The Big Question on Sunday:
This programme is aired on the BBC One TV Channel on Sundays where a series of moral, ethical and religious debates led by a panel is hosted in front of a live audience. I would like to recommend you not to miss watching this interesting show. If you miss it on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. you can catch up with it on the BBC iPlayer during the week.
Last Sunday 15th May, 2011 the topic for debate on episode 16 of The Big Question programme was “Does Britain have a problem with muslims?”
Whilst it is not my intention to comment on the deliberations of the debate which ensued in responding to the Big Question in this weeks programme, I would like to draw your attention to some facts highlighted in the show.
During the discussions in the show, reference was made to the 2010 British Social Attitudes survey reporting that three quarter of people in the country feel hostile towards muslims and a third feel “cool” towards them.
Greater opposition to Islam:
The British Social Attitudes report is published by the National Centre for Social Research. The Centre annually undertakes a survey on what people in Britain think about today's issues and debates such as religion, politics and voting etc.
On perusing the 26th British Social Attitudes report for 2010, one notes that the findings showed far greater opposition to Islam than to any other faith.
Challenge for Muslims:
From the above it can be seen that muslims in the UK have a challenge ahead of them to live and convey the pristine message of Islam to the wider community so that the adverse opinion on Islam by three quarter of people in the country is overcome.
Noting that as per 2001 UK Census muslims comprise 3% of the population thus ranking Islam as most common after Christianity, this will be a major step towards promoting social cohesion.
The Big Question:
Are we adequately responding to this challenge?
Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.
Fazle Abbas Datoo
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat