Despite the horrific actions of the Islamist terror group over the past 12 months, one and a half million British Muslims have been identified as potential supporters of Islamic State (IS) in a recently conducted poll.
Support for the group in the UK has grown from seven per cent to nine per cent since 2014, the ICM poll of 2016 people commissioned by The Mirror revealed.
Three per cent of Britons now declare a “very favourable view” of IS – rising from one per cent last year – which means numerically up to half of Britain’s three million Muslims may be supporters. Astonishingly, fully six per cent of the population register a “somewhat favorable” view of the group, up by one per cent.
More predictably those with a “very un-favorable” view of IS has risen from 45 to 80 per cent – in a year of beheadings, human burnings, drowning, mass rape and attempted genocide.
“One reason [for the support] may be due to the perception that ISIS represents an opponent to the West and those who are dissatisfied or disenfranchised with the new Tory policies – of further cuts and civil rights strangulation – are using this anonymous platform to express their frustration” Omer El-Hamdoon, president of the Muslim Association of Britain, told The Mirror.
The Mirror poll follows a study released last week, based on four recent polls, which revealed that worldwide 8.5 million people view ISIS positively, and around 42 million somewhat positively.
“It is deeply worrying that after a year of carnage and cruelty, there is still this support for Islamic State. But I’m not surprised. For decades now, Islamists have been been indoctrinating young Muslims with extremist ideas without being challenged.
“…The sheer numbers of people going out there to Syria and Iraq indicate that this support is there. Many more might not be ready to move there just yet but the longer that IS retain the land they have seized, the more we will see people being persuaded to join.”
Rafiq concluded by asking Muslim communities to work with the rest of society “to make Islamism as unfashionable among our young people as fascism and communism”.