At the weekend the Sunday Times reported a new ICM poll of British Muslims, conducted for a Channel Four documentary later this week. I’ve written about polls of ethnic and religious minorities in Britain here before – they tend be both controversial and extremely difficult to do. On top of that the topics that tend to get asked carry with them risks of stoking racial tension, so it is crucial that they are done in the most responsible and robust way possible.

So how do you conduct a poll of British Muslims? With difficulty – there is no ideal way, no route that does not include compromises and result in skews and biases. British Muslims are around about 5% of the population, distributed unevenly around the country. Some groups within the community will have come here only recently, and perhaps have poor English. That’s difficult to poll in an affordable way – let’s go through the possibilities. The first would be to go to a very large database of people of known demographics (such as the existing panels of YouGov or another internet polling company) and recruit Muslims from there – this is the easiest route, the company will already know the religion of their panellists and at 5% incidence you’ll probably be able to get enough. The problem is that the British Muslims who join an internet panel are probably skewed towards the well integrated, people who have been here for years or generations and speak fluent English.

What about telephone polling? Well at 5% incidence just randomly ringing numbers and asking if they are Muslim isn’t a feasible route. Things that have been tried in the past include re-contacting Muslims who have taken part in past general polls and indicated a willingness to take part in future polls, snowballing (that is, asking Muslim interviewees for contact numbers for other Muslims who would be willing to take part) or even just ringing up people with “Muslim names” in telephone number databases. These all have their own potential biases.

The final approach is face-to-face sampling, knocking on doors and asking to interview people. This has the same problems as telephone of Muslims only being 5% of the population, but it can be tackled by knocking on doors in areas with a high proportion of Muslims. Here comes the compromise: if you are knocking on doors in Tower Hamlets one in three households will be Muslim, if you are polling in Cornwall only one in five hundred households will be Muslim. Face-to-face polls of British Muslims therefore ignore those areas with a very low percentage of British Muslims, where it is not financially feasible to knock on hundreds of doors for every interview. This inevitably produces a skew towards those British Muslims who live in Muslims areas, but it is a matter of degree how mild or serious it is.

So if we go back to the Ethnic Minority British Election Study back in 2010, they only did interviews in areas that were least 2% BME in the census, which covered 88% of the BME population in Britain. They had a budget that was the best part of a million quid though, and I doubt Channel 4 were willing to go that far for a poll. By necessity ICM’s poll was more limited. It covered areas (Local Super Output Areas to be specific – it’s an ONS defined area of about 1000-1500 people) that are at least 20% Muslim. This covers about 51% of the British Muslim population, meaning the 49% of British Muslims that live in areas with a lower concentration of Muslims were not included in the poll.

For obvious reasons it is likely that a British Muslim who lives in an area where all their friends and colleagues are also Muslim may have different attitudes to a British Muslim who lives in an area where there are few other Muslims and their friends and colleagues are mostly non-Muslim. It also means the poll was probably skewed towards areas of relative social deprivation, and perhaps towards Muslims of particular ethnic backgrounds. The poll would not have been perfect… but then, no other poll of British Muslims would be either. It’s probably the best attempt to poll British Muslims properly that we’ve seen for several years and, given no one is waiting around the corner with a cheque for a million quid to do a more elaborately sampled poll than ICM’s, I think we should probably take this one seriously, but having due regard for the limitations of the sample. This is a poll of those British Muslims living in areas with a comparatively high Muslim population, which may well mean they are less integrated and have more conservative views than British Muslims living in areas that are overwhelmingly non-Muslim. With that caveat aside, what does it actually say about those British Muslims?

Let’s start by confirming the finding of previous surveys – the overwhelming majority of British Muslims identify as British. In fact, more so than the British population in general – 86% of British Muslims identify as British, 83% of the GB population in general. British Muslims are more likely to feel they can influence decisions in their area than most people in GB, feel better represented by their MP and local councillors. In terms of belonging and confidence they are part of the polity, British Muslims seem very well integrated.

