UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than others


10:30 am - June 27th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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A poll for the think-tank Demos found that fewer than 1 in 4 British Muslims disagreed with the statement “I am proud of how Britain treats gay people”. Almost half (47%) agreed with the statement.

They were also more likely to strongly agree with this statement than secular Britons (15% compared to 8%).

The poll marks a sharp contrast to findings by Gallup in 2009 that 0% of British Muslims were tolerant towards homosexuality. But the two results are not contradictory: Muslims can agree that Islam does not tolerate homosexuality, while celebrating gay rights enshrined in the law.

Here is the break-down

The poll also found that:
· Over 4 in 5 British Muslims say they are ‘proud to be a British citizen’
· Only 1 in 5 British Muslims are not proud of ‘Britain’s role in the world’
· Two-thirds of British Muslims say they are ‘proud of British culture’
· British Muslims were more positive about Britain’s future than secularists or Anglicans

The polling was carried out by YouGov for a forthcoming Demos essay collection on Conservative attitudes to race and ethnicity in modern Britain.

Max Wind-Cowie, Head of the Progressive Conservatism Project at Demos, said:

British Muslims are far more enlightened and proud of our liberal values than they are often given credit for. Despite recent headlines about the anti-gay sticker campaign in East London there is a much larger group of British Muslims who support gay rights. A strong sign of this was the East London Mosque banning homophobic preachers.

Dr Rob Berkeley, Director of the Runnymede Trust said:

This poll highlights that negative stereotyping of the views of Muslims in the UK distorts our political debate. A growing recognition from all parts of our society that our diversity can be a strength is a welcome development, that should inform government as it develops its policies to tackle violent extremism and protect all citizens from discrimination.

The report is being funded by the Runnymede Trust, and will feature essays from Ray Lewis, Gavin Barwell MP, Andrew Boff AM and Max Wind-Cowie amongst others. It will be published in August.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


This poll is nonsense! If you perceive that gay people are being persecuted in Britain and you approve, then you will be “proud of how Britain treats gay people”. If you think that they are being treated well, then you will be “proud of how Britain treats gay people”. You made the wrong assumption that everyone would interpret that ambiguous statement as an affirmation of gay people.

Interesting, though I’d want to see more of the underlying data, and how people’s “religion” was determined. (For example, what difference is there between regular attenders at worship and other members of each religion?)

And I’d certainly take the figures for Sikhs, Buddhists and Jewish people with a pinch of salt: looking at the percentages, it is pretty clear that only a handful of respondents were from each of those religions. For example, I’m guessing that only six Sikhs were included in the sample.

Oh, and what Paul Dicken said, concerning the question itself.

4. Comrade Tebbit

This is ridiculous, even by the standards of Mr. H.

Lets assume #1 doesn’t make an important point (which he does), look at the ‘tend to agree’ and ‘strongly disagree’ columns.

Sunny old boy, its going to take more to distract people from the goings on at the East London Mosque. People with half a brain that is.

I wouldn’t say I strongly agree because I think Britain still has a long way to go before I would be proud of how it treats gay people. I imagine a significant number of those who said they strongly disagree do so because they feel gay people still do not enjoy full rights – especially if one is considering the wider public rather than just the law. It all depends on your perspective. The question should have been asked whether participants felt Britain treated gay people well or not. As it stands they were probably responding with wildly different interpretations of this ambiguous question.

Sunny,

Once more you prove what most of us (apart from the Daily Mail and our (one) everchanging but strangely similiar visitor who believes Muslims are evil) already know. That there are large numbers of liberal Muslims, who we don’t tend to notice because they are all around us being British, even if wearing a different beard or a headscarf.

There are also large numbers of clearly illiberal Muslims – about 10% of the population according to this sample (sample numbers would be very useful – is there a link?). This apparently is the largest illiberal proportion by religion (although the Sikh and Hindu figures at least are odd), even more so than the Buddhists (!) and the Presbytarians (who would have been my bet for the most illiberal, but perhaps this is more than just Wee Frees…). Possibly there is an issue with that?

Perhaps all this shows is that those who label themselves Muslim are even more polarised than the rest of the population, for whatever reason?

‘This poll is nonsense! If you perceive that gay people are being persecuted in Britain and you approve, then you will be “proud of how Britain treats gay people”.’

