September 20, 2012

Most in France Blamed Muslim Intolerance for 2006 Cartoon Controversy

67%

In 2006, two-thirds of French adults aware of the controversy over a Danish newspaper publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad said Muslim intolerance was most to blame

This week, the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo printed controversial cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, raising fears of violent protests, particularly in the Middle East. The events are reminiscent of a similar incident in 2006 when cartoons of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper sparked demonstrations. At the time the Pew Research Center found a huge gulf between public opinion in the Middle East and opinion in Europe and the United States over what was to blame for the confrontations.

For example, 67% of those who had heard about the cartoons in France blamed the controversy mostly on Muslims’ intolerance to different points of view; only 28% put most of the blame on Western nations’ disrespect for Islam. Around six-in-ten of those who knew about the publication in Germany (62%), the U.S. (60%) and Britain (59%) agreed that intolerance by Muslims was mostly to blame.

In contrast, fewer than 10% in Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Turkey who had heard about the controversy believed that it was caused by Muslim intolerance. Instead, overwhelming majorities in those countries, including 90% in Jordan and 87% in Egypt, thought that Western disrespect for Islam was the root cause of the problem. Read More