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ANTI-MUSLIM prejudice has replaced fear of immigration among Britons, according to a worrying new report by Hope Not Hate.
The charity said that while concerns around immigration had declined since 2011, “attitudes to Muslims in Britain have hardened,” with significant numbers of people seeing Islam as incompatible with British values.
A new poll of 5,200 people commissioned by Hope Not Hate found that 43 per cent believe that Britain’s multicultural society is working compared to 41 per cent who do not.
In a report marking the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s infamous Rivers of Blood speech, Hope Not Hate warned that the British public “remains pessimistic about the state of multiculturalism and integration and fears it will get worse.”
Respondents were evenly split on Powell’s apocalyptic vision: a shocking 40 per cent feel his predictions of social breakdown and violence had proved accurate, compared to 41 per cent who believe he was wrong.
The report also found that 37 per cent of those polled saw Islam as a threat to the British way of life, against 33 per cent who say the Muslim faith and Britishness are compatible.
It also found that last year’s terror attacks in London and Manchester had a negative effect on attitudes toward the Muslim community as whole: 18 per cent said they felt more suspicious of British Muslims, though 24 per cent said there was no difference.
Hope Not Hate chief executive Nick Lowles said “with anxiety about British Muslims and Islam in particular replacing immigration as the main area of concern,” challenging anti-Muslim prejudice was an urgent priority.
He added: “Powell’s speech prompted action, the anniversary must do the same.”
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