Hurray for amateur pollsters! But fair enough, the question related or was perceived as being related to how people viewed the UK’s ‘persecution’ of gay people. A higher percentage of muslims (10.6%) still strongly disagreed with the persecution.

Thanks for the write-up Sunny. Just to clarify something for your readers – the poll asked whether people are ‘proud of how Britain treats gay people’ so it measures satisfaction with the current settlement. Some people who are very pro gay-rights would respond negatively, as would some who are very opposed. What the poll shows is that almost half of British Muslims polled believe that Britain’s approach to homosexuality is something to be proud of whilst around 35% were nonchalant and just 25% ‘ashamed’. As Sunny says, this doesn’t contradict earlier polls which were focused on personal morality rather than broader social attitudes.

The poll is vaguely interesting, but the conclusions drawn – whilst plausible – do not follow from the data available. (As others have said.)

One conclusion is that Muslims are generally proud of the positive way in which Britain treats gay people; another is that Muslims are generally proud of the negative ways in which we treat gay people; as ever, the reality is probably somewhere in between.

Sunny, I’m not so sure the headline on this article helps very much. There’s only a 3.5% difference between the Muslims polled and the Christians in answer to who agrees with the statement. The constant comparison and division doesn’t do any favours to liberal Christians like myself who only seek to promote greater understanding between people of different faiths. It could easily have been a headline about the opposite figure that Muslims are more likely to disagree with the statement. And either of those facts is not really a story when the difference is so small. The real story would be a historic comparison within any faith group to give a much better picture of how ‘proud of how Britain treats gay people’ today, despite the poor wording of the question in the first place.

The constant comparison and division doesn’t do any favours to liberal Christians like myself who only seek to promote greater understanding between people of different faiths. It could easily have been a headline about the opposite figure that Muslims are more likely to disagree with the statement.

Sure, but the stereotype promoted by Islamophobic campaigners is that British Muslims are significantly more homophobic than British Christians. Countering that is important.

The whole “They could think Britain persecutes gay people!” argument is a red herring. Britain’s record is imperfect: pro-gay-rights people could certainly disagree with that statement, and I’d argue that the “tend to agree” camp are likely to be MORE gay-friendly than those who “strongly agree”: but no outright homophobe is going to agree with it, because homophobes of all stripes think that gay people have too many rights in modern Britain.

27.7% more Muslims agreed with the statement to some degree than disagreed. The equivalent figure (ignoring the groups who apparently responded in tiny numbers) is 36.8% for Hindus, 20.6% for Nonconformists (a descriptor which covers some very different churches), 19.8% for Presbyterians, 32.9% for Roman Catholics, 34.8% for Anglicans, and 37.3% for the non-religious, with an average of 33%.

If we accept for the moment that those who disagree are anti-gay (which I admit is contentious – but that those who agree are pro-gay is not), tolerance has a substantial lead over bigotry in all communities, with the non-religious leading – but only slightly; the Muslim community’s liberals-to-bigots ratio is below average but still better than those of Presbyterians and Nonconformists.

@11 – “Sure, but the stereotype promoted by Islamophobic campaigners is that British Muslims are significantly more homophobic than British Christians. Countering that is important.”

Better, then, to ask a sensible (or specific) question and analyse responses correctly, rather than drawing erroneous conclusions and writing misleading headlines.

Look how many people have already re-tweeted Sunny’s misinformation!

Has anyone shown Andrew Gilligan these stats?

@12 that’s genuinely interesting. The thing about people who identify as Catholic (and, indeed, Muslim) is that they may not be very religious at all but view it as part of their cultural identity, whereas if you’re broadly irreligious but raised in a Protestant church, you’re unlikely to say you’re an adherent. Meanwhile, CoE (which isn’t really Protestant in the same way) is just living up to its reputation of ‘people who don’t believe in much’.

Better, then, to ask a sensible (or specific) question and analyse responses correctly, rather than drawing erroneous conclusions and writing misleading headlines.

Give me ten grand and I’ll devise a bloody good poll and write up the results here. As it is, we’re stuck with the questions that people who’re willing to pay for polling are willing to ask.

17. Chaise Guevara

“I am proud of how Britain treats gay people”

This has to be a contender for the prize of Most Unhelpful Survey Question Ever. I for one am not particularly proud of the way we treat gay people as I think the official distinction between marriages and civil partnerships is a kick in the teeth for same-sex couples, but by your interpretation of the results, that would make me anti-gay-rights!

