Charity launches campaign to change negative British perceptions of Islam

Exploring Islam Foundation has launched a campaign today to improve the British public's perception of Islam and Muslims.

Poster campaign: Kristiane Backer
Poster campaign: Kristiane Backer

The charity, launched last year, commissioned a national opinion poll with YouGov, which found that more than half the British population associated Islam with extremism (58 per cent) and terrorism (50 per cent).

Two-thirds of those asked believed the religion encouraged the repression of women and only 19 per cent thought it had a positive impact on society.

But fifty-seven per cent of people said they received their information about Islam through TV and 41 per cent through newspapers.

So the charity is today launching an awareness campaign called ‘Inspired by Muhammad’ that aims to show how Muslims are inspired by their faith to contribute positively to society. The campaign focuses on women’s rights, social justice and the environment.

It was launched with TV presenter Kristiane Backer in a London cab in front of Tower Bridge on the River Thames.

As well as media relations and a website, the campaign will include adverts at bus stops, cabs and tube stations (see picture).

EIF’s campaigns director Remona Aly said: ‘Inevitably we are concerned by the often inaccurate and negative stereotypes of the faith on our screens and in our newspapers – and the YouGov poll we publish today shows the influence that some of this coverage has on popular attitudes.

‘But we are hopeful, and believe that if British Muslims tell their positive stories then we can begin to change attitudes for the better. We hope that this campaign will contribute to this task,’ she added.

The YouGov poll surveyed 2,152 adults.

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