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I følge en offisiell undersøkelse mener 6 av 10 at religion, ikke rase, er den mest splittende samfunnsfaktoren i dagens Storbritannia. Undersøkelsen er gjort av myndighetenes Likhets- og menneskerettighetskommisjon (Equalities and Human Rights Commission).

Following the July 2005 bombings by Islamic terrorists on London’s transport network and the tensions caused by the war in Iraq, religion has become the factor most likely to divide communities.

The poll found that 64 per cent of Muslims thought religion was ‘a more divisive issue than race’ – compared with an average of 60 per cent for the general population.

They were also least likely to be happy for their children to marry someone from a different religion.

Only a third would be content, compared to 70 per cent of the general population, 65 per cent of black or African Caribbean and 65 per cent of non-Muslim Asians.

In general, Muslims were happier for a child to marry someone of a different race than religion.

Some 61 per cent suggested they would be content with this.

Muslimske briter er også mer enige i at «forskjellige grupper bør få være fri til å utvikle seg langs forskjellige linjer og bør ikke tvinges til å integrere seg i det britiske samfunnet» enn den ikke-muslimske delen av befolkningen.

Some 44 per cent either strongly agreed or tended to agree, even though the Government wants to encourage integration, and move away from the discredited dogma of multiculturalism.

The survey of attitudes in society was commissioned to mark the tenth anniversary of the Macpherson report into the racist murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

It follows a speech by the Commission’s chairman Trevor Phillips, who yesterday told the Mail that Britain is ‘by far the best place in Europe to live if you are not white’.

Phillips mener at begrepet «institusjonell rasisme», først benyttet i Macpherson-rapporten, ikk burde brukes for å beskrive offentlige institusjoner. – Uttrykket har blitt kapret av hvite som er på en guilt-trip og nekter å anerkjenne fremskrittene som er gjort i Storbritannia for å bedre raserelasjoner, sa Philips, som advarte mot økende religiøse motsetninger:

The Ipsos MORI poll confirms that Britons are ‘increasingly at ease with racial diversity’, the Commission added.

Half of us are also optimistic that we will have a more tolerant society in ten years.

Among ethnic minorities, 58 per cent are optimistic for the future.

Meanwhile, 56 per cent think it likely Britain will have a black, Asian or mixed-race prime minister in the next ten to 20 years – a timely prediction on the day that Barack Obama becomes the U.S.’s first black president.

But there was continuing scepticism among ethnic minority groups about the police.

When asked to consider the investigation into Stephen’s murder, 53 per cent believed there would be similar failings today, if officers were to investigate such a crime.

Mr Phillips said: ‘At this historic moment, when America has chosen its first black leader, it is heartening to recognise that here in Britain we have a sophisticated sense of our own identity and an appreciation and interest in difference. But we can’t be complacent.

‘The survey points to emerging religious divisions. And as we mark a darker moment in our own history – the tenth anniversary of the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, it is clear the police still have work to do to convince our ethnic minority communities they deserve their trust.’

Daily Mail: Religion divides us more than race, say Britons