Support for Mohammed drawings at record levels

More Danes say newspaper had a right to publish cartoons than ever before

Danish attitudes towards Jyllands-Posten’s publishing of the controversial drawings of Mohammed in 2005 have changed significantly since the attacks in Paris. 

According to a Gallup poll commissioned by Berlingske, support for the drawings has never been greater.

Fully 65 percent of those polled last week – following the attacks on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and at other locations in Paris – believe that Jyllands-Posten made the right decision when they published the 12 drawings. 

Not surprised
In 2006, only 43 percent of those asked believed the newspaper had made the right decision. The number of those saying the cartoons should not have been published fell from 49 percent to 17 percent.

The change in attitude did not surprise Jyllands-Posten’s current editor, Jørn Mikkelsen.

“We've been through so much in the past nine years that Danes have come to understand what is at stake,” he told Berlingske.

“Some have realised that our original intention was not to bully or harass, as many thought at the time, but that it was actually an honest attempt to launch a debate on the freedom of expression, like the one we now have following the attack on Charlie Hebdo.”

READ MORE: Danish cartoonists offering their work to Charlie Hebdo

The 1,157 respondents were also asked if they believed that the publication of the Mohammed cartoons benefited the debate surrounding freedom of expression. 

Over 50 percent said that they felt that it did, as opposed to only 41 percent ten years ago.