Tuesday, September 2, 2014

One-sixth in France have favorable view of ISIS

ICM Research polled people in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom as to whether they have favorable of unfavorable attitudes to ISIS, now calling itself the Islamic State.

Although the poll was commissioned by Russian state media, the polling firm ICM Research is from the UK. Even the overall results average shows 9 percent having a favorable view of ISIS: The poll revealed that overall 2 percent and 7 percent say they are very favourable and somewhat favourable towards ISIS but a greater 26 percent and 43 percent are somewhat unfavourable and very unfavourable towards ISIS.  
 A number of Europeans, usually from predominantly Muslim communities, have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist groups such as ISIS. The executioner in the video allegedly depicting the execution of US journalist James Foley had a British accent, stoking fears in the UK that there would be attacks carried out by ISIS in the UK itself. Prime Minister Cameron subsequently raised the terror alert to severe. 
At the same time as support for radical Islamic groups appears on the rise, there is increased intolerance and a "growing willingness to embrace extremism and intolerance of all kinds." Far right politics are attracting more adherents in Europe. British writer Kenan Malik also notes that there is an increasing trend to embrace what he calls "anti-politics" with a growing contempt for politics and politicians. He claims this tendency creates conditions for joining radicalism and bigotry. Many people he claims see a world out of control, or ruled by malign forces, giving rise to conspiracy theories becoming more popular and even mainstream.
 In the UK there could very well be more British citizens fighting in Syria for militant groups than are serving in the British armed forces depending upon whose figures you believe. UK MP from Perry Barr constituency in Birmingham, Khalid Mahmood claims that there are at least 1,500 young UK Muslims fighting for the Islamic State more than twice the number serving in the UK armed forces: "If you look across the whole of the country, and the various communities involved, 500 going over each year would be a conservative estimate.” Over the three years of the Syrian conflict this would give a total of 1500. There are said to be 600 Muslims in the UK armed forces: According to the Ministry of Defence, there are only around 600 British Muslims currently serving in the Armed Forces, making up approximately around 0.4 percent of total personnel. 4.3 percent of the British population are Muslim. 
 Details of the ICM polling process are as follows: ICM interviewed 3,007 respondents in three countries; GB (1,000), France (1,006) and Germany (1,001) by telephone between 11th-21st July 2014. Surveys were conducted across each country and the results have been weighted to the profile of each nation. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.