UK: Islam seen as threat to social cohesion

UK: Islam seen as threat to social cohesion

More than half the population believe Britain is deeply divided along religious lines, according to an official survey.

A majority would also strongly oppose the development of a mosque in their neighbourhood, the research into social attitudes found.

Almost half - 45 per cent - say they do not believe that diversity has brought benefits to the country and that religious diversity has had a negative impact.

The government-backed inquiry revealed that only one in four people in Britain feel positively about Islam.

The warnings on the extent of the divide between Muslims and much of the rest of the country come in the annual British Social Attitudes survey, produced with funding from Whitehall.

It found that 55 per cent of people would be 'bothered' if a large mosque was built in their locality. Only 15 per cent said they would have similar qualms about a church.

Some 52 per cent think Britain is deeply divided along religious lines. The findings, following worrying signs in other government research that tension over religion is increasing, emerged in the wake of the furore over an attempt by Islamic extremists to march through Wootton Bassett.


Professor David Voas, who analysed the findings, said many people believe the size and nature of Britain's Muslim population presents a threat to national identity.

Professor Voas, head of population studies at Manchester University, said there was growing intolerance because of 'the degree to which Islam is perceived as a threat to social cohesion'.


Source: Daily Mail

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