Nearly half of French people regard Islam as threat

January 06, 2011, Thursday/ 17:15:00

At least 40 percent of those surveyed in France and Germany see Islam as a threat to their national identity, according to a survey published by the French newspaper Le Monde on Tuesday.

The survey conducted by pollster IFOP found that 42 percent of French respondents consider Muslims “a threat”; while 22 percent of French respondents say they see members of the Muslim faith as “a culturally enriching factor.” The same figures for German respondents were 40 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

A strong majority of the respondents in both countries said they felt Muslims had failed to integrate into their respective societies. A total of 68 percent of German respondents chose the “not at all” option when answering a question on Muslim integration, while that figure was 75 percent among French participants.

A total of 55 percent of French respondents and 49 percent of Germans surveyed stated that “the influence and visibility of Islam” was “too large.” More than 60 percent in both countries said the reason for Muslims' failure to integrate was their own “refusal” to integrate.

France has the largest Muslim population in Europe, estimated at around 6 million, originating largely from its former colonies in North Africa. It has also passed a law banning the wearing of the face-covering Muslim veil in public.

Germany has received large numbers of migrant workers, most of them from Muslim Turkey, especially from the 1960s onwards. German federal authorities estimate the current Muslim population in the country at up to 4.3 million.

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