79 per cent of Muslims say Christianity should have strong role in Britain

by Nick Allen, The Guardian, Feb 2009

Nearly 80 per cent of Muslims say life in Britain should be guided by Christianity, according to a poll.

People were asked to agree or disagree with the statement “Our laws should respect and be influenced by UK religious values”.

The proportion of Muslims who agreed (79 per cent) was higher than for Christians themselves (70 per cent).

The ComRes poll for the BBC appeared to contradict calls by some politicians to remove faith from the public arena.

Hindus (74 per cent) also gave more support than Christians to a strong role in public life for the UK’s traditional, Christian religious values.

The results suggested that people of different religions would rather there is some kind of faith-based framework to life in Britain, even if it is not based on their own religion.

Several years ago the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, warned that Christianity was “all but vanquished” as the guiding principle for Britain’s moral framework.

But, according to the poll, 91 per cent of Muslims agreed that religion “has an important role to play in public life” while 73 per cent of Christians also agreed.

Atheists have recently stepped up their campaign against the role of religion in public life, including using advertisements on the sides of buses.

But the poll suggested that, even with baptisms, church weddings and attendance at Sunday church services declining, people are unwilling for secularism to replace religion completely.

The poll also found that only 54 per cent of Christians and 52 per cent of Muslims agreed that the media reported their religion accurately.