When reading this headline for the first time, there is an instant sense that it is unlikely to be true. The headline is claiming that half of all Muslims in the UK believe homosexuality should be illegal and teachers shouldn’t be gay. However when reading further into the article it is clear that the sample collected is not representative of the whole Muslim community due to the fact that they only surveyed 1,000 people. This is a very small survey that can’t be used to generalise a whole group of people. The Muslim population within the UK in 2011 stood at 2.7 million and therefore the 1,000 people surveyed do not represent enough of the Muslim population (ONS, 2011). The headline also claims that more than half of those surveyed believe teachers should not be gay, this is exaggerated slightly due to 47% believing this and not over 50%. Finally, due to the fact that the data is also being gathered for a TV show entitled ‘‘What British Muslims really think’’, the information that is collected is going to more than likely be from more extreme viewpoints as that is what the show’s producers are most probably looking for.
In conclusion this headline tries to portray that over 50% of all Muslims within the UK believe that homosexuality should be illegal and that teachers shouldn’t be gay. However this is not true to all Muslims due to the small sample size that was used to produce these statistics and this headline. A more appropriate headline would be ‘’More than half of 1000 UK Muslims that were surveyed believe homosexuality should be illegal and just under half believe teachers should not be gay’’. With this new headline it does not make out that all Muslims in the UK agree with these statements.
ONS, 2011. How religion has changed in England and Wales [Online] Available at: http://visual.ons.gov.uk/2011-census-religion/ [Accessed 4 April 2017]