Majority of French Muslims OK With Daughter Marrying a Jew, Poll Shows

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Demonstration at Lyon's synagogue by Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF). July 31, 2014Credit: AFP

A majority of French Muslims said they would react positively if their daughter married a Jew, a survey found.

The results were part of a document comprising three reports published Sunday by the polling firm Ipsos based on opinion polls and interviews conducted over 2014 and 2015 with several partner organizations, including the Foundation of French Judaism.

The data on perceptions about Jews among Muslims came from an online survey conducted among 500 French-Muslim adults between Feb. 24 and March 9, 2015. In the survey, 55 percent of respondents said they would “react positively” if their daughter married a Jew, while 45 percent said they would “react negatively.”

The proportion of negative respondents among Muslims to this scenario was higher than the one that emerged from another survey included in the Jan. 31 report, which was conducted July 2014 among 1,005 French adults who were selected to represent French society in terms of political views, gender and religion.

In that group, titled “general population,” only 21 percent of respondents said they would react negatively. Among Muslims, 68 percent of respondents said they would react positively if their daughter married a Catholic.

Fifty-six percent of respondents from the general population said they would react negatively if their daughter married a Muslim.

The survey also revealed that anti-Semitic sentiment was more prevalent among French-Muslim respondents than respondents from the general population, with 18 percent of Muslims affirming that “there are too many Jews in France” compared to 13 percent in the general population.

Asked to what degree French Jews were responsible for anti-Semitism, 11 percent of Muslims said “to a very high degree,” 20 percent indicated “to a significant degree” and 29 percent wrote “to a minor degree,” while 40 percent indicated they were not responsible. In the general population, only 3 percent marked “to a very high degree,” 14 percent wrote “to a significant degree” and 42 percent said Jews had a minor responsibility.

Among Muslims, 62 percent said French Jews are more attached to Israel than France, compared to 53 percent in the general population.

The third part of the document was based on a survey of 313 Jews conducted in 2015 between February and June. Of those, 92 percent said anti-Semitism increased since 2011.

Forty-five percent said they had experienced anti-Semitic abuse and 11 percent said they were the victims of anti-Semitic violence. Sixty-one percent said Jews were safer in Israel than in France, and 26 percent said they are seriously considering immigrating to Israel.

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