This is mainly Demos’s fault rather than Sunny’s, but I think it’s a bit unfortunate that this useless data has been related (and extrapolated from) so eagerly on this site.

18. Suburban Tory

How is that East London Mosque ban on homophobic speakers getting on?

19. blackwillow1

I think trying to garner the opinions of people, based on their religion, is a bit foolhardy. Does a Muslim answer the question according to the teaching of faith, or according to his own opinion? Also the question itself was too ambiguous for anyone to give a reply that could be used to compile stats. I’m a white, working class male, not religious, proud of the fact that we give gay people almost the same rights as everyone else, but you ca’nt ignore the fact that discrepancies remain. Personally, I think who you sleep with is of no concern to anyone but yourself, unless you have sex with kids, animals or anyone against their will.

@16 – “Give me ten grand and I’ll devise a bloody good poll and write up the results here. As it is, we’re stuck with the questions that people who’re willing to pay for polling are willing to ask.”

That’s no good reason to misinterpret the data though, is it?

If the data set does not permit you to draw legitimate conclusions, to back up whatever political point you’re desperately searching for some evidence for, it is actually harmful to your cause to mislead people in this way – whereas doing nothing is neutral.

@17 – “… I think it’s a bit unfortunate that this useless data has been related (and extrapolated from) so eagerly on this site.”

Precisely.

21. Torquil Macneil

It is a terrible question. I would be inclined to answer that I was ‘ashamed’ at the way Britain treats gay people because so much discrimination, bullying and mockery is tolerated in British society. Should we assume that the other respondents who chose that option feel the same?

This poll is nonsense! If you perceive that gay people are being persecuted in Britain and you approve, then you will be “proud of how Britain treats gay people”.

Actually, no.

Britain is more tolerant towards gay people than most countries… especially countries in the Middle East and Africa which most British Muslims would have as their other reference point.

so the idea that they’re agreeing because they think gays in the UK are being suitably persecuted is a joke. It would be a lot more ambiguous in the United States admittedly.

23. Torquil Macneil

“so the idea that they’re agreeing because they think gays in the UK are being suitably persecuted is a joke.”

The problem is, there is no way any of us can know because the poll was so terribly constructed. If you were asked to say whether you were ‘proud’ at the way the UK treats gay people, would you really say you were? I wouldn’t? I think it is a travesty that gay people cannot get married, for example. How do you know that others did not answer in a similar vein? It is a perfectly natural response.

24. Robin Levett

@Max #8:

So: you asked:

11 Buddhists and 1 strongly disagreed
6 Sikhs and none strongly disagreed
47 Muslims and 5 strongly disagreed
19 Hindus and 1 strongly disagreed
16 Jews and none strongly disagreed

Can you even spell “margin of error” and “statistical significance”?

You have an ambiguous poll question that is skewed towards producing the response “strongly disagree” (since both pro- and anti-gay activists will so respond); and vanishingly small sample sizes. For exactly what purpose can we place reliance on the poll?

There may be a margin of error in the poll here, in that the question is slightly ambiguous, but I think I’m with Sunny here in that it is a pretty fair reflection of views towards gay rights. I doubt many people really think Britain’s persecution of gays is enough to satisfy their religiously-inspired hatred.

I’m more concerned that the Muslim sample may be a small as 48 people, which is slightly too small to give much information – all it takes is to sample an unusually intolerant/liberal/illiterate group in there and the sample is skewed.

@22 – “Britain is more tolerant towards gay people than most countries… especially countries in the Middle East and Africa which most British Muslims would have as their other reference point.”

So what you’re saying is… it’s subjective?

“[S]o the idea that they’re agreeing because they think gays in the UK are being suitably persecuted is a joke. It would be a lot more ambiguous in the United States admittedly.”

But several people in this thread who are absolutely in favour of the most liberal interpretation of gay rights have already suggested that they’d answer “ashamed” – which rather wrecks your argument.

Not long ago a gay man was stabbed to death (*because* he was gay) outside a club not too far from my home – I’m certainly not proud of how Britain treats gay people, whether we’re “relatively” tolerant or not.

27. Torquil Macneil

” I doubt many people really think Britain’s persecution of gays is enough to satisfy their religiously-inspired hatred.”

