A troubling new survey commissioned by the Policy Exchange think tank says that more British Muslims blame Jews for the 9/11 terrorist attacks than blame terrorists from Al Qaeda. The research, carried out by polling company ICM, claims that only 4% of British Muslims believe that Al Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 atrocities, whereas 7% believe that “Jews” were to blame (52% of British Muslims said they did not know who conducted the attacks, and 31% thought the American government was behind the attacks).
The results are in sharp contrast with the beliefs of the general British population, 71% of which blames Al Qaeda and only 1% of which blames Jews (10% attributed the attacks to the American government and 16% did not know who did it).
The foreword to the report by Khalid Mahmood MP, noted: “So many British Muslims seem ready to entertain wild and outlandish conspiracy theories about the way the world works, believing that dark forces are at work to ‘do us down’ as Muslims. From the attacks of 9/11, down to the more recent conflict in Syria, too many people seem ready to believe that these events are being deliberately organised and manipulated — whether by the American Government, Jews, or some other force – with the express intention of damaging Muslims.”
The report pointed out that conspiracy theories were part of the “extremist worldview”. Focus groups carried out by ICM gave one reason for blaming Jews as being “the widely circulated, fraudulent claim that several thousand Jews failed to turn up for work on 11 September 2001, a sign that they had foreknowledge of the attack — and were therefore implicated in the crime.”
In April this year, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of ICM data produced for Channel 4 and Juniper Television showed that antisemitism is far more prevalent amongst British Muslims than amongst the rest of the British population.
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