French people are less xenophobic but still wary of Islam

Despite jihadist terrorist attacks and the refugee crisis an annual survey measuring levels of racism in France has revealed the French are becoming more tolerant of minorities, and that there has been a drop in the number of racist and anti-Semitic incidents.

The survey, carried out by the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH), revealed on Thursday the French were more tolerant to minorities compared to previous years.

…. Islamophobic acts dropped 58 percent from 2015 to 2016, with 182 acts reported over the year.

Anti-Semitic acts dropped 58.5 percent over the same period, with 335 acts reported compared to 808 in 2015.

…. The study showed some 46 percent of French people thought Islam was a threat to French identity.

Certain Islamic religious practices also provoked negative attitudes with some 58 percent of respondents saying they were against the wearing of the headscarf. However that reflects a drop of 22 percent on the previous year.

There was also a drop in negative attitudes towards halal food and Ramadan and some 79 percent of French people believe Muslims should be able to practice their religion in “good conditions”, albeit 59 percent opposed the idea of “facilitating the practice of Muslim worship in France”.

Some 59 percent of French people were against the wearing of the Muslim swimsuit known as the burkini, which was banned by several French towns last summer before being overturned amid widespread outrage. [The Local] Read more