A comprehensive poll of British Muslims released Thursday reveals that 30 percent of respondents think the U.S. government was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks while seven percent blame a worldwide Jewish conspiracy.
Called the “most extensive study of British Muslims ever conducted,” researchers conducted random interviews with 3,040 respondents who identified themselves as Muslim. The results have a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.78 percentage points.
The survey was conducted jointly by ICM polling and conservative think tank Policy Exchange. While a large percentage of U.K. Muslims suggested the worst terrorist attack in American history was an “inside job” engineered by the President George W. Bush administration, more than half (52 percent) said they didn’t know who planned and executed the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that killed almost 3,000 people. Only four percent blamed al-Qaida.
In the British population as a whole, 71 percent of Britons named al-Qaida as the perpetrator of the crime and 10 percent thought the George W. Bush administration secretly aided and abetted the terrorists.
Researchers described the results as “deeply worrying.”
The ICM/Policy study, entitled “Unsettled Belonging: a survey of Britain’s Muslim communities,” polled British Muslims on a host of issues. In addition to opinions about 9/11, researchers found some reluctance by Muslims to embrace Western values, revealing growing support for extremist Sharia law and finding a slim majority of participants who are prepared to “fully integrate with non-Muslims in all aspects of life.”
Conversely, the report found that most Muslims offer little support for organizations that purport to represent them, such as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), and marginally support government action to combat radicalization in their community — though less than half think Muslims themselves should identify and expose extremists in their midst.
The MCB was quick to attack the report and suggest the authors had “provided ample fodder to countless headlines demonising Muslims.”
The latest study is consistent with recent polling that suggests a strong minority of Muslims sympathize with the aims of Islamic extremist terrorists.