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Almost half French oppose publishing Prophet Mohammed cartoons: Poll

AFP , Sunday 18 Jan 2015
France
The latest edition of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo is wedged in the handle of the casket of Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous, decorated by friends and colleagues during a ceremony at the city hall of Montreuil, outside east of Paris, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. (Photo:AP)
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Almost half of French oppose publication of cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Mohammed, according to a poll Sunday, as global debate deepened on the limits of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings.

The Ifop poll found 42 percent believe Mohammed cartoons seen as offensive by many Muslims should not be published. Fifty percent said they backed "limitations on free speech online and on social networks."

However, 57 percent said opposition from Muslims should not prevent the cartoons being published, according to the poll, published in Le Journal du Dimanche.

The poll found overwhelming support -- 81 percent -- for stripping French nationality from dual nationals who have committed an act of terrorism on French soil.

Sixty eight percent favoured banning French citizens from returning to the country if "they are suspected of having gone to fight in countries or regions controled by terrorist groups," such as Syria.

The same percentage backed bans on people suspected of wanting to join jihadist movements from leaving France.

However, 57 percent of respondents to the poll opposed French military intervention in countries including Libya, Syria and Yemen.

The poll was conducted last week in the wake of the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris, where Islamist gunmen killed 12 people, saying they were taking revenge for repeated publication by the magazine of Prophet Mohammed caricatures.

On Saturday, five people were killed and churches were set on fire in Niger in the latest protests by Muslims against Charlie Hebdo's decision after the massacre to print another Mohammed cartoon.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the violence in Niger while President Francois Hollande called freedom of expression "non-negotiable".

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J.M.Jordan
18-01-2015 02:03pm
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Why can politicians not coordinate with the people
In democracies folks are often more aware than their politicians. So why not have polls first, especially in cases like this. Isn't peoples' opinion on the limits of press and expression freedom more important than the views of some politicians? Also editors should be interested, they should know what big numbers of their public think or shouldn't they?
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