By Jonathan Walsh
By Jonathan Walsh
Rabat – Fifty-six percent of French people said they would “react badly” if heir daughter married a Muslim man.
The study, published by French magazine Le Journal Du Dimanche, covered a wide range of issues regarding cultural diversity in the country including racism, Islamophbia and Anti-Semitism.
Commissioned by the Foundation of French Judaism, the survey took place over the course of 18 months and sought 1,000 participants including respondents from Muslim and Jewish communities alongside members of the general population.
Questions included “Does immigration benefit France?” to which 54 percent answered “no” and “Are there too many Muslims in France?” to which 18 percent answered “yes.” thirty percent of respondents, t agreed that racism can be justified and 56 percent said they would “react badly” if their daughter married a Muslim.
One particular question that asked whether survey participants had “ever personally encountered problems” with people of either the Islamic or Jewish faiths, as well as people originating from sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb, caused the most controversy.
Criticism on social media was fierce, with people claiming that the questions forced participants to make generalizations about large groups of people based on their beliefs or origins. Critics also claimed that the survey blurred the lines between geographical descent and religious ideology.
Republican lawmaker Gérald Darmanin expressed his disbelief at the questioning on Twitter writing, “Being Muslim, Jewish or Catholic is not a ‘type of person,’ it’s a belief!”
Others sought to defend the questionnaire. Ariel Goldmann, president of the Foundation of French Judaism said that it played an important role in “understanding what is happening” and to “monitor and analyze tensions across France.”
Nevertheless, the results of this survey indicate high levels of suspicion and mistrust between communities in the country and reflect the increasing hostilities facing Muslims in France, following two major terrorist atrocities carried out by ISIS last year.
These attacks have lead to a surge in popularity of far-right party Front National which, following the November 13 terrorist attacks, saw its support rise to 40 percent according to a poll by Ipsos/Sopra Steria.
Edited by Kelsey Fish