From The Guardian, with thanks to all those who sent this in:
Muslims in Britain want greater recognition of their faith with the introduction of Islamic law for civil cases and time off for prayers during the working day, but are equally committed to greater participation in British life.
A special Guardian/ICM poll based on a survey of 500 British Muslims found that a clear majority want Islamic law introduced into this country in civil cases relating to their own community. Some 61% wanted Islamic courts – operating on sharia principles – “so long as the penalties did not contravene British law”.
That will be a tough line to draw. If the penalties don’t contravene British law, it won’t be Sharia. But if it’s Sharia, they will.
Many civil cases in this country deal with family disputes such as divorce, custody and inheritance.
The poll also found a high level of religious observance with just over half saying they pray five times a day, every day – although women are shown to be more devout than men. The poll reveals that 88% want to see schools and workplaces in Britain accommodating Muslim prayer times as part of their normal working day.
Alongside these signs of a desire for more recognition of their religion, however, the poll suggests that the Muslim community is perhaps more integrated than many might imagine, with 62% saying they number “a lot or quite a few” non-Muslim people among their closest friends and 35% saying they would consider marrying someone who was not a Muslim.
There is also a strong appetite within the Muslim community to become a closer part of British life, with 40% saying they need to do more to integrate into mainstream British culture.