or government, and more than half - 54 per cent - supported the idea of having their own political party at Westminster. Just under a quarter did not believe men and women were equal in the eyes of Allah, while 25 per cent said they had little or no respect for homosexuals.

'These findings are deeply alarming,' said Hannah Stuart, the report's co-author. 'Students in higher education are the future leaders of their communities. Yet significant numbers of them appear to hold beliefs which contravene liberal democratic values.'

But the claims were met with a ferocious response from the National Union of Students. 'This is just another report by a biased, right-wing think-tank whose conclusions are drawn from an extremely limited number of students,' said Wes Streeting, president of the NUS. 'It is a wilful misrepresentation of the views of Muslim students designed to create as sensational a picture as possible. It can serve only to generate a climate of fear on campuses.'

Ed Husain, author of The Islamist and a former member of the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has been banned from most campuses, has claimed that universities are a fertile breeding ground for extremists.

In 2005, Professor Anthony Glees of Brunel University said that he had identified 'extremist and/or terror groups' at 30 universities. But his claims were largely dismissed by many academics and the NUS.

More recently, the government has published guidelines on combating Islamic extremism on university campuses. The higher education minister, Bill Rammell, said recently: 'There is evidence of serious, but not widespread, Islamist extremist activity in higher education institutions.'

In June, the government launched a series of roadshows at British universities aimed at countering the threat of campus radicalisation.

Stuart said that the report's findings showed there were signs of growing religious segregation on campuses. 'These results are deeply embarrassing for those who have said that there is no extremism in British universities.'

The report, based on a poll of 600 Muslims and 800 non-Muslims and which also drew on face-to-face interviews with representatives from leading student groups, also showed some members of Islamic societies held opinions that were significantly more extreme than those of non-members.

Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), said the findings showed that groups such as the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, which claims to represent the 90,000 Muslim students attending Britain's universities, could not claim to represent mainstream opinion.

'It is vital that students and government understand that groups like [the federation] - who represent a highly conservative interpretation of Islam - are not representative of all Muslim students,' Murray said. 'Empowering these groups risks giving an official stamp of approval to extreme forms of Islam.'

But Streeting disagreed. 'The CSC has an unhealthy obsession with Muslims and Islam,' he said. 'Muslim societies are the key to forging a culture of inclusivity and the way this report suggests that they are part of the problem is extremely damaging.'

The report also found that many non-Muslim students hold negative attitudes towards Islam. Half of the non-Muslim students polled believed Islam and western democracy were incompatible. More than three-quarters said they believed men and women were not considered equal in Islam.


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