Over Half of Young French Muslims Prefer Sharia to French Republic Laws, Poll Finds


French President Emmanuel Macron stepped up efforts to combat Islamist ideology in recent weeks in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks across multiple several cities. This week, responding to criticism from a UK paper that his efforts might “stigmatise” France’s Muslim community, Macron stressed that his problem was with Islamism, not Islam.

Over half of French Muslims under the age of 25 believe that Sharia law is more important than French law, fresh polling by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) has found.

Young Muslims also appear to be more religious than French Muslims generally. When the latter were taken into account, only 38 per cent expressed support for the idea of the superiority of Sharia law.

Two-thirds, or 66 per cent, of French Muslims also expressed opposition to teachers showing caricatures of religious figures to their pupils, whereas 80 per cent of Catholics support teachers’ right to do so and 44 per cent of Muslims supported the prohibition of religious symbols in public educational institutions.

Muslims and Catholics were also divided in their views on the idea of separate hours for women in public swimming pools, with 81 per cent of Muslims and about 20 per cent of Catholics expressing support for the idea; 82 per cent of Muslims also expressed support for the study of Arabic in schools, with 18 per cent of Catholics approving the idea.

The survey’s sample size…

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