According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, three in four Americans (76 percent) have heard about the terrorist attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The majority of them, 60 percent, said it was ok for Charlie Hebdo to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Pew’s findings come at a time of rising tension between religious sensitivity and press freedom.
Given the level of tension, it is not too surprising that opinions on whether or not the cartoons should have been published vary widely across demographic groups. Seven-in-ten whites support Charlie Hebdo’s decision compared to just 37 percent of non-whites. When it comes to gender, men are far more likely to support publishing the cartoons than women. 67 percent of men felt it was okay compared to 33 percent of women who felt it was not okay. Politically, Republicans are far more likely to support the decision to go ahead and publish than Democrats. Support levels among Republicans and Republican leaders reached 70 percent compared to 55 percent among Democrats.
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