Quarter of British Muslims sympathise with Charlie Hebdo terrorists

Published February 25, 2015
The partner of slain Charlie Hebdo editor Charb, Jeannette Bougrab, outside the Paris City Hall after the city made the weekly satirical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' an honorary citizen of Paris. - AFP/File
The partner of slain Charlie Hebdo editor Charb, Jeannette Bougrab, outside the Paris City Hall after the city made the weekly satirical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' an honorary citizen of Paris. - AFP/File

One in four British Muslims sympathise with terrorists behind the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January, according to a UK-based poll.

A report published on The Telegraph said the polling by ComRes for the BBC discloses that a significant minority of Muslims validate terrorist activities against those who mock the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

27 per cent of British Muslims say they have "some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks" on Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine. Meanwhile, around 11 per cent stated that magazines which publish images of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) "deserve to be attacked".

At least 12 people were killed and 11 wounded in the attack by two Islamist terrorists on the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which had published satirical illustrations on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Read: 12 dead in shooting at Paris offices of satirical magazine

Another 32 per cent in the polling said that they were not surprised by the attacks.

Only 68 per cent of British Muslims said that attacks on the publishers of images of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) are "never" justified, while 24 disagreed.

A strong majority — 78 per cent — said that they find illustrations of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) "deeply offensive to me personally".

On the other hand, polling shows a high degree of Muslim loyalty to Britain, with 95 per cent saying they feel loyal, and 93 per cent saying British laws should always be obeyed.

However, the polls shows around 20 per cent who say Western society is incompatible with Islam and 46 per cent say prejudice against Islam makes being Muslim "very difficult" in Britain. Of those polled, 35 per cent said they did not feel British people trust Muslims.

According to former Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi, the level of sympathy for the attacks behind the French magazine was "worrying".

Also read: The Charlie Hebdo challenge

She further added that the decision to discard annual surveys of various communities across the UK due to cost-cutting had left Whitehall without comparative detail which is needed to understand the sentiment.

"One of the problems we have had in relation to good policy-making around our minority communities is that it has become headline-driven, it has become sensationalist and it is therefore not dealing with the long-term problem in a calm way," Warsi said.

ComRes poll of British Muslim attitudes to Charlie Hebdo Attacks - via The Telegraph
ComRes poll of British Muslim attitudes to Charlie Hebdo Attacks - via The Telegraph
ComRes poll of British Muslim - via The Telegraph
ComRes poll of British Muslim - via The Telegraph

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