British Asians more likely to be treated 'worse' following a terrorist attack, survey claims


British Asians get treated ‘worse’ following a terrorist attack with more than half of polled adults admitting they are treated with more awareness and suspicion.

According to a ComRes survey of more than 2,000 people for the Asian Network, 40 per cent of Muslims and 26 per cent of Sikhs were most likely to experience a rise in negative treatment.

In fact, more than half of British Asians (54 per cent) had ‘toned down’ their Asian identity to ‘fit in'.

A spate of acid attacks last year left some Muslim residents of east London afraid to leave their home. Police later reclassified it as a hate crime, and people took to social media to warn ‘Muslim looking people’ and ‘brown’ people of being careful in the street.

Results from a new survey by ComRes also found that British Asians are more socially conservative than the wider population.

Of the 2,000 people polled, 1,197 were born in the UK, and citied their countries of origin as mainly India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The survey found that 34 per cent of British Asians would be offended if a relative had sex before marriage – compared to UK-wide respondents’ five per cent.

Religion was also a point of importance, with 46 per cent of British Asians saying it was ‘very important to them’ compared to 12 per cent of the overall population.

When asked about changing their behaviour to fit in, around 12 per cent said they frequently ‘toned down’ their Asian identity – 23 per cent said occasionally and 18 per cent rarely.

Approximately 79 per cent said at least some of their cultural traditions were dying out.

British Asians however are shown to be more optimistic than the general British population, with 33 per cent of respondents believing their community is ‘modernising’ and ‘progressive’, compared to just nine and eight per cent of UK-wide responses.

Additionally, 72 per cent of British Asians surveyed said Britain was a country where they can fulfil their aspirations.

Of the results, Nomia Iqbal, from BBC Asian Network, wrote that British Asians are about bridging two cultures.

Facing racism and being few in number, many [who came to the UK after World War II] held tight to community and tradition to retain a sense of identity.

When they ended up staying so did those values which many passed to their British-born children. This is perhaps why the survey suggests that the British Asian community has more socially conservative views on gay relationships and sex before marriage, even among the younger generation.

Despite this, British Asians appear more optimistic about the future.

The survey will be discussed on a special live debate show on the Asian Network on Tuesday at 10pm.

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