An opinion poll claiming to show that multiculturalism has driven Muslim youth to extremism dominated yesterday’s news headlines. But further investigation has shown the Policy Exchange report to be little more than a sham. The first warning signs were the refusal of the think tank to reveal their methodology and the questions they asked.
Closer analysis of the “Living Apart Together” report indicates a high level of spin in the conclusions. Experts say that far from being an “independent” think tank, Policy Exchange is actually a right-wing neo-Con leaning outfit, a reality that journalists failed to spot amid a blitz of media coverage yesterday.
While Policy Exchange claimed 13% of Muslims aged 16 to 24 years old supported Al Qaeda’s war against the West, The 1990 Trust’s survey showed just 1% of those surveyed supported the 7/7 bombings. Ruhul Tarafder, the lead author of the Trust’s report, said:
“Our questions and methodology is in our report for all to see, so there can be no spin. Whereas The 1990 Trust report received little press attention, it is worrying that the media have leapt upon the Policy Exchange report despite so many doubts about the organisation and its findings.
‘When the Policy Exchange claim that 37% of Muslims between 16 and 24 support sharia law, I ask: why is the meaning of sharia not explained in their report? Like the word Jihad, it has a much wider meaning than the Western stereotypes. And did they try to find out the level of understanding about sharia from the people they interviewed? I suspect not.
“This is a deeply flawed report, tailored to fit a right-wing agenda, with its real conclusions hidden from public view.”
Read the 1990 Trust’s survey Muslim views: foreign policy and its effects here.