ICM also asked about various measures of social conservatism. British Muslims were consistently more socially conservative than the British population as a whole, strikingly so in questions about attitudes towards homosexuality. 33% of Muslims thought boys and girls should be educated separately, 47% disagreed it was acceptable for a homosexual to teach in a school, 52% disagreed that homosexuality should be legal, 39% said wives should always obey their husbands.

The next section explored the issue of anti-Semitism. In terms of attitudes towards Jewish people themselves, British Muslims were not hostile. ICM asked respondents to express their feelings towards different religious and ethnic groups on a thermometer. On average Muslim respondents rated their feelings towards Jewish people at 57, compared to 64 among the GB control sample. Not a huge gulf, though it was larger than the gap on parallel questions about Catholics, Protestants and so on. The Muslim sample were, however, less likely to say they thought anti-Semitism was a problem in Britain today and were significantly more likely to agree with a range of anti-Semitic tropes than the wider GB population were. Around a third of British Muslims agreed with statements about Jews having too much power and influence in Britain and the world, compared to about one in ten in the control sample.

The final part of the survey dealt with attitudes towards violence and terrorism. This is the often the most controversial part of polls of British Muslims, and the bit that is often rightly criticised. It is important to be careful with wording and it is crucial that there is a control sample of non-Muslims to avoid painting Muslims as unusually supportive of violence or terrorism when non-Muslims would actually answer questions in the same way. The ICM poll does well on both, asking a broad range of different scenarios and issues, all also asked to a GB control sample.

Asked about the use of violence in general, answers of British Muslims and the GB control sample were not that different. Sympathy for violence against government injustice or police injustice were similar. Muslim respondents were more sympathetic for violence in defence of religion, the GB sample were significantly more sympathetic towards violence to protect one’s family.

Asked about support for terrorism, British Muslims were more likely to say they were sympathetic to terrorism than the GB control sample, but the net figures were extremely low in both cases.

  • Asked about organising radical groups, the GB control sample was the more sympathetic. 11% would sympathise, 74% condemn. Among British Muslims the figures were 6% sympathise, 75% condemn.
  • Now asked about making threats of terrorism, 6% of British Muslims said they would sympathise, 79% condemn. The figures in the GB control sample were 2% sympathise, 95% condemn.
  • Asked about actually committing terrorist actions, 4% of British Muslims said they would sympathise, 83% condemn. In the GB control sample 1% would sympathise, 95% would condemn.

The survey then asked more specifically about issues around ISIS. 7% of British Muslims said they supported the principle of ISIS’s aims – the creation of a caliphate – 67% were opposed. However support for the principle of an Islamic State does not necessarily imply support for ISIS’s actions, asked if they supported how ISIS was attempting to set up an Islamic State support fell to 3%.

So overall, we have a picture of a British Muslim community that identifies with Britain. It has views that that are much more socially conservative than Britain in general, particularly on homosexuality. The overwhelming majority of British Muslims condemn terrorism and ISIS, but a tiny minority do not. There is nothing here that is a huge surprise, but it has been a long time since we’ve had any hard data to back it up with. In terms of the way the poll was done, remember that the sampling did only cover areas with a comparatively high Muslim population. It’s not as crude as picking by local authority – taking LSOAs means it will include pockets of Muslims people across the country. It doesn’t cover the 49% of Muslims who live in areas that are less than 20% Muslim though, where I think it likely British Muslims are more integrated and have more in similar with their non-Muslim neighbours. Even if that does make a difference though, and views of other British Muslims are less distinct from the rest of British society, this poll should give us a good guide to the 50% of British Muslims who live in areas with a comparatively high Muslim population.

The full data is here.

148 Responses to “ICM poll of British Muslims”

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  1. Assiduosity

    Fascinating comments from you. Thanks for the info.

  2. @AC

    Wokingham?? Nowhere near Liverpool!!

    And I thought any one calling themselves a fan would recall Liverpool regularly getting into the Euros and even winning it in the more recent past.

    Admittedly, Liverpool fans are often disappointed on the glory front but hope springs etc.

    Regarded the “unfounded” thing you were on about, clearly thought it still an issue since you just mentioned it less than an hour ago. So how many have actually indicated this then, that they think it’s unfounded? As opposed to just thinking maybe you’ve got things a bit out of proportion? And are they really shouting?”


