Poll: A Quarter of British Muslims Sympathize With Paris Attack Terrorists
More than a quarter of British Muslims sympathize with the terrorists who committed the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris last month, according to a new ComRes poll conducted for the BBC. These findings indicate that a substantial minority of Muslims in Britain approve of murder against individuals deemed to have insulted the Prophet Mohammed.
Roughly 27 percent of the respondents said that they have “some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks,” while 32 percent said that they were not surprised by the terrorist attacks.
While 68 percent of British Muslims believe that such attacks are “never” justified, 24 percent disagreed. Moreover, 11 percent said that magazines that publish pictures of the prophet “deserve to be attacked.”
In January, radical Islamist terrorists killed 17 people in shooting attacks at the satirical weekly paper Charlie Hebdo and at a kosher supermarket in Paris.
In a column, former radical Islamist Maajid Nawaz called the survey results “profoundly disconcerting. But they are far from surprising.They are the result of separate educational programs for British Muslims along with an overall insular existence,” he writes. “Disintegration from British society creates a breeding ground for preaching of religious hatred.”
The problem is worsened when the rest of society avoids debating the challenges posed by Islamist ideology, Nawaz stated.
And it is not a problem limited to Europe. A 2007 Pew poll found that 26 percent of Muslim Americans under age 30 found suicide bombings could be justifiable.
Click here to see the full BBC polling results.
Steven Emerson is the Executive Director the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org) where this article first appeared.