Quarter of young people prejudiced against Muslims

More than a quarter of young people do not trust Muslims and believe the country would be better off without them, according to a new poll exposing the scale of discrimination across the UK.

The Comres poll for Radio One Newsbeat found that 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds do not trust Muslims with 28% saying the country would be better off if they left.

A majority of young people thought Muslims were viewed negatively in the UK. Six in ten thought Muslims had a negative image among the public and just 11% thought they were perceived positively.

A significant number of young people also expressed distrust for other minority groups. 16% said they didn't trust Hindus and Sikhs and 15% said they didn't trust Jewish people.

Race was also an issue, with sixteen per cent saing they do not trust Asian people and 15% saying they do not trust black people.

European immigrants were also viewed negatively by many young people.

One in ten said they did not trust recent immigrants from within the European Union and a quarter said they did not trust recent immigrants from European countries outside of the EU.

However, a majority of young people thought the UK was either better off or not negatively affected by immigration from these countries.

Immigration overall was viewed more positively by young people, with 42% saying it had been a good thing for the UK as opposed to 35% who said it had been a bad thing.

However, almost half of those asked, said they expected there to be race riots "in the near future" if current levels of immigration are maintained.

The poll was carried out in June this year, a month after the brutal killing of Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

The murder provoked a spike in backlash attacks against Muslims, with nine alleged assaults a day recorded in London alone.

The government were today urged to help young people from all backgrounds integrate better.

"These findings indicate that we need to ensure young people are mixing at local levels and that they're working on projects together so that people can get to know Muslims and vice versa,” said Akeela Ahmed, from the Cross-government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred.