1 in 4 UK Muslims: Violence okay over Muhammad images

BBC poll shows substantive minority sympathetic with Charlie Hebdo terrorists; one in 10 condones fighting the West

A British Muslim appears in a video for the '#Not in my name' campaign (screen capture: YouTube/Active Change Foundation)
A British Muslim appears in a video for the '#Not in my name' campaign (screen capture: YouTube/Active Change Foundation)

A BBC poll gauging sentiments in Britain’s Muslim community following the Charlie Hebdo massacre found that more than a quarter harbor some sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks that left 17 people dead.

A similar number, 24 percent, suggested that violence against those who publish images of Muhammad can be justified, while 11 percent felt sympathetic towards people who want to fight against Western interests.

A total of 1,000 Muslims in Britain were interviewed in the telephone poll over the course of February. The results were published Wednesday.

Over 45 percent said that Muslim clerics who preach violence against the West are not out of touch with mainstream Muslim opinion, while one in five believe that liberal, Western society can never be compatible with Islam.

Six percent of those polled said that they feel “disloyalty” toward Britain while the same number said that Muslims should not always obey British laws.

The picture painted by the poll corroborates what analysts believe is an increasingly radicalized core of European Muslims adopting Islamist ideologies — amid a backdrop of local support for terror outfits such as the Islamic State, returning jihadis, and an escalation of Islamic-inspired anti-Semitism engulfing the continent.

More than 46 percent feel that being a Muslim in Britain is difficult due to prejudice against Islam, and the same proportion said that Britain is becoming less tolerant of Muslims.

Two high profile terror attacks — in Paris in January, and in Copenhagen this month — that were directed against Jewish and free-speech targets were perpetrated by local-born Muslims with suspected links to jihadist organizations.

Along with the slayings at the Charlie Hebdo offices, the Paris terror spree saw four Jewish men killed by an Islamist gunman at a kosher supermarket.

In Copenhagen, a Jewish security guard standing outside a synagogue was shot dead at point black range.

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