One in four French Muslims support conservative Islam
AROUND one in four French Muslims, mostly young people, support an ultraconservative form of Islam, including the wearing of the full-face veil, but the vast majority accept France’s strict secular laws, a study showed.
The Ifop survey carried out for a major study of French Muslims by Institut Montaigne, a liberal thinktank, showed that the vast majority of people who identify as Muslim accept curbs on religion in public.
But 60 percent considered girls should nonetheless be allowed to wear the headscarf in school, 12 years after it and other religious symbols were banished from classrooms, the survey published in Le Journal du Dimanche showed.
And around one in four – 24pc – supported the wearing of the burqa and niqab, the full-face veils banned in public places in 2010.
The survey of 1029 people aims to inform of the government’s plans to overhaul French Muslim bodies in the wake of several jihadist attacks, mostly by French extremists.
Institut Montaigne’s report grouped French Muslims into three categories – completely secular, devout but accepting restrictions on religion in the public domain, and a more reactionary group that uses Islam for the purposes of revolt.
Those in the secular category, which made up 46pc of the total, did not reject Islam but demonstrated their religious feeling mainly by eating halal meat.
The second group (25pc) was “proudly Muslim” and wanted a greater role for religion but opposed the burqa and polygamy.
Most “problematic”, according to the report, was the third group which was composed of “mostly young, lowskilled people with low levels of participation in the labour market” living on the outskirts of cities. –
Worshippers leave a mosque in France.