A poll conducted by ComRes for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) suggests that a majority of Muslims living in Britain oppose the use of violence against those who publish images depicting Prophet Muhammad.
80% of the 1000 British Muslims surveyed said that they were deeply offended when images depicting the Prophet were published, but only 27% had sympathy for the motives behind recent attacks on Paris. Despite this, 68% of the respondents said that acts of violence against individuals who publish images depicting Prophet Muhammad are not justifiable under any circumstances.
As many as 32% of British Muslims, according to the survey which was carried out between 26 January and 20 February, were unsurprised about the attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris. The attacks, which took place in January resulted in seventeen people dying and the same number of injuries.
Amid, an increasing wave of Islamophobia in the country, just under half the British Muslims surveyed felt that they were discriminated against because of their faith. They also felt that Britain as a country was becoming less tolerant towards diversity, and that the prevailing prejudice against Islam and Muslims makes it challenging to be a Muslim in the country.
Of those polled, 35% felt that Muslims were not trusted by most British people, while just 5th said they believed a Western liberal society was incompatible with the teachings of Islam. 95% of the respondents felt a sense of loyalty to Britain, while 93% believed that Muslims in the country should obey British laws under all circumstances. 10% of male respondents felt unsafe in the country, compared to 20% females.
The survey was carried out at a time when many in the Muslim community are feeling alienated due to the actions of extremist Muslim groups who oppose western conceptions of freedom of speech and liberal societies. Former Foreign Office minister, Baroness Warsi, said the poll reflected flaws in British counterterrorism policies, which were targeting members of the British Muslim community without sufficient evidence.