    It’s not the shouting that causes the trouble. It’s the “There, there, calm down, everything is fine, they are all really nice people and don’t mean anybody any harm” bit that is dangerous. We should not accept any excuses. If people want to make their homes here they have to accept that the cultural norms of their previous life no longer apply.

  4. @DAVEM
    “If there were any polls back then and anybody has access to them it would be very interesting to see how different the opinions of the Muslim community today is from that of the UK as a whole fifty years ago.”

    As this is a polling site, the nature of WHO/WHAT is being polled needs to be considered:
    gives figures for 2011 Number of Muslims in Britain 2.7million (mostly in England) with 1500 registered mosques. That is about 4.5% of the population, but in Tower Hamlets it is 35%, and over 20% in another 8 Local Authorities.

    Its figures for Britain in 1961 are about 50,000 Muslims and only 7 mosques.

    I don’t think a polling comparison of attitudes would mean much. Nor would
    comparing Muslim attitudes today to British attitudes 50 years ago. Perhaps you should compare today’s 129,000 Muslims in Bradford with the 148,000 inhabitants of Dundee.

  5. @AC

    If you’re taking refuge in ambiguity and saying you’re on about people in public, if you’re going up to people and airing your views on the matter then yeah, they might start shouting “get away from me!!” and stuff.

  6. @ Colin

    But there is concrete evidence that the kind of homophobia quoted is in the course of “disappearing down the generations!”

    I mentioned some figures specifically showing that above.

    Further to these, the proportion of Muslims who believe homosexuality should be legal rises from 2% in those over 65 to 28% in those between 18-24. Still very low, but a marked intergenerational increase.

    The position regarding women’s rights is more mixed – with areas of substantial change on co-educational schools, marriages of choice and so on but still troubling figures in other areas. The point is they do generally show a moderate to marked shift towards a set of opinions closer to the view of broader society over time.

    I have no doubt that these opinions are absolutely related to conservative religious teaching – indeed I made this clear in my longer post. The role of the mosque within these communities is pivotal, indeed the polling itself indicates that.

    My point is that it is inaccurate to state that younger Muslims are – in general – more religiously conservative or politically radical than previous generations.

    In terms of social attitudes they tend to be closer to the British norm, in terms of their political and anti-semitic views there is little difference between generations..

    Given this – albeit based on one study – there would seem to be something at work rather than the radicalisation of the whole younger generation.

    I merely observed the universal truth that young men are more involved in acts of violence than older ones and this might go some way to explaining why so many of the islamic terrorists are young. Pretty uncontroversial.

  7. @RMJ1

    “It’s not the shouting that causes the trouble. It’s the “There, there, calm down, everything is fine, they are all really nice people and don’t mean anybody any harm” bit that is dangerous. We should not accept any excuses. If people want to make their homes here they have to accept that the cultural norms of their previous life no longer apply.”

    Everything is far from fine.

    I merely noted that the polling has some flaws / limitations and offers a very mixed picture.

    On the one side it shows that there is much less of a desire to self-segregate than is often presumed and that younger Muslims are socially mixing more with wider society than is either often apprehended or their older family members did.

    Likewise there are some moves towards a more socially liberal attitudes on certain issues amongst younger Muslims.

    However I tempered this by noting that there is a much less clear picture on women’s rights, that the influence of mosques is extremely pervasive and that entrenched anti-semitism shows absolutely no signs of abating or diluting across generations.

    I don’t think grave concerns over women’s rights and anti-semitism should be lightly set aside.

  8. @ AC

    “If you had bothered to copy and pate the rest of my comment rather (as others have done) than simply carefully sect part of it then you would know I was on about the political correct brigade and that iconic megaphone diplomacy that comes with it,”

    I’m sorry, it was a genuine question. I was unclear who you felt was setting out such a politically correct position.

    Wokingham?? Nowhere near Liverpool!!
    And I thought any one calling themselves a fan would recall Liverpool regularly getting into the Euros and even winning it in the more recent past.

