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Thursday, September 07, 2006

'Only 1 in 5 Britons would feel comfortable with Muslim neighbour'

The July 7 suicide bombings have had a huge impact on the distrust of Muslims in Britain, a survey revealed today.

The new poll showed Islamist terrorism had led people to feel substantially less comfortable with having a Muslim neighbour, boss or in-law.

While 77 per cent of the 1,100 people questioned by TNS/Global after last year's July 7 attacks recognised that Muslims suffer discrimination and prejudice, they admitted terrorist bombings had made their feelings more negative towards followers of Islam as a group.

In a startling finding, the percentage agreeing that Muslims make the security situation in Britain worse rose from 35 per cent to 53 per cent.

Before July 7, 34 per cent said they would feel comfortable with a Muslim neighbour but this figure fell to 21 per cent after the bombings which claimed 52 innocent lives.

The percentage indicating they would feel comfortable with a Muslim boss fell from 37 per cent to 20 per cent, and those asked the same question about having a Muslim in-law dropped from 32 per cent to 27 per cent.

However, the poll found that people broadly shared a vision of Britain as an equal society with a common set of values.

The representative surveys comparing attitudes to Muslims spoke to 2,895 people roughly one month before the July 7 suicide bombings, and 1,100 in the month afterwards. [Link]

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