Yes, but the error is more likely to show in the other direction. That is, people who think Britain’s treatment of gay people is illiberal are likely to respond that they are not proud and have that extrapolated to mean that they are anti-gay bigots. One way or the other, the data cannot tell us anything because it is evident that some people will have made this mistake at least. If we are just going to assume that the data means what we think, why do polls at a all?

Sunny,

When did the title of the thread change? And what the hell is an Xtian – I almost went to find a Star Treck wiki (if such a thing exists…).

29. Robin Levett

@Max #8:

I’ve just seen a comment of yours on Conservative Home where you claim you took:

“a weighted sample of Muslims to give us as accurate a picture as possible in this type of polling.”

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thinktankcentral/2011/06/max-wind-cowie-of-demos-british-muslims-are-being-misrepresented-by-a-leadership-that-is-more-extrem.html

Would you confirm whether the sample sizes I suggested in my last post are correct; and if not, what the sample sizes actually were? If so, how do you justify your claim on Conservative Home?

@28 – “When did the title of the thread change?”

Hah! I only just noticed. “UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than others…” – like, maybe [maybe – we’re still not sure], the arsehole who stabbed a gay man to death in Liverpool?

Luckily the URL preserves the *ahem* editorial integrity of the site…

31. Flobadobadob

@ 28

As you are well aware the abreviation Xtian means Christian.

I believe the abreviation was first used by Christians themselves – C. S. Lewis used it. Xianity as an abreviation for Christianity was in use by the 16th century.

32. Jennifer Fricker

I find this VERY difficult to believe. I’m not saying that it is lies but that it is unbelievable.

I suppose that no-one bothered to ask whether the Mohammedans agree with the way in which Britain treats its population of intersexed people? I’d have no difficulty in accepting a “yes” answer to that. I’d ask them myself but would without any shadow of a doubt be spat upon as usual.

Sunny, you do realise that Robin Levett (24) is right? I’ve just checked. 47 people – that’s your sample which supposedly disproves countless surveys of public opinion.

Incidentally this was effectively paid for by the taxpayers:

http://www.runnymedetrust.org/about/supporters.html

Incidentally this was effectively paid for by the taxpayers:

Effectively means little. The Conservative party is also effectively funded by taxpayers

Max Wind-Cowie writes…

A strong sign of this was the East London Mosque banning homophobic preachers.

No, it hasn’t.

Dr Rob Berkeley writes…

A growing recognition from all parts of our society that our diversity can be a strength is a welcome development, that should inform government as it develops its policies to tackle violent extremism and protect all citizens from discrimination.

The word “can” does a lot of heavy lifting in this sentence. I think we should realise – and I say this as someone who’s spouted off on supposed Islamophobia many a time – that the only way to check bigotry is to be more discriminating about views that might slip into this “diverse” milieu.

36. Chaise Guevara

@ 22 Sunny Hundal

“Actually, no.

Britain is more tolerant towards gay people than most countries… especially countries in the Middle East and Africa which most British Muslims would have as their other reference point.”

Sunny, the survey is broken. You can’t claim that meaningless data is trustworthy just because you “know” it’s right. The question was not “Do you think Britain is more tolerant towards gay people than other countries?”, it was a ridiculously ambiguous sentence that doesn’t tell us anything.

“so the idea that they’re agreeing because they think gays in the UK are being suitably persecuted is a joke.”

You haven’t said a single thing to demonstrate this claim. As it happens, I agree with you on a gut level. However, I do reckon a fair number of people will have said they disagree with the statement because they don’t think gay rights are strong enough – so your comparison still doesn’t work.

It’s a bad survey. Let it go.

BenSix: No, it hasn’t.

Lesson 1. Always take what Andrew Gilligan says with a pinch of salt
http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/13199

38. Mr S. Pill

Gotta say I agree with those who say this is a poor survey. Tiny sample size & bad question; it’s almost like an excercise in how not to conduct a poll.

@33

Do you have the full tables? It’s true that 47 people is the smallest number polled, but that doesn’t mean that it actually is the number polled.

If anyone does have a link to the tables, I’d very much like to see them.

On the headline – I regularly change it after publishing, so it can be brought down to 2 lines where possible. Christians was longer than ‘others’ – otherwise I’d be happy to keep in the former.

The text of the article remains unchanged. No conspiracy theory. the headline states an indisputable fact

41. donpaskini

@24 “So: you asked:

11 Buddhists and 1 strongly disagreed
6 Sikhs and none strongly disagreed
47 Muslims and 5 strongly disagreed
19 Hindus and 1 strongly disagreed
16 Jews and none strongly disagreed”

Where did you get these numbers from?

