Some UK Muslims support Paris attack motives: poll

LONDON - A poll of British Muslims published on Wednesday found that 27 per cent had some sympathy for the motives behind last month's Islamist attack in Paris against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Sixty-two per cent said they had no sympathy.

The survey also found that 11 per cent agreed that those who publish images of the Prophet Mohammed deserve to be attacked, while 85 per cent did not and four per cent refused to answer or did not know.

Twelve people were killed on January 7 by gunmen who charged into the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a publication which sparked widespread anger with its cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed.

Five more people were killed in attacks in the following days, including four Jews, and millions of people took to France's streets to rally in favour of freedom of speech.

The poll of 1,000 Muslims in Britain was carried out by the ComRes polling institute for BBC Radio between January 26 and February 20.

There are around 2.8 million Muslims in Britain, or some 4.4 per cent of the general population.

Sixty-eight per cent said they agreed with the view that violence against those publishing such images can never be justified but 24 per cent disagreed.

Eighty-five per cent said that they felt no sympathy for those who want to fight against Western interests, against 11 per cent who said that they did.

"These are, as far as I'm concerned, worrying statistics," said Sayeeda Warsi, who was Britain's first female Muslim minister before resigning last year over the government's policy on the Gaza war.

Forty-six per cent of respondents said that Britain was becoming less tolerant of Muslims and more than a third felt that most Britons do not trust Muslims.

Ninety-five per cent said that they felt loyalty to Britain and 93 per cent said that Muslims should always obey British laws.