Television: What British Muslims Really Think

By Delingpole, James | The Spectator, April 16, 2016 | Go to article overview

Television: What British Muslims Really Think


Delingpole, James, The Spectator


'Our findings will shock many people,' promised Trevor Phillips at the beginning of What British Muslims Really Think (Channel 4, Wednesday).

But the depressing thing is that I doubt they will, actually. I think the general British public have known for some time what Phillips's documentary professed to find surprising: that large numbers of Muslims don't want to integrate, that their views aren't remotely enlightened, and that more than a few of them sympathise with terrorism. It's only the establishment elite that has ever pretended otherwise.

As former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Phillips was very much part of that elite. He commissioned the 1997 Runnymede report that popularised the word 'Islamophobia'. The fact that so impeccably liberal a figure is now issuing a mea culpa like this speaks volumes about how dire the situation has grown. 'Everyone who has pinned their hopes on the rise of reforming and liberal British Muslim voices are in for a disappointment,' said Phillips. 'These voices are nowhere near as numerous as they need to be to make an impact.

Here are the stats to prove it: 52 per cent of Britain's three million Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal; 39 per cent think a woman should always obey her husband; 18 per cent sympathise with people who take part in violence against those who mock the Prophet; 4 per cent -- that equates to about 100,000 Muslims -- have 'sympathy for people who take part in suicide bombing to fight injustice'. Oh, and if any of them knew someone was involved in supporting terrorism in Syria, just one in three would report it to the police. The other two million, then, would keep schtum.

Normally the PC response to these surveys is to shoot the messenger, as the BBC and the Guardian and the usual dhimmi apologists did last year, when the Sun revealed that one in four British Muslims sympathised with the motives of the Charlie Hebdo killers. They'll find it harder this time, not just because Phillips is black and probably reads the Guardian, but also because the survey was so thorough. It was conducted, face to face, by people of the same religion. And when it came to the really tricky question -- the one about terrorism -- a blank envelope was provided for the answer, so that respondents felt freer to say what they really thought.

There wasn't much to disagree with in this brave and honest programme, except for the odd momentary lapse, as when Phillips said, of Islamophobia, 'I've no doubt that most of it emanates from sheer blind prejudice.' I doubt even he believes that excuse any more. …

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