Muslim views on Jews
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-02-10
Recent Muslim protest in London
Sad but not surprised say Jewish community leaders following the release of a poll that asked for the views of British Muslims towards Jews and Israel.
Conduced by Populus for a group of Jewish organisations and first published in The Times, it surveyed 500 people across the country between December 9 and 19 last year, nearly 50 percent agreed with the conspiracy theory that "the Jewish community in Britain is in league with the Freemasons to control the media and politics". while 37 per cent believed that Anglo-Jewry was a "legitimate target as part of the struggle for justice in the Middle East".
Of the conspiracy theory, Board of Deputies chief executive Jon Benjamin said it was "completely bizarre" while he added. "It is concerning to hear that Jews are considered legitimate targets."
Other findings of the poll found:
57 per cent of British Jews have no interest in Palestinian suffering
More than half think it is right to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day
52 per cent think the state of Israel has the right to exist, though 30 per cent disagreed.
Muslim Council of Britain spokesman Inayat Bunglawala told the Jewish Chronicle on the question of Jews being an legitimate target, "completely unacceptable. I just hope people were confused by the question, otherwise it is very disturbing."
Jewish leaders have called for seeking better dialogue with Muslims.
"None of these responses surprises me at all," said Dr Richard Stone who is active in interfaith dialogue and is chair of the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia. "It's a demonstration of how urgently work is needed to being Jews to meet Muslims."