The poll suggests Muslim sentiment is far more liberal than previously imagined

Surprise poll shows widespread Muslim support for gay rights

Surprise poll shows widespread Muslim support for gay rights

By Ian Dunt

A new survey documenting ethnic and religious attitudes in Britain has discovered a startlingly liberal approach to gay rights in the Muslim community.

The poll, conducted by think tank Demos in preparation for a forthcoming essay collection, shows that Muslims are more likely to strongly agree with the statement 'I am proud of how Britain treats gay people' than people of no religion. Only Sikhs were more likely to strongly agree.

"British Muslims are far more enlightened and proud of our liberal values than they are often given credit for," Max Wind-Cowie, head of the Progressive Conservatism Project at Demos, commented.

Overall, fewer than one in four British Muslims disagreed with the statement.

The poll found a high degree of pride in being British among Muslims, with four in five saying they were proud to be a British citizen and two-thirds saying they were proud of Britain’s culture.

Only one in five said they were not proud of Britain's role in the world.

The findings mark a significant change since a Gallup poll in 2009 found that zero per cent of British Muslims were tolerant towards homosexuality.