Few UK Muslims Have Sympathy for Paris Attack Motives, Most Oppose Violence

Reuters, February 25, 2015

One in four British Muslims say they have some sympathy with the motives behind the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo but the vast majority think attacks on those who publish images of the Prophet Mohammad are wrong, a poll has found.

Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Jan. 7, including the magazine’s editor and several of its prominent cartoonists, in revenge for its publication of satirical images of the Prophet Mohammad.

In a poll of 1,000 Muslims commissioned by the BBC and published on Wednesday, 27 percent of respondents said they agreed with the statement: “I have some sympathy for the motives behind the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris”. Sixty-two percent said they had no sympathy.

Seventy-eight percent felt it was “deeply offensive” personally when images of Mohammad were published and 11 percent felt sympathetic towards people who want to fight against Western interests.

However, 68 percent said acts of violence against those who printed images of Mohammad were never justified, and 85 percent said organisations which published such images did not deserve to be attacked.


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