Sunderland Central Mosque Imam Syed Shuheb has blasted a recent Policy Exchange report stating that 26 per cent of British Muslims do not believe in extremism and that 48 per cent would not seek Police help if they knew someone was involved in terrorist activity.
Imam Syed said: “I seriously question the veracity and reliability of such reports. Many of these reports are conducted by independent think-tanks with a political agenda, usually right-wing, very private interests; who have a strong interest in creating a scapegoat in society.
“If these statistics really represent Muslim attitudes and thoughts, I would have experienced this type of material on a daily basis.
“I don’t accept these figures or statistics to be representative of Muslim attitudes within Britain at all.”
The report, Unsettled Belonging: A survey of Britain’s Muslim communities, was conducted from a survey of 3000 British Muslims, and a control of 2000 members of the general public.
Co-author of the report, Dr. Martyn Frampton of Queen Mary University, said: “It was the largest survey of British Muslim opinion ever carried out – and the polling was actually carried out by ICM, one of the most reputable of polling organisations. The report for the most part, largely does exactly what the name suggests: it reports on the findings of the polling, pausing only here and there to reflect on meaning and significance.
“In terms of his reaction to the report, I am also surprised. Anyone actually reading it can clearly see that we sought to emphasise the complexity of the results and the fact that they pointed in different directions. There was actually a lot of ‘good news’ here, about the desire of most British Muslims to integrate, the fact that they were engaged politically and in civic-social life, and the fact that they adhered to priorities that were entirely typical of the population as a whole.”
In an answer to the question: “If you thought someone close to you was getting involved with people who supported terrorism in Syria, what would you do?” The report states that only “20 per cent of respondents answered by saying ‘I don’t think someone close to me would get involved with people who support terrorism’.” This is further reinforced that 35 per cent state that “mainstream and moderate views” have been drowned out by extremism. Another 26 per cent deny the existence of extremist views.
Sunderland’s Imam Shuheb flatly denies any of these accusations saying that: “Anyone involved in any criminal activity that will harm other people, its not only a civic duty, but a religious duty to inform the relevant authorities.
“Our prophet said: ‘Help your brother if he’s the oppressor or the oppressed’. We can help the oppressor by preventing them from their oppression.
“This is a basic religious duty. The Qu’ran and the teachings of the Prophet are full of it. Why is there extra burden on the Muslim community to police ourselves. Its the job of the Government and security services.”
The report does show that a large majority of British Muslims support the implementation of Sharia Law in the United Kingdom.
When asked if they support the introduction of Sharia Law including civil law on questions of financial disputes. The report states that 43 per cent said they supported this proposition, whereas 22 per cent opposed it (23 per cent neither supported nor opposed), while 12 per cent said they did not know.”
A Sunderland University Muslim student Mariam Khattab says: “Sharia law is not for today’s times. The things they do now have nothing to do with Islam. That’s why people are so afraid of us.
“What Saudi Arabia, Iran & Da’esh are doing its something to be scared of. It’s not right. It’s not what the Qu’ran says, or what our Prophet taught us. Its not what God wants us to be.
“I don’t believe Sharia law should be applied in the United Kingdom; basically, people are just using it for all the wrong reasons.
“People should abide by the rules of the country they are in such as the United Kingdom, where we have Law enforcement. If you see something wrong, you report it. You don’t just go ahead and apply Sharia law by cutting people’s hands off or stoning them.”