47% of Tory members think Islam is 'threat to British way of life'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre - Credit: PA

A new poll has found that almost half of Tory party members believe Islam is a "threat to the British way of life".

Hope Not Hate revealed the figures as part of its submission to the ‘Conservative Party Inquiry on all forms of racism including Islamophobia’, and reveals the extent of anti-Muslim sentiment amongst the party’s grassroots.

​​​​​​​47% said that Islam was generally a threat to the British way of life, and 57% reported negative attitudes to Muslims, with 21% registering a very negative attitude.

Of those that considered Islam a threat, 50% agreed with the statement 'Islam breeds intolerance for free speech and calls for violent actions against those who mock, criticise or depict the religion in ways they believe are offensive', 41% felt 'Muslims don't want to integrate' and 41% agreed that 'Islam promotes discrimination of and the physical abuse of women, for example the grooming of white British girls’.

24% that Muslim populations are growing at a rate many times faster than non-Muslim and will replace white British people.

The YouGov polling found a strong belief in anti-Muslim conspiracy theory, with 58% thinking it was true that there were no-go areas in Britain where Sharia law dominates and non-Muslims cannot enter.

In addition, 56% thought multiculturalism has had a negative effect on British culture and 50% thought that having a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures has undermined British culture.

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Speaking after the submission of the findings to the inquiry, HOPE not hate CEO Nick Lowles said: “The Conservative Party has to face up to the widespread anti-Muslim prejudice in its ranks if it ever hopes to eradicate the problem.

"It’s dispiriting that HOPE not hate has to again call attention to the prejudiced idea held by many within the Tory rank and file that there is a conflict between being Muslim and being British. We have also documented further instances of publicly expressed anti-Muslim sentiment from members, activists and councillors and even MPs.

"It’s difficult to argue against the many proofs of the problem, the real question is how bold the Conservatives will be in taking action. We have submitted this evidence to the inquiry in a spirit of constructive criticism, and so hope the Conservatives grasp the nettle and pull out the racism in the party right down to the roots."

The YouGov poll was conducted online with 1,213 adults between July 13 and 16, 2020.

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