A narrow majority of British Muslims (52 percent) have no idea who was responsible for the deadly 9/11 attacks on New York City's World Trade Center complex, and — shockingly — nearly one-third (31 percent) believe the U.S. government was responsible, according to a new study.
In addition, the Policy Exchange survey, which included 3,000 Muslims from a range of towns, found that only 4 percent of British Muslims correctly identify Al Qaeda as the terror organization responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
And perhaps even more stunning is the fact that more British Muslims believe Jews (7 percent) were behind the deadly assaults than Al Qaeda. The authors of the survey astutely described that phenomenon as "slightly alarming."
The general British population differs greatly from the opinions of the Muslims polled. According to the study, 71 percent of Brits blame Al Qaeda, 10 percent blame then-President George W. Bush's administration and a mere 1 percent believe Jews were behind 9/11.
There are 2.7 million Muslims living in Britain, according to the U.K.'s 2011 census, accounting for 4.8 percent of the nation's population.
As for cultural assimilation, 53 percent of Muslim respondents want to "fully integrate with non-Muslims in all aspects of life," while 37 percent back integrating "on most things." And only 1 percent favor a "fully separate Islamic area in Britain, subject to Sharia Law and government."
While a surprising 26 percent of British Muslims "deny the existence of extremism altogether," 78 percent of respondents support government regulation to prevent "anyone unsuitable from being able to tutor in madrassas," or Muslim religious schools. Also, 72 percent favor the proposal that "any out-of-school setting" be mandated to register with education authorities.
Regarding the high percentage of Muslim respondents who rejected the presence of extremism, Birmingham Labour politician Khalid Mahmood had this to say:
British Muslims are, on a whole range of issues, no different in their views and priorities than their non-Muslim neighbours. This simple fact will come as no surprise to some people — but to many others, I think it cannot be emphasised enough. And yet, alongside that, as this report also makes clear, there are some issues on which the views of British Muslims do give pause. Nowhere is this more evident than with regards to the troubled question of "extremism." It is obviously a cause for concern that so many within our communities should doubt the very existence of this phenomenon, even as we face a severe and on-going terrorist threat.
Despite the concerning numbers regarding extremism, according to Policy Exchange, 93 percent of Muslim respondents either feel "very strongly" or "fairly strongly" attached to Britain as their home country.
"I wouldn’t affiliate myself to any nation other than Great Britain. I think it’s the best place in the world to live," one respondent said.