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French See Islam ‘Incompatible’

The survey reflected a growing distrust of Islam and belief there are too many foreigners in France

Source : OnIslam & News Agencies / 29 Jan 2013

A new survey has found that French are growing concerned with immigrants, politicians, globalization and media, with 74 percent believe Islam is not compatible with French society, The Inquisitr reported.

“The French, or at least the vast majority of them, seem to be afraid of everything,” French historian Michel Wincock told Le Monde this week.

The survey, carried out by polling institute Ipsos and the Jean-Jaures Foundation, reflected a growing distrust of Islam and belief there are too many foreigners in France.

It found that only 29 percent of French people believe the “vast majority of immigrants who have settled in France are well-integrated".

Forty-six percent of respondents believe that unemployment levels can only be cut by reducing immigration.

The poll, which included 1,000 people, showed that 62 percent of respondents say they no longer feel at home in France.

There was also worrying news for President François Hollande, with 87 percent of respondents agreeing with the notion that “France needs a true leader to restore order”.

The survey also revealed that the media is not held in high regard in France, with 73 percent of the belief it is not independent and a similar figure (72 percent) of the view that journalists are “not doing their job”.

France is home to a Muslim minority of six millions, Europe’s largest.

In October, a poll by Ifop's opinion department found that almost half of French see Muslims as a threat to their national identity.

The poll also found that most French see Islam is playing too influential role in their society.

In 2004, France banned Muslims from wearing hijab, an obligatory code of dress, in public places. Several European countries followed the French example.

France has also outlawed the wearing of face-veil in public.

French Muslims have also complained of restrictions on building mosques to perform their daily prayers.


The survey also highlighted French misgivings on everything from globalization to Europe, the media and democracy.

“The ingredients for populism are there and not just in the ranks of Marine Le Pen’s Front National party,” Wincock said.

More interesting results of the survey reflected a deep mistrust of France’s elected officials with 62 percent believing politicians are “corrupt”.

The poll suggests many people in France lament the decline of their country and hold a bleak outlook for the future.

The vast majority of respondents (90 percent) said French economic power had declined and 63 percent noted a loss of France’s cultural influence.

France’s high unemployment and ailing industry were also a source of concern among the population, with just over half of respondents (51 percent) believing “the decline of France is inevitable”.

Seizing on economic woes, far-right parties have been courting French people over the past few years.

Led by Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front has gained more support among French.

Focusing on inciting fear on the role of Islam in France, Le Pen adopts an anti-immigrant approach to gain public support.

In 2010, Le Pen compared Muslim prayers on the streets to Nazi occupation.
Along with its anti-immigrant approach, her party also focuses on problems facing French people, including scarce jobs and housing problems.



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