27% of British Muslims ‘have sympathy’ for Hebdo killers’ motives

From Politics Home, the Telegraph and The Times

A poll reveals how a significant minority of Muslims endorse terrorist atrocities against those who mock the Prophet Mohammed. Some 27 per cent of British Muslims said they have “some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks” on the Paris magazine, according to polling by ComRes for the BBC.

A further 32 per cent said they were not surprised by the attacks. Some 11 per cent said that magazines which publish images of the Prophet Mohammed “deserve to be attacked.” 

While 85 per cent said they felt no sympathy for those who wanted to fight against Western interests, 11 per cent disagreed. Eight per cent said they knew people who strongly supported the politics of al Qaeda or Islamic State.

And 45 per cent felt that clerics preaching that violence against the West could be justified were in touch with mainstream Muslim opinion – almost as many as the 49 per cent who felt that hate clerics were out of touch. 

Baroness Warsi, who was the minister for faith until last summer, described the findings of the ComRes survey for the BBC as “worrying”. However, she also argued that the views of other communities on the use of violence were likely to be similar to the 27% of British Muslims who expressed sympathy for the murders.

“When you used to ask questions about violent extremism and using violence to justify a political end, you got actually very similar responses in other faith and non-faith communities,” the Tory peer told the Today programme.

It is a BBC poll; as one would expect their headline puts the most positive slant on the statistics. 

Most British Muslims ‘oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals’ 

One thousand Muslims were polled as part of our survey – a number statistically representative of the population of close to three million Muslims in Britain.