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After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion

By: for Pew Research Center on Jan. 30, 2015
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Majority Says Publishing Cartoons Was ‘Okay,’ But About Half of Non-Whites Say ‘Not Okay’

About three-in-four Americans (76%) have heard at least a little about the attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, conducted January 22-25 among 1,003 adults. Of these, a majority (60%) says that it was okay for Charlie Hebdo to have published cartoons that depict the Prophet Muhammad, but nearly three-in-ten (28%) do not support the magazine’s decision to publish this material – saying it was not okay.

The reasons Americans give for their views on the subject highlight an ongoing tension in the U.S. between the values of free expression and religious tolerance.

When asked to explain their position on whether or not it was okay to publish these cartoons, a majority of those who heard about the attack and say it was okay to publish cite freedom of speech and of the press (70%).

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[ freedom-of-speech ] [ muslims ]