| ||The Department of Communities and Local Government has today released experimental statistics from the first three quarters of the Citizenship Survey 2009-10 (covering months April-Dec 2009) for England and Wales on ‘Attitudes towards Violent Extremism’. |
The release focuses on questions measuring the extent to which people in England and Wales reject the use of violent extremism in Britain to address political causes. The survey defines violent extremism as ‘taking actions to cause injury or death to people in order to make a political protest’.
The survey results show that:
Eighty-five per cent of people think it is ‘always wrong’ for people to use violent extremism in Britain to protest against things they think are very unfair or unjust.
Ninety-five per cent of people believe it is ‘always wrong’ for people in Britain to use violent extremism in the name of religion to protest or achieve a goal.
Ninety-two per cent of people believe it is ‘always wrong’ for political campaigners in Britain to write and distribute leaflets that encouraged violence towards different ethnic groups.
Eighty-one per cent of people said that it was ‘always wrong’ for animal rights protestors in Britain to use violence to protect animals.
Multivariate analysis showed that respondents’ age, socio-economic background, income, religion, country of birth and gender were associated with their likelihood to reject the use of violent extremism in Britain.
Age, socio-economic group and income were the strongest predictors of whether someone rejected violent extremism.
Young people aged 16 to 19 years and 20 to 24 years were less likely than their counterparts aged 25 and over to reject the use of violent extremism
People in managerial and professional occupations were most likely, and students were least likely, to reject the use of violent extremism in Britain.
Christians (87%) were more likely than Muslims (80%), people with no religion (79%) and Hindus (76%) to say that it was ‘always wrong’ for people to use violent extremism in Britain to protest against things they think are very unfair or unjust.
Muslims and Hindus are, as a group, less likely than Christians to reject violent extremism, the differences may be explained by their younger age profile and/or socio-economic profile. The Christian population has an older age profile and would therefore contain a larger proportion of people who rejected violent extremism. It may therefore be age, rather than faith, which explains differences between Muslims, Hindus and Christians.
This is not true for the ‘no religion’ group, which is significantly less likely than the Christian group to reject violent extremism in the multivariate analysis, even allowing for age and socio-economic differences. However, this does not mean that the absence of religious beliefs contributes to greater support for violent extremism. There may be other factors, which were not included in the multivariate analysis, which explain the difference between Christians and people with no religion.
People born in the UK were more likely than their counterparts born in India to reject violent extremism in Britain...those born in East Africa were more likely than their counterparts born in India to reject the use of violent extremism in Britain (88% and 76% respectively).
The analysis shows that all of these factors – socio-economic group, age, income, religion, country of birth and gender – are independently associated with the rejection of violent extremism in Britain although age, socio-economic group and income are more important in explaining attitudes than the other factors.
Read the survey results in full here.
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