A poll of British Muslims suggests that almost half say they are proud of the country’s stance on gay rights.
According to the research by think-tank Demos, 47 per cent of Muslims agreed with the statement: “I am proud of how Britain treats gay people.”
This figure was slightly higher than the average and just higher than the 46.5 per cent of Christians who agreed with the statement.
Thirty-four per cent of Muslims said they did not agree or disagree, while 10.8 per cent said they strongly disagreed.
The number of Muslims who strongly agreed with the statement was higher than the number of non-religious people who did, at 14.9 per cent compared to 7.9 per cent.
The poll also found that more than four out of five Muslims said they were “proud to be a British citizen” and only one in five said they were not proud of “Britain’s role in the world”.
Max Wind-Cowie, head of the Progressive Conservatism Project at Demos, said: “British Muslims are far more enlightened and proud of our liberal values than they are often given credit for.
“Despite recent headlines about the anti-gay sticker campaign in East London there is a much larger group of British Muslims who support gay rights.
“A strong sign of this was the East London Mosque banning homophobic preachers.”
In 2009, a Gallup poll found that not one of the 1,001 British Muslims interviewed believed homosexual acts were morally acceptable.
Commenting, Sunny Hundal of the Liberal Conspiracy blog wrote: “The two results are not contradictory: Muslims can agree that Islam does not tolerate homosexuality, while celebrating gay rights enshrined in the law.”