42. Chaise Guevara

@ 40 Sunny

” No conspiracy theory. the headline states an indisputable fact”

Right. The headline states an indisputable fact about Muslims being more proud than others about gay rights, based on a survey that a) didn’t mention gay rights and b) somehow failed to record who wanted gay rights to be improved and who wanted them to be reduced.

In the absence of useable data, I see the way forward is to blindly declare that reality reflects your wishes!

Sunny, I would like to have good evidence that Muslims overall are more pro-gay-rights than commonly believed. It would cheer me up, and give me ammo against Islamaphobes who use the Koran’s stance on gays as a stalking horse to push their anti-Muslim agenda.

This, however, is not good evidence. It isn’t even evidence. Your headline and the conclusions you draw in the article have no factual basis whatsoever. More and more, I get the impression that you genuinely think bending statistics to suit your point of view is a valid way to use data.

It’s a weirdly unhelpfully worded survey, that’s true.

But there is absolutely no way in hades that a homophobe would agree with the statement “I am proud of how Britain treats gay people”. The error is wholly on the other side: some gay-rights enthusiasts will find themselves lumped together with the bigots in disagreement with it.

Lesson 1. Always take what Andrew Gilligan says with a pinch of salt…

I’ve visited Yusuf Patel’s blog. It links to the Hizbis and Khalifah.com and claims that “our energies must…be focussed on supporting the global calls for unification, the work for the restoration of the rule of Allah…and the appointment of ‘the shade of Allah on earth’“. He may not be a member but if he disagrees with them he’s been rather quiet about it.

I don’t think disapproval of homosexuality can be equated with homophobia, no, but SRE Islamic are clearly fundamentalists. I mean, take this from their “report”…

Upon studying the rules of Islam we find that the Allah permitted men and women to interact in exceptional circumstances in which the need arises. Therefore it permitted men and women to meet for the purposes of trade, medical treatment etc.

Separation in the private life must be complete except in the cases allowed by Allah…

Or this (perhaps more relevant) extract…

In the government’s own guidelines it is stressed that homosexuality should not to be taught or promoted as part of SRE. Yet many liberal minded teachers feel obliged to teach it. We must ensure that in any policy an explicit clause exists that prevents teachers from discussing the subject.

Prevented from discussing the subject? If such words had emanated from the mouth of, say, Ann Widdecombe or Nadine Dorries would you have thought, “Hey, they’re just no big fans of homosexuality…”

I accept the point that this is no different from stuff you might hear in a church. But, then, I wouldn’t want those churches held up as paragons of a liberal society either, and that’s what Wind-Cowie chose to do.

(Cross-posted.)

It’s silly to expect intensely religious groups of people not to contain homophobes, of course, but that’s why statements such as the ELM’s should be taken with a pinch of salt.

…what the other comments have already pointed out.

Some may say they “strongly agree” because they perceive Britain as standing against gay rights (by refusing marriage equality even as other nations open their minds) – whereas others may “strongly agree” because they believe Britain IS doing a good job on the gay-rights front. Nonsense polling.

@46

It is absurd to think there would be more than a tiny minority of people who were proud of denying gays marriage, but were also proud of allowing gays to adopt.

This poll might well overstate homophobia, but it certainly doesn’t significantly understate it.

The thing we need to establish, though, is what the sample size was. My guess is a total sample of around 1000 people – which is not big enough to be accurately split in this way.

I agree the question is unhelpful. I also agree that the fact quite a large proportion of Muslims agree in relation to other groups is *partly* perhaps to do with the fact that other groups may have still higher expectations about gay rights. I suspect that the Muslims in the ‘strongly disagree’ box are a bit more likely to disagree for illiberal reasons. BUT to say that those saying ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ are doing so because they are proud Britain is homophobic seems pretty perverse.

49. Mr S. Pill

Seeing as Max Wind-Cowie is a reader of these comments can he please link us to the original research showing methodology, questions asked, sample size & make-up etc.

50. BobLoblaw

“BUT to say that those saying ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ are doing so because they are proud Britain is homophobic seems pretty perverse.”

Yes, but they’re offset against the non-Mulsims (the “others” as Sunny headlines them) who said they are NOT proud of the UK’s position because they think it isn’t liberal enough.

