UK attitudes towards Islam 'concerning' after survey of 2,000 people

The majority of Britons believe Islam is not compatible with British values, a poll suggests.

The majority of Britons questioned in a survey believe Islam is not compatible with British values.

The poll also found almost a third of those asked believe Islam is a violent religion and promotes acts of violence in the UK.

However, it also suggests that younger people have a better understanding of Islam, compared to older people.

Just over two thousand British adults were questioned online by ComRes for the charity Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.

Boy praying on symbol of Islam

Asked about their understanding of the traditions and beliefs of Islam, 41% of 18 to 24-year olds said they had a good understanding compared to just 27% of those aged over 45.

I think these findings are based on ignorance
Farhad Ahmad
Imam

When asked if they felt Islam promotes peace in the UK, 42% of adults aged between 18 to 24 agreed, compared to an average of 30% of adults over 25.

The 2,000 questioned were asked if they agreed with the statement 'Islam is compatible with British values', 43% of 18 to 24-year-olds agreed while it was less than 31% for all other age groups.

Young Muslim Man Reading The Koran

Farhad Ahmad, 24, is an Imam and member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association. He said he found the results 'very concerning'.

"I think these findings are based on ignorance," he said.

"I know the teachings of Islam, and I know there is nothing in Islam which hinders anyone from becoming an integrated member of society, Islam teaches loyalty to one's country.

"As a Muslim this gives us more motivation to promote the true teachings of Islam, we need to be more active," he added.

Here are some of the other questions asked by ComRes:

· Islam is compatible with British values - 28% agree

· Islam promotes acts of violence in the UK - 31% agree

· Islam is a negative force in the UK - 43% agree

· Most people in the UK have a negative view of Islam - 72% agree

· I have a good understanding of the traditions and beliefs of Islam - 32% agree

· Islam is a violent religion - 28% agree

· Islam is a negative force in the UK - 43% agree

At the London Mosque in Southfields, a group of Young Muslims are preparing for an evening of 'leafleting'.

They knock on doors, handing out leaflets about the teachings of Islam to non-Muslims.

Umar Nasser, 24, a medical student in London
Image caption Umar Nasser is spreading the word about the teachings of Islam

One of them is Umar Nasser, 24, a medical student in London.

I find it difficult that people are not accepting of Islam
Haroon Khan

"We are trying to dispel the false notions around Islam, if people are engaging with you and they are having dialogue, then that's progress," he said.

"If you talk to people, it will humanise you and humanise your belief systems to them and slowly their misconceptions may start to fall away.

"I think British values are about tolerance of different people of different faiths.

"There doesn't need to be a clash between your religious values and the values of your country."

Haroon Khan, 21, is an economics student at University of Surrey.
Image caption Haroon Khan says it's "his duty" to let people know what true Islam is

Haroon Khan, 21, is an economics student at the University of Surrey, he said "I find it difficult that people are not accepting of Islam.

"There are lots of misconceptions about the religion, people think ISIS represents Muslims, which definitely isn't the case,

"I feel it's my duty to let people know what the true Islam is."

The poll was carried out between 22 - 24 April 2016.

The data was weighted by age, gender, region and socio-economic grade to be representative of adults in Great Britain, over 18.

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