Favourable views of Muslims on the increase in France

By Hasnae May

Recent research shows that positive views of Muslims in France have increased after the January attack on the Paris office of the Charlie Hebdo publication.

With the attack being carried out by two Muslim brothers and resulting in 12 deaths, the future of Muslims in France would have been understandably grim. However, a Pew Research Center survey finds a marginal increase in favourable views of Muslims compared with research findings prior to the Charlie Hebdo attack.

The survey finds that 76 per cent of locals who form the sample base have favourable views of Muslims compared with 72 per cent in 2014.

Positive views of Muslims increased across the political ideology spectrum with a higher rating from supporters of the political left in France.

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Richard Wike, director of global attitudes research at Pew stated: ‘It remains to be seen whether the improvement in French attitudes toward that country’s Muslim minority will hold, but the topic of Islam in French society will surely be an important issue as the country moves toward presidential elections in 2017’.

After the attack there has been much debate on the role of Islam in a secularism-famous country. Despite this, and the concerns of the radicalisation of Muslims in France, there has been a positive increase in views of Muslims in the past year.