Events such as the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby can often act as lightning rods in society, triggering a sharp shift in public attitudes and fuelling prejudice against minorities.

Many have suggested that the events in Woolwich have fuelled a wave of public hostility towards British Muslims and Islam more generally. But our findings, based on a YouGov survey undertaken within 24 hours of the attack, suggest that the picture is both more complex and more positive.

First, we find some evidence to suggest that, in the aftermath of these tragic events, Britons were more likely to think positively about community relations. There are some challenging results, such as the finding that the number of citizens who think that conflict between groups is "largely inevitable" has risen by seven points to 40%, or that agreement with the suggestion that there will be a serious clash between British Muslims and white Britons has also risen, by nine points to 59%. But these buck the broader trend.

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