Religion

I started reading through the ICM Unlimited survey for Channel 4 on British Muslim social attitudes just to nose around and then suddenly I’d gone through 600 pages of data tables and it seemed a shame to not post it here.

The context is that this poll is being made into a TV programme with Trevor Phillips and the trailed data has hit the newspapers with such flashy headlines as over half of British Muslim think that homosexuality should be illegal, British Muslims are antisemitic, blah blah. As is usually the trend, I think you’ll find it’s a little more complicated than that.

I refuse to spend five hours formatting and adding pictures when I have work to do today, but some interesting points that jumped out at me in chronological order:

* 77% of Muslims in the South West think that religious prejudice against them has risen in the last five years versus between 30 and 50% in the rest of Britain. It’s lowest in Scotland and the North East (29% and 25%).

* 20% of Muslims have been personally harassed because of their religion in the last 2 years, and it mostly happened in their local area. 13% of *those* have been physically attacked. Can we then be at all surprised that Muslims feel that British society is hostile towards them when 1 in 20 have literally been beaten up in the last two years? [click to continue…]

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This is an extract laboriously typed up from “We Have Reason to Believe” by Rabbi Louis Jacobs. I have always found it to articulate the evidence for the existence of God far better than anything I have written.

“In the nature of the case, the evidence of the senses cannot
demonstrate the existence of that which is not the senses, nor can the
effort of the human intellect demonstrate the existence of that which
is more than the human intellect. To say this is not to surrender
reason – this would be suicidal, for unreliable as the human reason
may be, it is the only instrument we have for testing truth – but a
recognition, in the name of reason itself, that we must look beyond it
for the apprehension of certain truths. In other words a distinction
must be drawn between proof and conviction – proof is
one of the ways to conviction but there are other ways too. So that
the real question is not whether the existence of God can be proven
but whether belief In His existence is overwhelmingly convincing. [click to continue…]

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