Isn’t this an obvious point made repeatedly by others?

Is it entirely possible that this is one of those surveys that we can all take out of it what we want? Does it really matter one way or another if 10% of Muslims, Jews or even Jedi are or are not proud of British attidudes towards gay people? What does that mean? Does it mean that they think that gay people are treated badly and they are pleased?

What do these surveys actually tells us about real issues? What does this tell us about, say, violence regarding people in the gay community? Or homosexual marriage or anything else?

Sunny, surely this is not a bit of Monday padding?

53. Robin Levett

@Don Paskini #41:

Arithmetic; the percentages fit with sample sizes as small as that. The actual sample sizes could be exact multiples of those figures (if they aren’t exact, the percentages don’t fit, at least for low numbers of multiples), but this seems unlikely. In the Conservative Home thread, Max seems to have as good as admitted that my figures (at least for Muslims) are correct; his response to my query whether 47 Muslims was correct was:

“On sample sizes – you’re correct that the samples are relatively small.”

To be fair, he also says that:

“The poll was commissioned from YouGov and is weighted to ensure that – although the sample sizes are small (as is a danger with comparative social attitudes work such as this) – it is statistically relevant. Our release was agreed and signed off by YouGov.”

although in my understanding “statistically relevant ” and “statistically significant” aren’t synonymous.

Having said that, he comments that:

“I will ask YouGov to post the full details of the poll tomorrow for you to peruse at your leisure.”

so we will see.

The writers and indeed many of the posters on Liberal Conspiracy seem to be psychologically incapable of considering LGBT people as an equal subject in their own right. They are almost invariably discussed here only as some kind of an adjunct to affirmation/defence of a more important group (e.g. Muslims), or as ammunition for a more important target (e.g. Catholics, the EDL, Tories). So it is hardly a surprise that Sunny can’t be bothered addressing the faulty construction of the poll or the question of why Demos was so ambiguous/inept in this instance. The actual truth is of no real interest to him.

The main thing is that Sunny has got another positive ‘Muslims being great to gay people (and only racists would imply otherwise)’ story. It can go with the one about the brilliant ELM ceasing (again) to host homophobes a couple of weeks back (only to start again a week ago, but never mind). Or with the related piece about how it must have been the EDL putting up those homophobic posters in Tower Hamlets (except that it wasn’t, but that didn’t really matter, because the story wasn’t really about homophobia, it was about much more important people and issues, wasn’t it?).

55. Just Visiting

Lamia 54

> adjunct to affirmation/defence of a more important group (e.g. Muslims), or as ammunition for a more important target (e.g. Catholics, the EDL, Tories).

You’re dead right IMHO.
Anyone doing a count of the number of times LC has criticised Christians vs criticised Muslims – will see the evidence.

56. the a&e charge nurse

Important new evidence is emerging concerning the inherently problematic relationship between faith and homosexuality.

Apparently, “a group of senior Islamic clerics has written to Pope Benedict XVI calling for the world’s two biggest faiths to find common cause over their obsessive hatred of gay people”.
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/war/muslims-and-christians-to-unite-in-hatred-of-gays-20071012464/

These new developments seem to fly in the face of gay super-tolerance found when sample size does not get into double figures?

53. Robin – I asked Max Wind-Cowie and he said it was “a weighted sample of 2,086 British citizens”. so your estimated figures sound about right, and if they sound about right, then – because of the particular % given – they must be completely right.

Apparently, “a group of senior Islamic clerics has written to Pope Benedict XVI calling for the world’s two biggest faiths to find common cause over their obsessive hatred of gay people”.
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/war/muslims-and-christians-to-unite-in-hatred-of-gays-20071012464/

But by many accounts the Catholic church has been very tolerant of paedophile priests, more so than many regard as compatible with its duty of care to minors.

What I regard as challenging is persisting and prevalent homophobia while issues of unchaste damsels and adulterers are brushed aside even though the Biblical prescriptions for their punishment are severe and have never been officially repudiated by the faiths. Isn’t this manifest inconsistency embarrassing?

20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

21 then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die; because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. Deuteronomy 22:20-22
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/kjv/deu022.htm

59. Chaise Guevara

@ 54 Lamia

“The writers and indeed many of the posters on Liberal Conspiracy seem to be psychologically incapable of considering LGBT people as an equal subject in their own right. They are almost invariably discussed here only as some kind of an adjunct to affirmation/defence of a more important group (e.g. Muslims), or as ammunition for a more important target (e.g. Catholics, the EDL, Tories).”

