YouGov also have some polling out for the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre. In a same way that older generations say they remember where when Kennedy was assassinated, 91% of British adults say they can remember what they were doing when news of the 9/11 attacks broke. 53% of people say that the 9/11 attacks changed the world completely, 38% think it changed the world a little. Only 7% of people think the attacks did not change much or anything.
In comparison 84% of people remember where they were when Princess Diana died, 68% when the 7/7 attacks on the London Underground took place, 25% when Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister, 22% when Nelson Mandela was released from prison and 29% when the Berlin Wall fell, the oldest event asked about (on the older ones I suspect some people have false memories – under 25s were around 3 years old at most when the Berlin Wall fell, so I do rather doubt 7% actally remember were they were. Perhaps it’s people who’ve been told by their parents where they were on the day!)
YouGov also repeated some questions that were first asked for the fifth anniversary of 9/11, five years ago. Back then YouGov asked if people thought there was a “War on Terror” and if Britain and the US were winning. While the phrase “war on terror” has fallen out of use – a relic of the George W Bush years – compared to five years ago, people are more likely to think there is a war (69% think there is, compared to 63% five years ago) and slightly more optimistic about whether the West is prevailing – perhaps because of the death of Osama bin Laden, or the absence of recent major Islamic terrorist attacks on targets in the West.
In 2006 only 7% thought Britain and the USA were winning the “War on Terror”, 22% thought they were losing and 50% thought they were neither winning nor losing. Now 13% think Britain and the USA are winning (up 6), 11% losing (down 11).
There is not, however, much difference in how worried people are about the chances of terrorism affecting them as they were five years ago. 7% of people think there is a very or fairly high chance of them, a friend or relative being caught in a terrorist attack (compared to 8% in 2006), 60% think there is a low chance (compared to 59% in 2006), 25% think the chance of being the victim of a terrorist attack (unchanged).
Neither have attitudes towards British Muslims and Islam itself softened much over the last five years. While respondents overwhelmingly think that the great majority (63%) or practically all (17%) British Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding, a significant minority of respondents (15%) said they though a large proportion of British Muslims would be prepared to condone acts of terrorism, down from 18% five years ago. The religion of Islam itself is still seen as a threat to western Liberal democracy by 51% of people, barely down from 53% in 2006. 37% think Islam poses little or no threat to the West.