White Britons twice as likely to be extremists compared to those of Pakistani origin

A British university surveyed over 600 people for the study
Mar 18, 2019
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP
[caption id="attachment_1713887" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: AFP[/caption] White Britons are more likely to hold extremist views than people of Pakistani descent, according to research conducted by Queen Mary University of London. Academics at the university said that when respondents of a survey were asked whether they support suicide bombings, 15% of white British people were classed as sympathisers compared to 8% of Pakistanis, according to the Independent. The research findings were published in the British Journal of Psychiatry and surveyed 618 men and women living in Blackburn, Darwen, Bradford and Luton. “British counter-terrorism policy has had an undue focus on Islamic fundamentalism, with white British extremism normally considered as a lesser problem,” Professor Kam Bhui said. The study accused the government of an “undue focus on Islamic fundamentalism”. Related: Australian senator blames NZ mass shooting at mosques on Muslim immigration It would be surprising to learn that more white Britons have ‘extremist sympathies’ compared to people of Pakistani heritage, he said. He raised concerns about right-wing terrorism and suggested that terrorism should be considered generally instead of focusing on Islamic fundamentalism. The Independent reported that according to official statistics, 43% of suspected terrorists arrested are white, compared to 32% who are of Asian origin. Neil Basu, head of UK counterterror policing, said that 80% of police investigations were based on jihadis and 20% on “others”, of which a significant proportion were from the right wing. “There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the two ideologies, both perverse, are feeding each other,” he added. A senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, Dr Clive Gabay said the research would serve as a “wake-up call” because a large number of British voters had a prejudiced attitude towards migrants. “Racism is a serious factor in the current political debates around immigration and integration, and we need to be mindful of the re-emergence and growing popularity of extremist anti-BAME and anti-immigrant views,” he said. Related: British PM Theresa May accepts PM Khan’s invitation to visit Pakistan Younger people supported terrorism more frequently than married or divorced and opinions were not affected by gender, religion, education, discrimination or life events. People with histories of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress were most likely to hold extremist thoughts, reported the study. The study is being used by authorities to counter radicalisation and stop terrorism and will support the government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy. Follow SAMAA English on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.






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