    So what? I don’t need a geography lesson and I certainly don’t need someone telling me the definition on how to be a Liverpool fan and yes I know Liverpool have had success on the pitch but I was on about the domestic league and the glory days.

    Anyway back to Muslims and your other two comments..We have different opinions. What more can I say?

  10. Clearly Allan must have interviewed quite a big sample to be so convinced by it. Not sure of his methodology though, how he established who was politically correct.

  11. @AC

    It’s OK that YU forgot their success in Europe. It’s not like you were raised in Liverpool or anything.

    So, how many people shouted you down? Were you going door-to-door or summat?


    “I’m sorry, it was a genuine question. I was unclear who you felt was setting out such a politically correct position”

    The political correct are everywhere…be it MP’s, some within the media and public institutions. You can hardly mention anything to do with immigration or radicalism without the megaphones coming out calling you a racist.


    You’re getting boring and extremely repetitive. You have a habit of going on and on and on at individuals on UKPR

  14. @AC

    That’s weird, you were plaguing me the other day with those silly pics of yours and stuff…


    The difference is I don’t go in for the personal insults towards other posters as you have and if the silly pics were so problematic for you then you should have said at the time.

  16. @AC

    Funny how the provocative often have the thinnest skin, innit? And if you post ambiguous stuff about summat inflammatory, you might find it gets tested out a bit more, just to keep things sane and groovy.


  17. CARFEW
    Certainly doesn’t help in the slightest as you are only expressing your own opinion to which I certainly don’t agree with.


  18. @ Roger Mexico

    “Thanks to Anthony for an explanation of the ICM methodology which I haven’t seen elsewhere[1] ”

    It seems they were listening.

    The methodology is now on the ICM website at

  19. @Allan

    Well no, others were bemused by your comments too. But don’t worry if you dont get it, stuff can filter through unconsciously…

    Anyways, don’t drag it out, you could be spending the time learning about Liverpool’s European Cup history and stuff.

  20. @ Allan Christie

    I’d understood from your comments at lunchtime today that you accepted that your now infamous “168,000 wannabe terrorists” stuff was unjustified, and indeed illogical.

    Are you really now seeking to argue otherwise?


    That;s just it..other posters did challenge my comments and spent time researching and providing evidence to challenge my views to which I have admitted there was a flaw with my comment (several times) and compromised on other areas.

    I will always respect people’s views and admit if I’m wrong or compromise if I can’t find agreement.

    However you did none of that and instead went on a personal attack and I see you’re still at it. If you actually challenged my views with research as others have then I might take you a bit more seriously.

  22. @Allan

    OK, who are you and what have you done to Allan??

    Taxi!! Etc…


    I have many different hats but one head.

  24. @Allan

    Yes, we know, and you’re afraid of the blue ones. It all makes sense now. Anyway, James has a question for ya!!…

  25. CARFEW

    Who’s the we? Do you think you hold the moral superiority and speak for everyone else?

    Yes I’ve seen the comment by James..big deal I’m not repeating myself again and again.

  26. @Allan C

    The “we” refers simply to anyone who read your comment about hats. They would then have the information about your fear of blue hats. I didn’t speak for them, because I didn’t express a view about the hats. I just expressed a fact about them.

    Nowt controversial there I’m afraid. James’ question has more going for it!!


    Glad you cleared that up because for a minute I thought you were speaking for the masses.

  28. @Allan

    Well even if youd been right it would depend how many read your posts. Good night Allan!!

  29. (Like, masses might be pushing it a bit…)


    Thank you very much for the comments. Very enlightening and extremely well set out.

  31. I read the findings of this poll and contemplated what, if anything, they were telling me about the attitudes and opinions of Muslims in the UK. To guide me however, I asked this question, the answer to which has now become my moral and political compass.

    What would Guido Fawkes think?


  32. Anthony, you write: “the topics that tend to get asked carry with them risks of stoking racial tension, so it is crucial that they are done in the most responsible and robust way possible.”

    Mass immigration is demographically replacing the English people on our own soil. We are being steadily, ineluctably minorisited. It is not an accident or a mistake, or a force of history or of Nature. It is not because of cheap air travel. It is not because we want it in any way. It is because a small clutch of the political, liberal, media, and business elites want it, for reasons they have never explained. It is politically generated. It is deliberate, and its ethnocidal effects are perfectly well understood.

