A TV show asked what British Muslims really think – but didn't get the answers it expected

Published April 14th, 2016 - 01:03 GMT
Women shop for clothes at a market in the UK (AFP/John D McHugh)
Women shop for clothes at a market in the UK (AFP/John D McHugh)

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.

Others warned that discussing Muslims in such a way could promote Islamophobia.

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..


Around 3 million Muslims live in the UK, equating to about 4.5% of the country's population.

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