Britain has not seen rise in anti-Muslim sentiment since the attacks on Paris, according to a new study carried out by the University of Manchester. Rob Ford and Maria Sobolewska asked respondents the same questions before and after the attacks on Paris which killed 130 people and found that prior to the atrocity 33% of Britons agreed that “Muslims have a lot to offer British culture”, compared to 35% that disagreed.
After the attacks, the percentage of people that disagreed remained the same, but an additional 2% answered the question positively. The proportion of people who agreed with a second statement – that Muslims in Britain have respect for the way of life of others – also increased from 23% to 27%, the Observer reported.
The study also found that following the attacks the number of Britons who felt that London was stronger because of its ethnic and racial diversity increased. Prior to the attacks 32% rejected the notion but afterwards that fell to just 23%, suggesting that Britons rallied around London in the wake of the attacks.
Commenting on the result of the poll, Ford said the study “suggests that Isis failed in their stated objective of sowing division between Muslims and non-Muslims in Britain. Far from raising anxiety about diversity and Islam, the Paris attacks strengthened liberal and multicultural views”.
The results come as fears of a rise in Islamophobic attacks in Britain, with an attempted fire-bombing of a central London mosque prompting a rally in Finsbury Park earlier this month that was attended by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.