(JTA) – New surveys conducted in France suggested that Frenchmen of Muslim origin were far likelier to espouse anti-Semitic views than the general population.
In the two surveys, which were conducted in recent months, 74 per cent of respondents who self-identified as observant Muslims agreed with the statement that Jews have too much influence on French economics, compared to 25 per cent in the general population.
The assertion that Jews control the media received an approval rating of 23 per cent in the general population group and 70 per cent among practicing Muslims.
The surveys were released Sunday at the fifth annual national convention in Paris of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities and organizations. A total of 1,580 people older than 16 were polled after Sept. 25 by the IFOP polling company and the Foundation for Political Innovation.
In the first survey, 1,005 respondents from the general population answered a series of questions about their attitudes toward Jews. Their answers were compared with responses several days later to the same questions by 575 people who said they were either Muslim or were born to a Muslim family.
Among the general population, 32 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that “Jews use to their own benefit their status as victims of the Nazi genocide” compared to 56 per cent of respondents from the Muslim group and among those who voted for the far-right National Front party in 2012. Among voters for the Front de Gauche far-left party, the assertion had a 51 per cent approval rating.
The existence of “an international Zionist conspiracy” was endorsed by 16 per cent of the general population and by 44 per cent of Muslim respondents. The same figure among Front de Gauche voters called Zionism “a racist ideology” compared to 23 per cent in the general population.
In the general population group, 46 per cent of respondents endorsed the description of Zionism as “an ideology that proclaims the right of the Jews to have their own country on their ancestors’ land.”