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June 4, 2015 2:33 pm

Poll: Antisemitic, Anti-Muslim Views Down Across Europe After Charlie Hebdo Attacks

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Debris outside the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris following the November 2011 attack there. Photo: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin.

Debris outside the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris following the November 2011 attack there. Photo: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin.

A new survey by the Pew Research Center showed decreased antisemitic and bigoted views across Europe in 2015 in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in Paris, the U.K.’s The Independent reported on Thursday.

The survey found people expressing more positive views toward Muslims and Jews in the last months, with respondents in France overwhelmingly showing favorable views toward the two groups. The number of French respondents who said they had an “unfavorable” view of Muslims went down this year from 27 percent to 24 percent. Among the same group, 76 percent viewed Muslims favorably and 92 percent said they had a “favorable” view of Jewish people.

Pew also noted that the 37 percent of French people who consider themselves right-wing are more likely to hold unfavorable views of Muslims than those who hold left-wing views. The same pattern was shown throughout Europe. 

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The Pew Survey was conducted between April and May, 2015, a few months after January’s Charlie Hebdo massacre in France, where radical Islamists killed 12 people at the offices of the satirical magazine. Days later an attack took place at a Jewish supermarket that left four dead.

Bruce Stokes, Pew’s director of Global Economic Attitudes, said that despite “a number of hostile actions” against minorities across Europe in recent years, “the activities of a few are not necessarily reflected in the views of the general public.”

“In the wake of these events, there is no evidence that the atrocity sparked new public antipathy toward Muslims in any of the six European Union nations surveyed,” he said.

In the U.K., 72 percent of Britons said they had a “favorable” view of Muslims, an increase compared to 64 percent last year. Those with a positive view of Jews increased from 83 percent to 86 percent, according to The Independent.

Italy and Poland remained the countries where people are most likely to express negative sentiments toward Jews and Muslims. The number of people who view Muslims unfavorably outnumbered those with a favorable view by 2 to 1 in both countries.

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