July 14, 2010

French Support for Ban on Full Islamic Veil

82%

Broad majorities in four Western European countries support a ban on women wearing an Islamic veil; however, most Americans would oppose such a ban.

Fully 82% of French respondents to a Pew Global Attitudes Project survey voiced support for a law making it illegal for Muslim women to wear full veils — those that cover all of the face except the eyes — in public places such as schools, hospitals and government offices. Just 17% of French respondents disapproved of the law. Support for banning the Islamic veil is also strong in Germany (71%), Britain (62%) and Spain (59%). In contrast, most Americans would oppose such a measure; 65% say they would disapprove of a ban on Muslim women wearing full veils in public places compared with 28% who say they would approve. Support for a ban on Muslim women wearing a full veil is more pronounced among those who are age 55 and older in all four Western European countries as well as in the U.S. Ideologically, those on the right in France, Britain and Germany are more likely than those on the left to approve of a ban. In the U.S. and Spain, however, ideological differences are insignificant. Read More