    What, then, is “responsible” in helping this process to a successful conclusion, as you seek to do, by your own admission?

    I don’t expect you to publish this comment. But you belong to the Westminster bubble class, and you have never had to answer the unimpeachable moral case, and the case in Nature, for the survival of your own people. You should, at some time in your life, have to face the Great Question: why must the English people submit to endless racially and ethnically alien colonisation and replacement when our healthy and just will is to live?

    Of course, I already know from long experience of the liberal mind that you cannot offer a functioning response. I wonder, though, if you are a better man than most of the foundationally liberal, and you might now begin to ask yourself some serious questions about what is happening to us, and why, and what we must do about it.

  33. @ Old Nat & Laszlo

    Thank you.

    It would be useful if I could point to the research from the mid 2000s on line but, contrary to popular myth, not everything reaches the internet whole and, even if it does, it doesn’t mean it stays there forever!

    That said, the evidence from about a decade ago seemed to point to a reversal in a gradual trend observed until then towards further integration between the Muslim community and the rest of society and slowly converging social attitudes.

    A trace of this can be found on some of the tables from ICM, which show the 25-34 age group as being more socially conservative on a number of issues than both the cohorts older and younger than them.

    The old data troubled a lot of politicians, policy makers and even Asian Elders, quite a few of whom seemed to regard a transition away from traditional values as a ‘natural progression’ among younger generations.

    Many in government were extremely concerned at the time and I imagine there will be some relief if those previous trends towards increased integration an attitudinal convergence are restored.

    Of course this is a very long process as students of religious integration and migration know, and it does little to counter immediate threats of terrorism and individual acts of homophobia, antisemitism and the infringement of the human rights of women.

  34. AC

    The Red’s glory days are still to come!
    I was born (and still live) in Kent – good to know I’m not the only one in the south east!

  35. Democracy

    Kent?? You’re a bloody Jute!

    You immigrants replaced the English on their own soil.

    Go back and support Silkeborg!

  36. @Guessedworker

    I haven’t seen you post before, so I extend a typically warm UKPR welcome to you. I must say, it’s entirely refreshing to see and read a different perspective on a subject that can be almost taboo amongst, as the great Rod Liddle would say, the bien pensants who tend to inhabit this site.

    That said, I didn’t think Guido Fawkes would react so quickly to my entirely amicable and gentle provocations.

  37. Well, Guido’s currently busy with a headline about a dominatrix.

    It doesn’t say anything about her migrant status tho’.


    Good night.
    The Red’s glory days are still to come!
    I was born (and still live) in Kent – good to know I’m not the only one in the south east

    Since I’ve supported Liverpool the only prize that has been out of our grasp is winning the domestic league. I know the club have won every other tournament at some stage since 1990 but for me personally I’ve yet to see the Reds win the league which I think for any football fan at club level winning the league is the biggest bragging right but our day will come.

    In the village where I live it has a population of around 700 and I’ve seen a couple of kids with Liverpool tops on. I had to look twice because I thought they might had been Southampton tops but no they were The Reds.

    My dad is a Liverpool fan and he worked in the city many moons ago but he’s also a blue nose Rangers fan so it’s not quite father like son because I’m also a Tim.

  39. Guessedworker
    I agree with most of what you said, but I don’t think you can blame Anthony, who always seems to report polls in the most unbiased and informative way that he can.

  40. De-lurking.

    I feel less inclined to extend a warm welcome to guessedworker, given that their misspelled web address, when suitably corrected so that it works, links to a White Separatist website.

    White Separatists evidently wouldn’t approve of my choice of marital partner; and would consider my daughter to be a case of ‘miscegenation’.

    So, a big fat Nope. GW’s comment has sod all to do with polling, anyway.

  41. PETE B

    I read Guessedworker’s post with interest and agree that you can’t blame AW who does indeed report the polls in the most unbiased and informative way.

    I blame the megaphone diplomacy of the political correct who simply think peoples concerns can be swept under the carpet.


