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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Jews, gay vicars and women in bikinis

Nearly two fifths (37 per cent) believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target “as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”. Moreover, only 52 per cent think that the state of Israel has the right to exist, with 30 per cent disagreeing, a big minority. One in six of all Muslims questioned thinks suicide bombings can sometimes be justified in Israel, though many fewer (7 per cent) say the same about Britain.

From a report in the Times on a poll of British Muslims (via Harry's Place).

So it is not true that violent extremism is representative of the majority of British Muslims. At the same time, this man is plainly something considerably more than an isolated maverick. So long as that remains the case, there is simply no case for excluding the suggestion of a connection between the Muslim faith and terrorism from the sphere of public debate.

'Two thirds of voters think Muslims must accept the principle of freedom of speech and the right of papers to publish such cartoons', says the report. Hopefully this represents a solid majority who would agree that violent protests and incitement to violence are precisely not the way to refute the cartoons' message.

Talking of which, for Brits living in the West Country, Laban Tall has a suggestion for an experiment.

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