Nearly half French oppose publishing Mohammad (PBUH) cartoons: poll

Published January 18, 2015
Photo shows the statue “Triumph of the Republic” with a man holding a giant pencil, symbolising freedom of expression as a French flag waved nearby,during the solidarity march on January 11. — Reuters/file
Photo shows the statue “Triumph of the Republic” with a man holding a giant pencil, symbolising freedom of expression as a French flag waved nearby,during the solidarity march on January 11. — Reuters/file

PARIS: Almost half of French oppose publication of cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), according to a poll Sunday, as global debate deepened on the limits of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings.

The Ifop poll found 42 per cent believe Mohammad (PBUH) cartoons seen as offensive by many Muslims should not be published. Fifty per cent said they backed “limitations on free speech online and on social networks."

Read: Editor among 12 killed in attack on Paris weekly

However, 57 per cent said opposition from Muslims should not prevent the cartoons being published, according to the poll, published in Le Journal du Dimanche.

The poll found overwhelming support, 81 per cent, for stripping French nationality from dual nationals who have committed an act of terrorism on French soil.

Sixty eight per cent favoured banning French citizens from returning to the country if “they are suspected of having gone to fight in countries or regions controlled by terrorist groups,” such as Syria.

Also read: New Charlie Hebdo flies off shelves

The same percentage backed bans on people suspected of wanting to join jihadist movements from leaving France.

However, 57 per cent of respondents to the poll opposed French military intervention in countries including Libya, Syria and Yemen.

The poll was conducted last week in the wake of the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris, where Islamist gunmen killed 12 people, saying they were taking revenge for repeated publication by the magazine of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) caricatures.

Also read: Three churches burned in Niger during Charlie Hebdo protests

On Saturday, five people were killed and churches were set on fire in Niger in the latest protests by Muslims against Charlie Hebdo's decision after the massacre to print another Mohammed cartoon.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the violence in Niger while President Francois Hollande called freedom of expression “non-negotiable”.

Opinion

Editorial

Election time
Updated 27 Jan, 2023

Election time

There are concerns whether the ECP will be sufficiently able to protect the integrity of elections if they are held under partisan governments.
SCO invite
27 Jan, 2023

SCO invite

THOUGH India’s invitation to Pakistan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation events in Goa later this ...
Call to arms
27 Jan, 2023

Call to arms

ONE way the state abdicates responsibility in Pakistan is by farming out its functions to the private sector. In ...
Nuclear miscalculations
26 Jan, 2023

Nuclear miscalculations

IF the claim of former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, that Pakistan and India came close to a nuclear exchange...
Exchange rate cap
26 Jan, 2023

Exchange rate cap

THE ‘management’ of the exchange rate by the State Bank, allegedly at the behest of the government, to ward off...
Fawad’s arrest
Updated 26 Jan, 2023

Fawad’s arrest

Does the state really need to fan public discontent in a period as fraught with uncertainty as this?