Baroness Warsi is expected to say tonight that prejudice towards Muslims has “passed the dinner party test” and become “socially acceptable”. http://bbc.in/gyigAR
Is she right? Well, it’s certainly true that the British public are more negative towards Muslims than they are towards people of other religions. We looked at this in the 2009/10 British Social Attitudes survey using a ‘feeling thermometer’, and we’ve analysed people according to whether they are cool, neutral or warm towards different groups. Only 6% feel cool towards Protestants, 9% towards Catholics, 13% towards Jews – but 34% towards Muslims. We also found that over half (55%) would be bothered by the construction of a large Muslim mosque in their community – but only 15% if it was a large Christian church.
Education seems to make a difference: negative feeling towards Muslims is much lower among those with degrees - although it doesn’t disappear.