In response to these survey results, Hamza Tzortzis could say that the Muslims in Britain would cooperate more fully and honestly with law enforcement, and that they would institute programs in mosques and Islamic schools to teach against the Islamic supremacist idea that Sharia should ultimately supplant Britain’s non-Islamic government. He could say that he understands that the negative perception of Islam comes from Muslims around the world and in Britain who have murdered and threatened to murder people and explained their actions by reference to Islamic texts and teaching, and from Muslims who have crowed about how they will soon take over. Tzortzis could show by his deeds as well as his words that he opposed such ideas and would stand against them.
Instead, he trots out the same old tired canard that we always see: that the negative perceptions of Islam are a manifestation of “Islamophobia” that arises from “ignorance,” and that a good propaganda campaign insisting that Islam is a Religion of Peaceâ„¢ will fix things right up. Fats Waller was once asked what “swing” was. He answered: “If you got to ask, you ain’t got it.” Likewise, If you got to keep telling us that your religion is peaceful, it ain’t.
“Three-quarters of non-Muslims believe Islam negative for Britain: Muslim organisation calls for efforts to improve awareness as four-fifths of those polled admit to little knowledge of the faith,” by Haroon Siddique in the Guardian, August 2:
Three-quarters of non-Muslims believe Islam has provided a negative contribution to British society, according to a new poll, which has prompted calls for Muslims to help improve the perception of their faith.
The study for the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) also found that 63% of people surveyed did not disagree with the statement “Muslims are terrorists” and 94% agreed that “Islam oppresses women”. It included qualitative as well as quantitative data. One respondent said: –If I had my way I’d kick them all [Muslims] out of here.”
The results follow an online YouGov poll, published in June, that found 58% linked Islam with extremism and 69% believed it encouraged the repression of women.
Despite the widespread negative perceptions of Islam, iERA believes the fact that most opinions were formed in ignorance of the faith indicates that Muslims can positively influence them.
Four-fifths of those polled said they have less than very little knowledge about Islam, while 40% did not know who “Allah” referred to and 36% did not know who the Prophet Muhammad was.
iERA’s senior researcher Hamza Tzortzis said: “We wanted to do something positive with the survey results rather than just say, ‘It’s so sad’. So, the organisation’s strategy is to give a new realm of possibility for people to comprehend Islam, have a proper respect for Islam and see the human relevance of the faith.”
The organisation has made a number of recommendations on how to spread knowledge of Islam and the Muslim community through education and audiovisual materials. It also advocates “promoting Muslim women as ambassadors of change” to counter the impression that they are oppressed.
Although the survey indicated people may not be willing to listen – 60% said they preferred not to receive any information about religion, while 77% did not agree in any way that Muslims should do more to teach people about their faith – Tzortzis believes they will if they are shown that religion is relevant.
“We need to show that it [Islam] encompasses all the things in your life whether social or practical,” he said….