Survey of the Year

The US hard right is constantly telling anyone who’ll listen that France is on the brink of civil war. The latest version of this furphy is the claim that the French government has officially recognised areas of France it “doesn’t control”, that are under “sharia law.” Meant are the so-called zones urbaines sensibles, rough housing projects in the suburbs the Interior Ministry statisticians say have a high crime rate.

So, what happened when Nicolas Sarkozy’s pollsters headed for the frontline? Le Canard Enchainé has the results. Much as it may surprise Daniel Pipes, nobody cut their heads off. In fact, the 2,039 members of their representative sample rather disagreed with the hype. Although 53 per cent wanted to move, 48 per cent of the sample said they wanted to move to another place within their neighbourhood rather than leave. 80 per cent said they were satisfied with public transport, and a similar proportion with schools. A majority thought there were enough shops.

Asked to give their views of the cause of last year’s riots, 52 per cent blamed Sarko, with 44.5 per cent claiming that TV reporting had contributed to escalation. 25 per cent blamed police brutality, and 20 per cent criminals protecting their patch. Despite that, 72 per cent of persons “of metropolitan origin” said they trusted the police, as did 55 per cent of those originating from the Maghreb, Africa, and the overseas territories. This latter group reported being asked for their papers by the police twice as often as the first group.

58 per cent of those who said they would vote, said they would vote for Ségoléne Royal, as against 37 per cent for Nicolas Sarkozy. This trend held across all ethnic groups.

10 thoughts on “Survey of the Year

  1. Little Green Footballs hasn’t said a thing about the poll. You can rest assured that it would be saying plenty if the poll results had been different.

  2. Another recent poll suggests that the non-Muslim portion of the French population has a view which is considerably less rosy:

    Question 1: What is your general opinion on the three following religions?
    The Catholic religion
    … very good 17 %
    … rather good 38 %
    … rather bad 27 %
    … very bad 14 %
    No opinion 4 %
    No response 0 %

    The Jewish religion
    … very good 8 %
    … rather good 39 %
    … rather bad 29 %
    … very bad 16 %
    No opinion 7 %
    No response 1 %

    The Islamic religion
    … very good 2 %
    … rather good 13 %
    … rather bad 32 %
    … very bad 47 %
    No opinion/Jihad chill 5 %
    No response/Jihad chill 1 %
    By “jihad chill” I mean that some respondents would fear exercising free speech about the terror cult.

    Question 3: Do you believe that the following religions are well integrated in contemporary France?
    The Catholic religion
    Completely 13 %
    Somewhat 33 %
    Barely if at all 32 %
    Not at all 20 %
    No opinion 2 %
    No response 1 %

    The Jewish religion
    Completely 8 %
    Somewhat 30 %
    Barely if at all 31 %
    Not at all 24 %
    No opinion 7 %
    No response 1 %

    The Islamic religion
    Completely 1 %
    Somewhat 4 %
    Barely if at all 23 %
    Not at all 69 %
    No opinion/Jihad chill 2 %
    No response/Jihad chill 1 %

    Question 6: Lastly, which words would you use to describe the Islamic religion?
    Influential 60 %
    Not very influential 12 %
    Tolerant 4 %
    Intolerant 82 %
    Courageous 12 %
    Cowardly 27 %
    Open-minded 5 %
    Close-minded 81 %
    No opinion/Jihad chill 3 %
    No response/Jihad chill 1 %

    Question 9: In your estimate of the following religions, do they express respect for French laws in public debate?
    The Catholic religion
    Yes 67 %
    No 26 %
    No opinion 7 %
    No response 1 %

    The Jewish religion
    Yes 60 %
    No 27 %
    No opinion 12 %
    No response 1 %

    The Islamic religion
    Yes 15 %
    No 77 %
    No opinion/Jihad chill 8 %
    No response/Jihad chill 1 %

    Question 10 : In your estimate, in the case of conflict of values which believers of the following religions would respect French laws over those of their religion?
    France first 78 %
    Religion first 15 %
    No opinion 7 %
    No response 1 %

    France first 48 %
    Religion first 40 %
    No opinion 11 %
    No response 1 %

    France first 8 %
    Islam first 84 %
    No opinion/Jihad chill 7 %
    No response/Jihad chill 1 %

    The poll can be found at:

  3. The French have a problem with religion as is quite obvious when 41% of the oldest daughter have a bad view of you. Do wonder what the Jewish number would have been without WWII.