What, so now it’s offensive to talk about one demographic in relation to another demographic? Or does the offense lie in talking about LGBT people but not making them the primary subject? Or, as seems most likely, are you the kind of person who goes out of their way to get offended and has to make up bizarre reasons like the above?

I have to say, I’d be ripping into this research if it had appeared in a tabloid trying to prove anything. Badly designed and ambiguous questions, tiny sample size, doesn’t really prove much of anything.

We shouldn’t be using poor quality evidence just because it confirms what we want to think.

@ Chaise Guevara,

“What, so now it’s offensive to talk about one demographic in relation to another demographic? Or does the offense lie in talking about LGBT people but not making them the primary subject?”

I didn’t mention talk of offence, I was talking about the mindset on here. It is tedious how transparent LC is about this.

This story – and the poll behind it – was intended to show how progressive Muslims are. Fine. The fact that it is completely muddled doesn’t stop the likes of Sunny seizing on it as triumphantly as they did on the ‘Gay Free Zone posters are an EDL black ops’ feel-good fabrication.

It is quite patronising to be treated this way, yes, but evidently it makes some liberals feel better about themselves and the world to periodically go through this charade and have people nod along approvingly.

62. Chaise Guevara

@ 61 Lamia

OK, that’s a lot more reasonable than the point I thought you were making. My apologies.

I think you’re right to an extent, as far as LC goes. However, it’s partly in the eye of the beholder. When this site ran a story about the Christian couple who refused to let a gay couple stay at their B&B, I interpreted it as being mainly intended as a defense of gay rights, but you could have interpreted it as being mainly an attack on Christians. There’s also the fact that a lot of LC stuff is reactive, so often the author will be responding to a specific instance of homophobia by a political party, religious organization or other such group. They can’t exactly churn out articles titled “We still support your right to be gay”.

Also: what would you prefer LC to do? The conclusions drawn from the above survey are obviously bollocks – garbage in, garbage out – but pretend for the moment that a well-conducted survey delivered the same results. Should Sunny ignore the story entirely? Or should he run with the headline “Most people OK with homosexuality”, even though that’s not news in the same way as “Muslims more OK with homosexuality than others”?

@ Chaise Guevara,

“pretend for the moment that a well-conducted survey delivered the same results. Should Sunny ignore the story entirely? Or should he run with the headline “Most people OK with homosexuality”, even though that’s not news in the same way as “Muslims more OK with homosexuality than others”?”

No, if it was a truthful story I would be delighted to see it and to see it described accordingly, giving credit accordingly.

The fact is, it wasn’t. I’m not saying that as a criticism of Muslims; I am saying that as a criticism of those non-Muslims who tend to confuse a wish for a more harmonious society – which is admirable – with pretending, to the point of fabrication or lying by ommission, that this is what is being demonstrated. It really didn’t help, for instance, that the Gay Free Zone posters were portrayed as an EDL smear job, because that relatively trvialised the matter, suggesting that the ‘homophobia’ behind them was a fabricated tactic and that no real implied threat was being made. One didn’t have to attack all Muslims to see that.

I don’t think some on the left are honest about matters like that, however well-meaning their intentions.

64. Chaise Guevara

@ 63 Lamia

Cool, agreed. I think there’s a natural human tendency to confuse what IS true with what you WANT to be true, regardless of the evidence, and this story (and Sunny’s following insistence in the face of reason that his conclusions are valid) is certainly an example of that.

65. Robin Levett

@Bob B #58:

“But by many accounts the Catholic church has been very tolerant of paedophile priests, more so than many regard as compatible with its duty of care to minors”

Who’s talking about paedophilia?

66. Robin Levett

@Ed West #57:

Thanks for that; I note that Yougov haven’t yet put the actual numbers up, but the number 47 has been picked up by others on Conservative Home and Max hasn’t yet responded to deny it.

Max, my anecdotal impression is that there is indeed a substantial body of opinion amongst British Muslims favourable to gay rights; certainly that the opposition to them isn’t monolithic. Unfortunately, it seems that the survey upon which you rely is barely more than anecdotal impression itself. Is there any reason why we should consider that it has any statistical significance?

