'40% of UK Muslims' want Sharia Law

Press Association
Sunday February 19, 2006 9:13 AM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-5631213,00.html

Four in 10 Muslims in Britain want hard-line Sharia Law introduced in parts of Britain, an ICM poll revealed.

One in five also expressed sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the July 7 suicide bombers who killed 52 innocent people in London.

However, while British Muslims come over as alienated from mainstream society, 91% said they feel "loyal" to Britain.

The survey, for the Sunday Telegraph, follows a fresh protest in Trafalgar Square by thousands of Muslims against the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

Sadiq Khan, the Labour MP appointed to the task force set up after the 7/7 attacks, called the findings "alarming".

"Vast numbers of Muslims feel disengaged and alienated from mainstream British society," the MP told the newspaper.

Sharia Law, which is practised in large parts of the Middle East, specifies stonings and amputations as routine punishments. Religious police are responsible for bringing suspects before special courts.

Sharia should be introduced in "predominantly Muslim" areas of Britain, according to 40% of the 500 Muslims polled. Almost the same number, 41%, opposed the move.

While 20% said they felt sympathy for the London suicide bombers' motives, another 75% said they did not. Just 1% backed the attacks.

Almost two-thirds believed video images of British troops beating Iraqi youths, uncovered last week, were representative of a wider problem in the war-ravaged country. Exactly half predicted the soldiers responsible will not be "appropriately published".

Copyright Press Association Ltd 2006, All Rights Reserved.



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