A documentary claiming to explore “what British Muslims really think” has caused outrage in the UK.
The programme, which aired on Channel 4 last night, claimed that British Muslims were becoming a “nation within a nation”. It included troubling statistics to support its points: that 52% of surveyed Muslims believed homosexuality should be illegal, 39% thought a woman should always obey her husband, and 18% sympathised with those committing violence against people who mocked the Prophet.
Some viewers were alarmed at the conservative picture the show painted. But online, more were outraged at what they said was a reductive, simplistic – and potentially divisive – view of Britain’s Muslim community.
Commentators disputed the findings of the survey, saying their experience of being Muslim in the UK was very different to the alarmist picture that was painted, and highlighting that only about 1000 people from majority Muslim areas were polled. Many disputed the premise of the survey, saying Britain’s Muslims can’t be treated like a homogenous block.
#WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink - that the 'community' is not a monolithic entity that thinks and moves exactly the same?— Nabeela Zahir (@NabeelaZahir) 10 April 2016
So here we go about Muslims not integrating - I have had more Muslims in my life than I have Etonians #WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink— Denis Fernando (@redcablesunday) 13 April 2016
Programmes like this dont encourage Muslim youth to become more assimilated but will only create more anger. #WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink— Saarah (@misssaarahz) 14 April 2016
Others warned that discussing Muslims in such a way could promote Islamophobia.
#WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink— Sarah Joseph (@SarahIJoseph) 10 April 2016
"That this is a daft starting point, and two million people think a whole load of varied and diverse things"
Some mocked the underlying assumptions of the survey with their own rewrites of the questions.
Others used Twitter to answer the question posed by the show themselves..
#WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink— Hasan Hafidh (@HasHafidh) 13 April 2016
Why is shisha tobacco needlessly expensive?
Time for a cheeky Nandos? #WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink— SilenceoftheXmasHam (@HamHambreen) 10 April 2016
I'm happy to work over Christmas so my Christian colleagues can enjoy Christmas with their families #WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink— Nazia Mirza (@naziasmirza) 10 April 2016
Y'all are still mad Muslims came to your country once you left theirs #WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink— sara (@sejalal) 14 April 2016
Around 3 million Muslims live in the UK, equating to about 4.5% of the country's population.
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