Lord Lloyd of BerwickDuring the second reading of the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill in the House of Lords, Cross Bencher Lord Lloyd of Berwick made the following statement in the House on the 13th of January 2015:

“There are currently in this country about 2.5 million Muslims, of whom about 100,000 are thought to be potential sympathisers to the terrorist cause. Everybody agrees that we will find a long-term solution to the terrorist problem only by keeping the majority of Muslims in this country on our side and doing what we can to bring about an ideological shift of attitude among those 100,000 Muslims. That will take a long time—probably a generation or more.” – column 671

So where did these alarming figures come from? The figures that Lord Lloyd of Berwick quoted were probably based on a Pew Study poll in 2007  and with responses to a question on whether suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets to defend Islam could be justified, in Europe.

The Pew Poll suggested that,

” 70% of Muslims in Britain believed it could never be justified, 9% believed it could be justified rarely, 12% sometimes, and 3% thought it could be justified often.”

This equation roughly translates into the statement made by Lord Lloyd of Berwick though one disclaimer needs to be made. The study is now over 8 years old and looking at the figures in this context, are they a realistic assessment? The answer is pretty obvious that a decade old study does not make a reliable foundation on which to base an assumption on.

Still, you have to give it to Lord Lloyd. His comments certainly woke up the audience from their slumber.