PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY: Fear and Hatred of Muslims on Increase in Young Generation People
Maxine Frith Social Affairs Correspondent, The Independent (London, England)
CHILDREN AS young as 13 are displaying signs of Islamophobia and are voicing their support for the British National Party, researchers have found.
Young teenagers are increasingly saying they have negative views towards Muslims and do not want Islamic culture expressed in the classroom. The study of 1,500 students aged 13 to 24 was presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society in Manchester yesterday.
Researchers asked students from 14 secondary schools and one further education college in York for their views on Islam since 11 September 2001. Three of the schools were from the independent sector and the others came from a wide geographical and socio- economic area.
Nathalie Noret, the lead researcher, from York St John's College, said: "The younger pupils were more likely to exhibit extreme views and Islamophobia than older students, and there were no differences between schools." She added that Islamophobia was a "double whammy" as it discriminated against people not just on the basis of religion but also the colour of their skin.
Overall, 43 per cent of the participants said their attitudes towards Muslims had got worse or much worse since the attacks. A quarter said they had worsened still further since the invasion of Iraq.
Ten per cent of girls and 23 per cent of the boys said they would object to female Muslim school pupils wearing a hijab in the classroom.
When asked about the British National Party, almost 10 per cent said they either agreed or agreed strongly with the views of its far- right politicians, with 15 per cent saying they were neutral. …