27% UK Muslims support Paris attack motives

2015-02-25 20:38
(Jens Astru, AFP)

(Jens Astru, AFP)

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London – A poll of British Muslims published on Wednesday found that 27% had some sympathy for the motives behind last month's Islamist attack in Paris against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Sixty two percent said they had no sympathy.

The survey also found that 11% agreed that those who publish images of the Prophet Mohammed deserve to be attacked, while 85% did not and four percent refused to answer or did not know.

Twelve people were killed on 7 January by gunmen who charged into the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a publication which sparked widespread anger with its cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed.

Five more people were killed in attacks in the following days, including four Jews, and millions of people took to France's streets to rally in favour of freedom of speech.

The poll of 1 000 Muslims in Britain was carried out by the ComRes polling institute for BBC Radio between 26 January and 20 February.

There are around 2.8 million Muslims in Britain, or some 4.4% of the general population.

Sixty-eight percent said they agreed with the view that violence against those publishing such images can never be justified but 24% disagreed.

Eighty-five percent said that they felt no sympathy for those who want to fight against Western interests, against 11% who said that they did.

"These are, as far as I'm concerned, worrying statistics," said Sayeeda Warsi, who was Britain's first female Muslim minister before resigning last year over the government's policy on the Gaza war.

Forty-six percent of respondents said that Britain was becoming less tolerant of Muslims and more than a third felt that most Britons do not trust Muslims.

Ninety-five percent said that they felt loyalty to Britain and 93% said that Muslims should always obey British laws.

Read more on:    france  |  charlie hebdo  |  paris shootings

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