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Muslims tell of community rancour

Published 10/04/2015

Some Muslims think the police and MI5 are radicalising people, according to a survey
Some Muslims think the police and MI5 are radicalising people, according to a survey

A third of Muslims say they have experienced heightened community hostility and two in five believe MI5 and the police are radicalising young people, a new survey suggests.

The Survation poll commissioned by Sky News also found 71% of Muslims felt the values of Islam were compatible with those of British society, but more than half of non-Muslims disagreed.

It comes amid debate over how to tackle radicalisation, with hundreds of people thought to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join militant group Islamic State (IS).

The survey took in the views of 1,000 Muslims and 1,000 non-Muslims and found 44% of the former and 65% of the latter felt families were responsible for preventing youngsters from travelling to the war-torn countries.

But 15% of Muslims felt the Government was responsible, while 9% cited religious leaders and 3% held police accountable.

The result follows claims last month by campaign group Cage that MI5's attempts to recruit Mohammed Emwazi - unmasked in reports as the IS militant Jihadi John - as an informer that led to him becoming radicalised.

The poll also showed some 11% of Muslim women said they had sympathy with those who go to fight, compared with 5% of Muslim men and 4% of non-Muslims.

Many reported higher tensions back home with one third saying they felt under greater suspicion in the last few years and 44% of non-Muslims reporting being more wary.

Two-thirds of Muslims said they were doing enough to integrate with British society but 57% of non-Muslims believed the opposite.

The Metropolitan Police believe around 600 Britons have travelled to Syria and Iraq since the conflict began, while around half are believed to have returned to the UK.

Nine Britons - including the son of a Labour councillor - were arrested in Turkey last week on suspicion of trying to cross the border into the neighbouring war-torn country.

Teenage girls Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana are believed to be inside Syria after flying to Turkey in February, while 17-year-olds Hassan Munshi and Talha Asmal, of Dewsbury, Yorkshire, are also thought to have fled to the war-torn country after travelling to Turkey on March 31.

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