UK Mirror Pollsters ICM found that opposition to ISIS has hardened during twelve months of barbaric atrocities, with 80% of all British people now having a “very unfavourable” view of them compared with 45% last July. But, staggeringly, the poll of 2,016 adults taken over the weekend also found that support for the terror group was up by 2%, to 9% among Muslims.
It found that 3% have a “very favourable view”, up 1% from a year ago – suggesting that around half of Britain’s three million Muslims could be ISIS sympathizers. Another 6% admitted having a “somewhat favourable” view, up from five per cent last year.
Omer El-Hamdoon, president of the Muslim Association of Britain, said: “Any numbers which favour ISIS are worrying.
“The reasons will no doubt be varied. One reason may be due to the perception that ISIS represents an opponent to the West and those who are dissatisfied or disenfranchised with the new Tory policies – of further cuts and civil rights strangulation – are using this anonymous platform to express their frustration.”
Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said: “I am glad to see that opposition to ISIS has grown over the last year. “But it is a great concern that there is a growing percentage of people who are attracted to them. It’s why I think that all of us, but particularly within the Muslim community, need to look within our ranks to see how this is happening.
“There are people out there glorifying ISIS and I don’t believe in the ‘lone wolf’ theory that all this radicalisation is only taking place online. I believe there are people within the community who need to be looked at.”
Haras Rafiq, of the counter-extremism thinktank the Quilliam Foundatiom, said: “It is deeply worrying that after a year of carnage and cruelty, there is still this support for Islamic State.
“But I’m not surprised. For decades now, Islamists have been been indoctrinating young Muslims with extremist ideas without being challenged.
“The Islamists say that the only way you can be a true Muslim is to believe in the Islamic Caliphate. There are undoubtedly a significant number of people in the UK who believe in the concept of the Islamic State.
“The sheer numbers of people going out there to Syria and Iraq indicate that this support is there. Many more might not be ready to move there just yet but the longer that IS retain the land they have seized, the more we will see people being persuaded to join.”
He called on the Muslim communities to work with the rest of society “to make Islamism as unfashionable among our young people as fascism and communism.”