  4. we see in the preceding post:

    -author/pseudo-translator makes unwarranted additions of his own: “jihad chill”, this betray his bias and intention

    -extremely selective quoting, the actual poll touched the subject of Islam only on the periphery

    We conclude: another Muslim-bashing troll

    On the subject of the US, I don’t think there’s even one French city with the kind of guncrime and poverty with people dying on the streets like in the US.

    Neither have the French democracy and republic politically sunk to a 3rd world level. The US is comparable to India: good local administration in cities, everything above is corrupt and basically criminal. Bashing the developing countries and migrant workers is an old, worn and all-too transparent tactic.

    Good night.

  5. I have a bad opinion of Catholicism, which I think is borne out by evidence. In fact, I think you could argue that a genuinely patriotic Frenchman is obliged to be anti-clerical.

    Anyway, I think it’s very interesting that for ALL religions a majority thought they weren’t integrated in French society. Equally, Roman Catholicism was only marginally in positive territory and was second behind Islam in approval.

    The last set of polls, if (as you say) the poll was confined to non-Muslims (a dubious statement, as will be seen), just appears to me to be a crude measurement of racism.

    It remains to point out that Expression Publique does sign-up and we send you email polls. I don’t know how representative their samples are, nor how well protected against freeping of one persuasion or other. The poll I cited was carried out by SOFRES – do you, by the way, know the sample size?

  6. Whats interesting in the EP poll are the questions concerning the Pope and his possible favors for the “intégristes”. These are like the old residue of Catholicism, most people may be under the impression that it died out shortly after WW2 but not quite. Their level of devotion or fanaticism is very much like american evangelicals or wahhabis and the FN really likes them too. In Algeria the term for “Islamist” is also intégrist.

    And yes, genuinely French = anti-clerical. Thats also why the headscarf ban at schools etc is completely OK by French republican standards.

  7. Interesting in this context is that the French government started a voter registration drive last year (2006) which is having a great succes in traditionally underrepresentated areas, like the areas the riots happened in, and amongst traditionally non-voting groups: youfth and minorities.

    It’s almost as if the riots made these groups aware of their own existence, which it is now wanting to use in more traditional politics so to speak. Will be interesting to see the effect this will have on the presidential elections.

  8. So, when only 400 cars were burned on New Year’s Eve, this shows everyone that France is in full control of its own country? Did the pollsters leave their cars in the “rough projects” overnight or did they complete their work while the rays of the sun kept the more pyrophilic residents from expressing their views?

  9. Your figures are wrong. Surprisingly enough, they are wrong in the direction you would like them to be wrong. How could it happen?

    According to AFP, the Ministry of the Interior counted some 313 burned-out cars and a total of 258 arrests for all crimes across France on the 31st. The Directorate-General of the National Police said in a statement that “there were no confrontations between youths and the forces of order and no reports of violent disorder or trouble on public transport, especially in the Paris region and the South-East.”

    I saw with my own eyes columns of police trucks moving into central Paris on the evening of the 31st. They were not called on.

    So – how did you come to add 33 per cent to your figures?

  10. Alex said: “According to AFP, the Ministry of the Interior counted some 313 burned-out cars and a total of 258 arrests for all crimes across France on the 31st.”

    “So – how did you come to add 33 per cent to your figures?”

    Because, unlike the spin doctors, I count ALL the cars destroyed by arson. Refer to this:

    which is a good interpretation of this:

    Although it’s entirely possible the arsonists in question only mean to burn ONE car at a time, a real test of skill would be “one shot, two kills”.

    Gaming the statistics to look like a downward trend doesn’t change reality, but I’m glad to see it makes some people feel better while their country burns around them.

    [Look – I was actually in France on New Year’s Eve. You are a deluded troll]

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