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  • British Muslims patriotic and optimistic, says new survey

    British Muslims are more patriotic than their peers, says a survey released this week by the think-tank Demos.

    When presented with the statement:  “I am proud to be a British citizen”, 83% of Muslims said they are proud of being British. This compares to the average across the population of 79%.

    The report dug deeper into what were the sources of national pride. It states: “When seeking to explain and describe things that make people feel proud of their community or country, British people tend to reach for behaviours and actions that they approve of and feel contribute to a wider sense of the good. Our focus groups brought up social action, community engagement and volunteering as facets of Britain in which they felt pride.”

    Given that community and society are the roots of pride and togetherness, it is unsurprising that Muslims in Britain score highly. In our own research we noted that collectivity is one of the foundations of Muslim communities. Muslims take pride in supporting the wider social group, and engaging with it, and see it as one of their duties to drive their social group forward.

    Alongside national pride, Muslims in Britain are significantly more optimistic about the nation as well. Only 31% believe that Britain’s best days are in the past, compared with 45% for society as a whole.

    The report says: “This optimism in British Muslims is significant as – combined with their high score for pride in British – it runs counter to a prevailing narrative about Muslim dissatisfaction with and in the UK.”

    This research offers evidence-based findings which can prove a positive starting point for those wishing to engage in dialogue with Muslims.  For marketers in particular, it highlights that Muslims see themselves very much as part of Britain’s core, and uphold pride and optimism in the nation.  It also demonstrates that they respond to notions rooted in community and society.

    As one Muslim commentator wrote in response to the findings: “We might not be flying the flag on our front porches but this poll proves Muslims are certainly flying it in our hearts.”