• France's news in English
Post Paris attacks: How the French are thinking
Gauging the mood of French public opinion in post-Paris attacks France. Photo: AFP

Post Paris attacks: How the French are thinking

The Local · 28 Jan 2015, 17:22

Published: 28 Jan 2015 17:22 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The survey was published on Wednesday by Europe1 radio and Le Monde newspaper under the title: "What does a 'post-Charlie' France look like?'

The poll, carried out by Ipsos / Sopra-Steria, studied French public opinion in the light of the terrorist attacks of January 7th to 9th that left 17 dead.

Here's a summary of the findings:

Islam more compatible with French society

One result that may surprise some is that acceptance of Islam is growing in France with only 51 percent saying that “Islam is not compatible with the values of French society” compared to 63 percent in 2014 and 74 percent in 2013.

Political orientation seems to have a strong influence on whether Islam is perceived as compatible with French society. Of those judging Islam as compatible, 66 percent sympathise with left-wing parties, compared to 39 percent of supporters of the conservative UMP party, to only 12 percent of people connected to the far-right National Front.

Some 50.3 percent of women are more tolerant of Islam compared to a percentage of 43.5 percent among men.  

Acceptance of Catholicism and Judaism appears to be much greater given that 93 percent and 81 percent of those polled judge them as compatible with French values.

Photo: AFP

Islam as peaceful as other religions

With 66 percent, the majority of those polled consider Islam to be as peaceful as other religions and view jihadism as a perversion of the religion. Some 81 percent of the supporters of the Socialist Party believe Islam is an equally peaceful religion, compared to 53 percent of UMP supporters, and a minority of 39 percent of those supporting the National Front.

Muslim representatives have been heard

Some 65 percent of the participants in the poll say that in the aftermath of the Paris shootings the Muslim representatives condemning the attacks were “quite present” and 60 percent said they were “convinced”. Some 58 percent said that “it is right to ask them to condemn the attacks because it’s the only way to avoid confusing Muslims in general and extremist jihadists in particular”.

However, 35 percent fear that by “insisting too much one risks to create a feeling of unease in the Muslim community, which will feel more and more stigmatised”.

Increase military presence abroad

Half of those polled want French military presence increased in places where troops are already deployed (Mali, Iraq). Some 40 percent want to maintain military presence, and only 9 percent want to see it decreased.

A majority of 65 percent wants France to intervene more directly in Syria in an international coalition against Islamic jihadism.

Measures against religious extremism

The poll proposes five measures to deal with religious extremism and the majority of those polled are in favour of all of them. Some 95 percent support tougher conditions for detainees who contribute to the spreading of extremist ideas in prison.

Some 90 percent are in favour of stripping French people of their nationality for leaving for Syria to wage jihad.

Some 71 percent and 67 percent respectively agree that it should be possible to listen in to suspects' phone calls and search their homes without permission from officials.

According to 61 percent, it should be possible to interrogate suspects without a lawyer present.

Photo: AFP

Public satisfied with MPs

Overall, those polled appear to be satisfied with how MPs handled the aftermath of the attacks.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls takes the lead with 86 percent thinking that his “attitude was appropriate during the events”.

Next up is President François Hollande with 83 percent followed by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve with 81 percent. Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira lags behind with only 50 percent thinking her attitude was appropriate.

Story continues below…

Photo: AFP

Disapproval for Marine Le Pen

Some 69 percent of those polled stated they disapproved of National Front leader Marine Le Pen’s attitude as she didn’t participate in the unity marches and instead held her own homage to the victims, which turned into a political gathering.

The sentiment was even echoed among supporters of her party with 24 percent saying they “mainly disapprove” and 9 percent saying they “disapprove completely”.

Photo: AFP

Half of French believe France is at war

There is an almost even split in opinion between those who believe France currently finds itself "at war" (53 percent) and those who find the idea exaggerated (47 percent).

Of those who believe France is waging a war, 84 percent agree that it is directed against jihadist terrorism, with roughly two thirds thinking the war can be won.

Some 16 percent think France is at war against Islam in general with 42 percent of those sympathising with the far-right National Front party.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available