An in-depth survey into the attitudes of Muslims living in London has revealed that less than 5% think homosexual acts are “acceptable,” compared with over 65% of the general population
The Gallup poll, reported in The Times, found that Muslims differed significantly with the rest of the capital’s population in their attitudes to a range of social questions.
More than 80% of the public think sex outside marriage is acceptable, with only 10% of Muslims agreeing.
There were similar wide discrepancies on abortion and pornography.
The survey also found that the vast majority of Muslims questioned condemned violence. 74% said they are loyal to Britain and 82% said they have respect for other religions.
69% of Muslims said they identified very or extremely strongly with their religion, and only 13% think it is necessary to remove the face veil (niqab).
55% of non-Muslims think the niqab needs to be removed to improve integration into British society.
Muslim leaders have been outspoken in their attacks on the rights of LGBT people in British society.
Last year Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, was investigated by police over comments he made on BBC radio.
He called homosexuality, “a practice that in terms of health, in terms of the moral issues that comes along in a society, it is not acceptable.
“Each of our faiths tells us that it is harmful and, I think, if you look into the scientific evidence that has been available in terms of the forms of various illnesses and diseases that are there, surely it points out that where homosexuality is practised there is a greater concern in that area.”
MPs reacted with fury to his comments, which today’s survey show are in line with the vast majority of Muslim opinion.
Alan Duncan, the first openly gay Conservative MP said: “This is an absurd medieval view. One should separate the religious from the secular. Such general condemnation is no longer acceptable in a civilised modern world.”
Stephen Pound, the Labour MP for Ealing North, said: “It’s a cruel and vicious blow to strike against people who are born the way they are. We are living in 21st-century northern Europe, not 7th-century Arabia. It may come as a shock to Mr Sacranie, but I know many gay Muslims who are living perfectly normal, decent lives.”
Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on human rights, said: “To imply that homosexuality itself was unacceptable is a form of intolerance that’s deplorable.”