Britain must ‘combat Islamophobia’

The UK government must combat Islamophobia and pursue a more Muslim-friendly foreign policy if British Muslims are to fully integrate into society, a new report says.

Released on Thursday by the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), the report states that most British Muslims suffer from negative media coverage, lack of legal protection from discrimination, and a lack of respect by government and society at large.

The study, which is based on the feedback of more than 1000 British Muslims, also challenges the widely held assumption that the loyalty of British Muslims to the state is open to question.

Over the past few years certain sections of the British media and some British politicians have blamed Muslims for their alleged lack of affiliation to the UK, and charged them with ingratitude to the government and wider society.

However, the IHRC survey found that most British Muslims see no contradiction between Islam and good citizenship, and argue they are loyal to the state because of their religion.

Aljazeera, 18 November 2004