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Muslims 'are more patriotic than most British people'

Muslims 'are more patriotic than most British people'

British Muslims feel a greater sense of national pride than the average UK citizen, according to the results of a new poll.

While 79 per cent of the Britons quizzed said they agreed with the statement 'I am proud to be a British citizen', the figure rose to 83 per cent among Muslims.

And Muslim Britons were also found to be significantly more optimistic than most with just 31 per cent agreeing with the notion that Britain's best days are in the past compared to an average of 45 per cent.

 

The figures are, to some extent, understood to reflect a reaction to the hostility and distrust felt by many British Muslims in the post 9/11 world.

 
Role model: Pakistani-British boxer Amir Khan often talks of the pride he feels in his national identity

Role model: Pakistani-British boxer Amir Khan often talks of the pride he feels in his national identity

 

There is also the belief that Muslims are more able to appreciate the political freedoms UK citizens enjoy as they can trace their family roots to far more oppressive and non-democratic regimes.

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan, one of the most prominent flag wavers among the nation's Muslim population, often speaks in interviews about his sense of national pride.

The poll of 2000 people, taken by the think tank Demos, was designed to find what symbolises the best of Britain. 

The report found: 'This optimism in British Muslims is significant as - combined with their high score for pride in being British - it runs co

They survey also discovered that courteous and generous behavior inspired patriotism more than institutions such as the monarchy or the BBC.

BEST OF BRITISH TOP 10

How people rate our cultural icons:

Shakespeare                          75%

The National Trust                  72%

The armed forces                   72%

The Union Jack                       71%

The pound                               70%

The NHS                                   69%

The monarchy                         68%

The BBC                                  63%

British sporting achievements                         58%

The Beatles                             55%

Tariq Modood, director of the Centre For Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship told the Sunday Times: 'They [Muslims] can... say to people, "We are British and you've got us wrong".

'Or they can say, "You don't think we're really British?, Fine, we're not." Only a very small minority do this.'

Shakespeare was found to be Britain's most prized national treasure with 75 per cent of people ranking him as s source of pride.

He was followed by The National Trust, the armed forces, The Union Jack flag and the Pound.

Institutions the NHS, the monarchy and the BBC came in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.

Women were found to be significantly more optimistic about the country's future than men while young Britons were found to be only 10 per cent less patriotic than those aged over 65.

A healthy two thirds of respondents said they had volunteered at least once during the past year and the act is the biggest single indicator of national pride.



Source: Daily Mail 22nd November 2011

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