The NUS Black Students Campaign and the National Assembly Against Racism have condemned the Centre for Social Cohesion's 'Islam on Campus' report.
Milena Buyum, Vice-Chair, National Assembly Against Racism said:
"One look at the Centre for Social Cohesion website and its real agenda becomes very clear - this outfit is not interested in cohesion, but in vilifying Muslims by whipping up hostility and fear. It promotes conflict not cohesion.
'If it were actually interested in cohesion, it would draw attention to the existing research which shows Muslims have positive views on UK institutions and integration that are often higher than the average for non-muslims.
'Peter Oborne's recent documentary 'It shouldn't happen to a Muslim' exposed how such incendiary headlines and biased research like that of the mis-named 'Centre for Social Cohesion', impacts on people's lives through a rise in racist attacks and increased hostility."
The findings of the report are directly contradicted by other studies about the views of British Muslims. For example, an IPSOS/MORI Poll commissioned by the Greater London Authority last year found that :
* 88 per cent of Muslims say they strongly identify with London, compared to 83 per cent of London's general population.
* Almost 9 in 10 Muslims think people should be free to live their lives without stopping others from doing the same.
* More than 95 per cent of both Muslims and the general public think that everyone should respect the law. (see notes to the editors at the end).
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, NUS Black Students officer said:
'Muslim students face increasing hostility from bigoted minorities on campuses – this includes women having head scarves ripped off their heads, the Qu'ran being banned from a Freshers Fayre, and attempts to ban religious dress on campus and in schools.
'Reports of this kind legitimise prejudice resulting in collateral damage that impacts on the lives of young Muslims and Muslim students, which leaders in the student movement and the Muslim student community have to deal with increasingly. This ranges from isolation, exclusion and stigmatisation at best, and physical attacks at worst.'
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Notes to Editors:
1. September/October 2007 - Muslims in London survey IPSOS/MORI conducted telephone interviews with 1,505 respondents, comprising a representative sample of 1,005 Londoners including 64 Muslims, and a 'booster' survey of 500 Muslims in London. Interviews were conducted between 26 September and 7 October 2007.