January 14, 2015

French have positive views of both Jews, Muslims

Europe France views of Muslims, JewsLast week’s killings in Paris at a kosher market have raised new fears among Jews of growing anti-Semitism in France and elsewhere on the continent. The recent violence, carried out by an Islamic radical apparently linked to a separate attack at the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper, also has raised concerns among Europe’s Muslim community about reprisal attacks and Islamophobia.

A Pew Research Center survey conducted last year shows that the French held more favorable views of both Jews and Muslims than many other Europeans. Indeed, 89% of French adults held favorable views of Jews, while 72% felt similarly about Muslims.

In nearly every other European country surveyed, majorities rated Jews favorably, including Britain (83%) and Germany (82%). One outlier was Greece, where as many people said they have a favorable view of Jews (47%) as an unfavorable view of them (47%). In addition, roughly one-quarter of the general public had an unfavorable view of Jews in Poland (26%) and Italy (24%).

Positive views of Muslims were also common in Britain (64%) and Germany (58%). But elsewhere, fewer people had a favorable view of Muslims, including roughly a third of the public in both Poland (32%) and in Italy (28%).

Topics: Religion and Society, Western Europe, Muslims and Islam, Jews and Judaism

  1. Photo of Neha Sahgal

    is associate director of religion research at Pew Research Center.

  2. is an Information Graphics Designer at the Pew Research Center.


  1. german journalist3 years ago

    wrong headline! This I would say to my younger colleagues. While it is obvious that there are always some people that have a positive view on some people, the real news is: there is a REMARKABLE GAP between the numers of people who have favorable views of jews than of muslims (and even more: the jews are by far not the most popular group in the world!).

    And after Paris (and many other terrorist attacs of muslim extremists) this has nothing to do with islamophobia but with common sense. The interpretation of the facts in this article and its headline again leads away from the real problems in-between islam.

  2. Luciano Tanto3 years ago

    Vatican effect in Italy?

  3. Jayson Rex3 years ago

    Actually, Jews, by and large, have a very negative view of both Christians and Muslims – for obvious reasons. Iran and Turkey (under Erdogan) are singled out as being especially anti-Jewish and anti-Israel requiring “special treatment” in the near future.

    Iran has been marginalized and Turkey (under Erdogan) will most certainly be obliged soon to leave NATO because of its leaders Islamist mentality that promotes extremism and terrorism.

  4. John3 years ago

    I’d be interested in finding out how the recent shootings in Paris change these statistics. The trend seems to be going against Muslim immigration in Europe! The thing I find most irritating is the polar differences in how immigrates are treated in Muslim States as opposed to Western States. Imagine someone trying to demand the same rights Muslims receive in Western State in a Muslim State?

  5. Sassan K. Darian3 years ago

    This is an old poll. Do another poll and see opposite results in relation to Muslims.

  6. Packard Day3 years ago

    I am reminded of a rhetorical joke making the rounds during the 1950s: Did you ever meet a Frenchman who was not in the underground during WW II?…That said, the French have always had a curious relationship with its own Jews and Judaism. Not that anyone should be nervous right now or anything.