The Sun received a fair amount of ridicule yesterday for claiming on its front page that 1 in 5 British Muslims have “sympathy for jihadis.” This isn’t the first time the Murdoch-owned British tabloid has blatantly printed inaccuracies, but for Muslims, this is another blow in the recent onslaught of Islamophobic headlines following the Paris attacks a couple weeks ago.
The poll cited by the tabloid was conducted via telephone by market research firm Survation. Interviewing 1,0003 U.K. residents self-identifying as Muslim, Survation found that 14% of those polled said they had “some sympathy” for Muslim youth who have left to join fighters in Syria, while 5% had “a lot of sympathy.”
Many have questioned the accuracy of The Sun‘s reporting regarding how the polling questions were asked. It is notable that the tabloid ignores the fact that the number of U.K. Muslims expressing “a lot of sympathy” was much smaller, as well as the fact that 14% of non-Muslims also expressed sympathy for those who left to join Syrian fighters in a poll by Survation back in March.
Also, the poll did not ask respondents which groups the youth that they had sympathy for were joining, nor did it ask why they felt sympathy.
Alas, out of all of this, came yet another wonderful hashtag. Muslims from the United Kingdom and beyond took to Twitter to share their own statistics with #1in5Muslims.
One thing is clear: at least #1in5Muslims has a wicked sense of humor!