Islam is “misunderstood” in the UK with nearly half of adults feeling the religion is “incompatible” with British values, a survey suggests.
Results of the poll carried out on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community also indicate almost a third of adults think Islam encourages Muslims to carry out acts of violence against non-Muslims.
The news comes as the country’s largest Muslim convention, the Jalsa Salana, is set to take place on Friday in Hampshire with more than 30,000 people expected to attend.
The survey said it questioned 2,077 UK adults of various ages and genders living in different regions of the country between July 12 and 14 to gather the results, which suggest:
- Most of the adults questioned, 58%, believe Islamophobia is widespread in the UK.
- Nearly half, 48%, believe Islam is incompatible with British values.
- Almost a third, 29%, think Islam encourages Muslims to carry out acts of violence against non-Muslims.
- Two thirds, 67%, of the public agree most people in the UK have a negative view of Islam.
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 aim 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.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “The Government will always stand up for people of all faiths and backgrounds and we are clear that religious hatred has no place in our society.
“We’ve put millions into protecting our diverse places of worship and we continue to work with a range of communities to ensure we’re alive to – and can act upon – any concerns.
“But we can’t be complacent and will do everything in our power to ensure that everyone feels safe and valued in modern Britain.”