67. Roger Mexico

YouGov have put up the full analysis for the I am proud of how Britain treats gay people : To what extent do you agree or disagree [with?] that on its website:

http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-demos-patriotism-ge_280611.pdf

And yes, there were only 42 Muslims (47 after weighting). and yes it is a silly question – though possibly less so given that the questions were presumably about what you feel about Britain rather than about gay people. However this is the only question up on the site at the moment.

Sunny Hundal states: “The poll marks a sharp contrast to findings by Gallup in 2009 that 0% of British Muslims were tolerant towards homosexuality.”

Funny man! You mean the Gallup poll that asked the simple, unambiguous question and produced a simple, unambiguous response?

The combination of denial and deception as the motive behind this ridiculous poll is creating a real stench.

Who exactly are you trying to fool? Yourself?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  2. Simon Hayward

    RT @johannhari101 UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians http://t.co/CaTAuBF << What do you say to this?

  3. Mel Bourne

    What a misleading question. I'm not proud of how Britain treats gay people because we still have a long way to go. http://t.co/a6w4a0A

  4. James Mark Hetterley

    RT @johannhari101 UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians http://t.co/CaTAuBF << What do you say to this?

  5. Steven Kruse Kagawa

    UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  6. Christopher Ward

    Interesting, though I'm not sure the question is right one RT @libcon: UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  7. Clive

    UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  8. sunny hundal

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  9. Heather McRobie

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  10. Jack Barker

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  11. Nancy Kelley

    MT@sunny_hundal British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://t.co/11kLdyE >detail worth a look

  12. Jackart

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  13. Kim Blake

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  14. Nikki

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  15. Arata Matsunaga

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  16. L.K.M Consulting

    Funny data though as "not proud of how UK treats gay ppl" could mean we treat gay ppl too well OR not well enough http://t.co/oUUVkZs

  17. Bill Bolloten

    UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/apxBZ1o via @libcon

  18. L.K.M Consulting

    Funny data though as "not proud of how UK treats gay ppl" could mean we treat gay ppl too well OR not well enough http://t.co/oUUVkZs @Demos

  19. L.K.M Consulting

    Perhaps why 9% of Buddhists are not proud of how UK treats gay ppl @Demos http://t.co/oUUVkZs

  20. Fifi Le Pieu

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  21. Paul Burgin

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  22. Stephen Wood

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  23. JamieSW

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  24. Mike Yule

    “@sunny_hundal: British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://t.co/R8oH1PZ” #ESDGC

  25. Michael Harris

    Not in press no. 242 / RT @sunny_hundal British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups http://t.co/X1J3qLF

  26. eleanor

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  27. Lucy Proctor

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  28. Gary

    UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  29. Nick Ryan

    UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  30. Esme Peach

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  31. Owen Blacker

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  32. vitoria

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  33. Paul Wood

    British Muslims "prouder" of gay rights in the UK than most Christian groups, new poll finds http://bit.ly/ieyviu

  34. Aziem Chawdhary

    UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/rm8P4vz via @libcon

  35. UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians | eChurch Blog

    […] following excitable headline has appeared over at Liberal Conspiracy: UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than […]

  36. { Brown Pundits } » Muslim Britons & the gays

    […] Sunny Hundal states: The poll marks a sharp contrast to findings by Gallup in 2009 that 0% of British Muslims were tolerant towards homosexuality. But the two results are not contradictory: Muslims can agree that Islam does not tolerate homosexuality, while celebrating gay rights enshrined in the law. […]

  37. what? | Kevin Burctoolla's gaming world

    […] UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than others […]

  38. wriggles

    UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than others | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tVyz8cZ via @libcon

  39. UK: Muslims proud of gay rights | allah.eu

    […] of gay rights than secular peers, poll claims”, but according to the poll breakdown (via Liberal Conspiracy), if you also take into account those who ‘tended to agree’ with the statement: Muslims […]

  40. UK: Muslims proud of gay rights «ScrollPost.com

    […] of gay rights than secular peers, poll claims”, but according to the poll breakdown (via Liberal Conspiracy), if you also take into account those who ‘tended to agree’ with the statement: Muslims […]

  41. Maryam Saghir

    "UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than others" http://t.co/9lkxt2UD @libcon

  42. Stig Larsen

    @iceCPH Der heldigvis intet der tyder på at et flertal deler dine holdninger http://t.co/AvncTLqV @emiil

  43. CriticalDragon1177

    UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than Christians | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/rm8P4vz via @libcon





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