    From your post and what I know it seems that the religion is quite blurred by ethnicity and socioeconomic issues.

    If the mosque is important (and it seems to be), then the funding and the training of the imams are also important …

    Your earlier point about leaving out ethnic groups who are Muslims seem to be important (e.g. the Yemeni shopkeeper who serves essentially white clientele). So Muslims are quite stratified overall, but the coherence of some of the groups (which overall represent a very large segment of the total) is exceedingly high along many key issues.

    If I was a politician, I would be anxious (having said that, it’s a very small proportion of the vote – someone really should write up how it is done in Hungary, the most advanced country in taking these polling evidence and turning them to vote winning).

  43. Guessedworker

    I agree with much of what you post and if you read the recently published book, Broken Vows by Tom Bowyer, You will read that it was Blairs unstated policy to encourage mass immigration during his tenure. Not only was it unstated, it was positively denied at the time and to put the public off the scent, anyone who raised questions about it was immediately branded a racist. We now live with the folly of that policy.

    I am not against immigration but it should be strictly controlled via some kind of points system, as is the case in many other countries, so that arrivals can be properly absorbed into British culture and values. Cameron is right in his aspiration to reduce it to tens of thousands p.a. But this is totally unachieveable whilst we are in the eu.

    However you are wrong in your criticism of Anthony, the host of the site as others have already said. Whilst it is principally about polling, which is reported upon in a totally neutral manner by him, he does allow some general discussion, which is always polite and generally good natured, and totally exempt from the bad language that infects some other forums.

    So enjoy the forum for what it is.

  44. It is reported that JC has failed to disclose his pension income on his tax return. Whoops! That takes the sting out of his attacks on DC, if true.

  45. “Let’s start by confirming the finding of previous surveys – the overwhelming majority of British Muslims identify as British.”
    “The overwhelming majority of British Muslims SAY THAT THEY identify as British.”
    Any and every poll about what people do or think is dependant on people giving truthful answers. Whether it’s smoking, drinking, sex or speeding, there’s no guarantee that people give truthful answers.

  46. ASSIDUOSITY (April 12th, 7.43pm) links to a survey which purports to show the attitudes of British Catholics towards homosexual behaviour. (As anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see, there is a big difference between homosexuality as a condition and homosexual behaviour.)
    Now, at the end of that survey there is a very strange set of figures. It states that according to their responses, 52.8% of the Catholics surveyed ticked the ‘Wrong’ box to the statement ‘Definitely or probably a God or higher power’. Does that mean that over half of these Catholics don’t believe in God? If that is the case does this not suggest that there might be some major defect in this survey? I mean, if a survey found that 52.8% of atheists believe in God wouldn’t that strike most people as being a bit suspect?
    At every Mass on a Sunday there comes a point when everybody stands up and says, out loud, ‘I believe in God..’
    At the beginning of the article reporting a survey on Muslims there is a passage which talks about the difficulties of identifying Muslims to survey. If a survey of ‘Catholics’ found that 52.8% of them don’t believe in God, would that not tell us that the people who carried out the survey had not been terribly successful in identifying Catholics. That is Catholics as in Catholic, as opposed to people who call themselves Catholics.
    As to the finding of the survey that fewer ‘Catholics’ believe that there is anything immoral in homosexual behaviour compared to 1978 I would not be too surprised to discover that that was the case. Catholics, just like everybody else in the population, have been subject to a one-sided barrage of propaganda in the media intended to change people’s attitudes towards homosexual behaviour. It might not be too surprising if they have fallen for this propaganda in the same way as the rest of the population has. To the question, why has their Catholicism not protected them from the propaganda, the answer might be that they have not been taught their faith very successfully and that, despite what people say, the Church is not as obsessed with the issue as some people are. But I go back to that 52.8% who don’t believe in God. If you don’t believe in God you are hardly going to follow His Church.

  47. Regarding attitudes towards homosexuality, it really is very easy to forget how quickly our attitudes as a society have changed.

    Clause 28 – effectively outlawing positive images of homosexuality in schools – was brought in in 1988, only 28 years ago. It was only abolished in *2003* – 13 years ago.

