Abstract: In Western Europe, Muslims have been identified as a significant group of perpetrators of antisemitic acts. Is the level of antisemitism higher among Muslims than among non-Muslims? This paper will discuss European surveys on antisemitism and compare attitudes between Muslims and non-Muslims. It is based on the review of surveys from nine countries with more than 40,000 participants, including almost 13,000 Muslims altogether. While no comprehensive study has been conducted on an international comparative scale and most national studies focus on selective samples such as certain ethnicities or student groups, a review of the available surveys shows a clear tendency: antisemitic attitudes are significantly more widespread among Muslims than among other segments of European societies. What is more, the interpretation of Islam seems to be highly relevant. Antisemitic attitudes are particularly strong among believing and practicing Muslims and correlate with authoritarian, “fundamentalist” interpretations of Islam. A comprehensive survey on antisemitism in France is discussed in detail.
Topics: Main Topic: Antisemitism, Antisemitism: Monitoring, Surveys, Antisemitism: Muslim, Anti-Zionism, Hate crime
Abstract: This paper assesses antisemitism in France and provides an overview of antisemitic acts and attitudes presented in survey results over the past decades. A clear rise in both the number of antisemitic incidents and the level of violence can be traced since 2000. Attitude surveys, on the other hand, do not show such a clear rise of antisemitic attitudes. There are two plausible explanations for this seeming discrepancy. The first is that antisemitic stereotypes may have changed over the years and that therefore no comparable survey data exist. Anti-Zionist forms of antisemitism, which are rarely surveyed, are likely to have become more widespread, whereas older biases contesting the Frenchness of French Jews have waned. The second is that perpetrators of antisemitic acts are a small minority of people who hardly influence the results of representative surveys. Particularly high levels of classic antisemitic attitudes can be found among Muslims and among sympathizers of the far right, and, to a lesser extent among the far left. Antisemitism seems to have radicalized within small groups of French society, including the use of extreme violence against Jews. Fringe groups of radicalized French Islamists pose an additional security threat to French Jews in particular and to society in general.