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.