  48. In my view, by far the most important indicator of the dangers and levels of extremism found in a community is not found in the centre of the distribution but in the tails.

    The next most important indicator is the attitude of the centre to those in the tails.

    It is in the tails (the most extreme parts of the population) where all the troubles are.

    We all know the politically correct conclusion that the vast majority of Muslims are not a danger. This is absolutely correct, but somewhat irrelevent. Instead, if we focus on the tails, we see that 1% of the GB control support terrorist organisations while 4% of British Muslims do. Further, I presume the GB control includes some Muslims that we know know have disproportionatly high support of terrorist organisation, hence if we stripped out the Muslims from the control we would likely end up with a bit less than 1%. Hence, there are over 4 times as many terrorist supporters from the Muslim community as there are from the average of all other communities (in %age terms). That is a critical and substantive increase. further, if we model the tails as a normal distribution, the level of extremism the Muslim community is prepared to go before only 1% of the community will agree will likely be far greater than mere “support”, while the level of comparible extremists from other communities will be approximately zero.

    Next, we need to consider the ability of extremism to propegate in the community. There are 2 significant factors: 1) the number [and level] of actual extrimists in the community; and 2) the tollerance of the majority to these extremists. 1 is important as extremism can clearly spread faster if there are more “infected” minds within the general population. But 2 is also very significant as if virtually the entire community was united that the extremists views are repugnant, extremists will be shunned, shamed and joining them or even sounding like them will become taboo. And its the creation of the taboo that is key to determinging whether young kids end up joining the extremists. So 1 is like a measure of how widespread the desease is and 2 is a measure of how easily the desease can infect others.

    Again, the fact that there are over 4 times as many infected minds in the Muslim population as with other communities makes a significant difference here too. But looking at 2, we see that while 95% of average GP will condemn, only 83% of Muslims will. This leaves 17% of Muslims who will be very tollerant towards extremism and who will permit extremism to foster within their community (I will call them “carriers” as they are not infected with the disease but they will help it spread), while only 5% of average GB will do the same. This makes it over 3 times easier for extremism to spread within the community. However, to be a “carrier”, it doesn’t really matter if you condemn the final act. What actually matters is the extent to which expressions of the act are condemned. Hence the stats that actually matter to measure 2 proably come from the question about making threats of terrorism. From this, we see that only 79% condemn (i.e. 21% carriers) compared with 95% of general UK (i.e. 5% carriers), meaning there are over 4 times as many carriers in the Mulsim population than the average GB population.

    So what impact would having 4 times more “carriers” then have? I think having 4 times more “carriers” will have a much greater impact on the spread of extrimism than just a factor of 4 for the larger carriers and 4 for the number of actual extremists (so far, a factor of 16 vs average GB population).
    This is because as I understand it one of the most effective ways for extremism to spread is for groups to form where there the taboo against extremism doesn’t exist. Under these circumstances, extremism spreads like wildfire. For that to happen, the a group must form whereby the “carriers” outnumber objecters. Thus, small %age increases in the number of “carriers” can have a radical impact in terms of size of and probability of forming such a group. A good analogy of this from science could be the activation energy required for a reaction, whereby small increases in average temparature can have a massive impact on the number of molecules at the tails that have enough activation energy to combine with each other. The result is the actual impact of having 4 times more carriers can make extremism spread within the Mulslim community at rates possibly significantly greater than a factor of 4.

    My conclusion is that the data of the survey is more than enough to explain the full extent of the disproportionate extremism we see in the Muslim community, but to see it, we must not make the mistake to think extremism is a linear effect. Instead, we should remember that extremely large and profound differences in extremism found in different communities can be observed from non-linear effects in the tails. Further, the action to solve the problem requires significant effort by the Muslim community, not just by trying to shrink the extremist tail from 4% to less than 1% (normal levels) but also by addressing deficiencies in the centre of the Muslim community values that result in about 21% of the entire community acting as “carriers” of extremism.

    I also conclude that the majority of Muslims are peaceful and not harmful, so my analysis at the tails does not impact the general conclusion that most Muslims are fine honourable, moral citizens of the UK making a constructive contribution to the UK.

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