Over half of all British Muslims believe homosexuality should be illegal, a poll has claimed.
Channel 4’s What British Muslims Really Think programme conducted the poll, which found 52% of those surveyed believed homosexuality should be a crime while 47% believed teachers shouldn’t be gay.
Over 1000 British Muslims were polled, with the majority of cases finding the attitudes and beliefs of the community was in line with the rest of the population.
However, 39% – both male and female – said a wife should always obey her husband and 23% said they wanted the introduction of Sharia law in the UK.
Two thirds, 66%, said they completely condemned people who took part in stoning adulterers and 78% said they would like to integrate into British life on most things.
What is probably most troubling is that Muslims are not becoming more liberal the younger they are.
Former Equality and Human Rights Commission chairman Trevor Phillips, who is hosting the programme on Channel 4, said: ‘Many of the results will be troubling to Muslims and non-Muslims alike – and the analysis of the age profile shows us that the social attitudes revealed are unlikely to change quickly.
‘The integration of Britain’s Muslims will probably be the hardest task we’ve ever faced. It will require the abandonment of the milk-and-water multiculturalism still so beloved of many, and the adoption of a far more muscular approach to integration.’
Shaista Gohir, the chair of the Muslim Women’s Network UK, told the Guardian that any prejudice against gay people was unacceptable.
‘Although they may not accept it from a religious point of view, [Muslims] accept that people should be able to have the freedom and right not be discriminated against and and live their lives,’ Shaista said, adding more LGBTI Muslims were coming out and being more vocal.
‘These stereotypes do not reflect the reality of Muslims in Britain. It’s important to also display these positive attitudes … because that represents the British Muslim majority.’