[matilda] PRESS RELEASE : Britain's foreign policy is marginalising Muslims, a new survey by The 1990 Trust has found.

Ruhul ruhul at blink.org.uk
Mon Oct 16 21:55:02 BST 2006

For immediate release

Tuesday 16 October 2006

Britain's foreign policy is marginalising Muslims, a new survey by The 1990 Trust has found.

This new survey (sample: 1,213) reinforces that there is almost no support for terrorism amongst the Muslim community. Just 1% of those surveyed supported the 7/7 London bombings.


Many mainstream polls have shown higher rates of support for extremism. The difference is explained by the way questions are phrased.

The 1990 Trust believe their new survey reflects the real views of Muslims, and that other polls have attempted to generate headlines claiming more support for terrorism than is actually the case.

The survey of Muslim views found very high levels of dissatisfaction with Britain's foreign policy, with 91% of respondents disagreeing with it. A similar figure believed Tony Blair was influenced too much by George Bush.

The vast majority (82%) say Muslims have become more radicalised in recent times but in the form of attending demonstrations, writing to their MPs etc (46%).

The findings come at a time when Muslims are reeling from demonisation by a range of politicians and media. 

Ruhul Tarafder of the Trust said: 'One of the main findings of our report is the importance British foreign policy plays in the lives of Muslims.

'In many ways all roads lead to foreign policy, with 92% of those surveyed disagreeing with policies pursued by Tony Blairs government.

'It is as a consequence of foreign policy that primarily relations between communities have deteriorated. The Muslim community seems now to be scapegoated by the government and media for the formers own disastrous debacles across the Middle East'. 

'We believe this survey into the views of UK Muslims is one of the most comprehensive ever produced, and gives new insights into a range of issues.

'Policy-makers who are serious about creating genuine good race relations and equal outcomes cannot afford to ignore its conclusions.'

The new survey does not just provide "yes and no" answers to questions, but includes respondents detailed opinions. This provides an in-depth insight into feelings within the community.

The 1990 Trust survey believes that British Muslims have tried very hard to integrate into society, but daily media attacks - such as controversy surrounding the Niqab veil - have increased feelings of isolation.

Evidence of this includes a letter from the Muslim Council of Britain to Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly, in which the MCB protest about the drip-feed of ministerial statements which stigmatise Muslims. 

For further information please contact Ruhul Tarafder on 0207 582 1990 / 07956 398739 or email: ruhul at blink.org.uk 


To view the full report please click http://www.blink.org.uk/docs/muslim_survey_report_screen.pdf

Notes to the editor

1.The 1990 Trust is a human rights and race equality NGO set up to protect and pioneer the interest of Britain's Black Communities. The Trust is the first national Black organisation established to influence the practical implementation of the principle that 'Racism is a violation of human rights' via the monitoring and analysis of public policy and parliamentary legislation to assess the implications for and effects on the quality of life of Black communities.

2. The 1990 Trust uses the word Black as a political term to describe people of African, Asian and Caribbean origin. 

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