Most French see Islam as too influential in society: poll



PARIS // An increasing majority of people in France believe Islam plays too influential a role in their society and almost half see Muslims as a threat to their national identity, according to a poll published yesterday.

The survey by pollster Ifop in Le Figaro newspaper showed that 60 per cent of people believed that Islam was "too important" in France in terms of its influence and visibility, up from 55 per cent two years ago.

It found that 43 per cent of respondents considered the presence of the Muslim community as a threat to their national identity, compared with just 17 per cent who said it enriched society. Forty per cent of those questioned were indifferent to the presence of Islam, Le Figaro said.

"Our poll shows a further hardening in French people's opinions," Jerome Fourquet, head of Ifop's opinion department, told the newspaper.

The struggle of secular France, whose people are mainly Catholic, to assimilate the largest Muslim population in Europe was thrust into the spotlight in March when Muslim Mohamed Merah, went on a shooting spree in south-west France that killed three Jewish children, a rabbi and three soldiers.

"In recent years, there has not been a week when Islam has not been in the heart of the news for social reasons: the veil, halal food, for dramatic news like terrorist attacks or geopolitical reasons," Fourquet said.

The prevalence of halal food and rising immigration - particularly from north Africa - were hot topics in the campaign for the presidential election as Nicolas Sarkozy sought to appeal to voters of the far-right National Front.

Sarkozy eventually lost to Socialist Francois Hollande but a contender to lead his conservative UMP party, Jean Francois Cope, put Islam back on the agenda this month by suggesting Muslim youths were tearing pain au chocolat pastries from children's hands during Islam's fasting month of Ramadan.

The publication of the poll also came after a far-right group occupied a mosque in the western city of Poitiers at the weekend and issued a "declaration of war" against what it called the Islamisation of France.

Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the French Muslim Council (CFCM), said fear of Islam was being stoked by political manipulation of concern over immigration and fears the growing Muslim population could lead to the imposition of sharia law.

"Islam has left the spiritual sphere to become a political subject," he said, in response to the poll. "Attempts to associate marginal practices with mainstream Muslim religion fuels the rejection of every aspect of Islam."

The survey, carried out on Oct. 15-18 on 1,736 people, showed a growing resistance to the symbols of the Islamic faith. About 43 per cent of those questioned were opposed to more mosque building, up from 39 per cent in 2010.

Sixty-three per cent opposed Muslim women wearing the veil or headscarves in public, compared with 59 per cent two years ago. Sarkozy's previous conservative banned the wearing of full-face veils.

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

 

Essentials
The flights: You can fly from the UAE to Iceland with one stop in Europe with a variety of airlines. Return flights with Emirates from Dubai to Stockholm, then Icelandair to Reykjavik, cost from Dh4,153 return. The whole trip takes 11 hours. British Airways flies from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Reykjavik, via London, with return flights taking 12 hours and costing from Dh2,490 return, including taxes. 
The activities: A half-day Silfra snorkelling trip costs 14,990 Icelandic kronur (Dh544) with Dive.is. Inside the Volcano also takes half a day and costs 42,000 kronur (Dh1,524). The Jokulsarlon small-boat cruise lasts about an hour and costs 9,800 kronur (Dh356). Into the Glacier costs 19,500 kronur (Dh708). It lasts three to four hours.
The tours: It’s often better to book a tailor-made trip through a specialist operator. UK-based Discover the World offers seven nights, self-driving, across the island from £892 (Dh4,505) per person. This includes three nights’ accommodation at Hotel Husafell near Into the Glacier, two nights at Hotel Ranga and two nights at the Icelandair Hotel Klaustur. It includes car rental, plus an iPad with itinerary and tourist information pre-loaded onto it, while activities can be booked as optional extras. More information inspiredbyiceland.com

Suggested picnic spots

Abu Dhabi
Umm Al Emarat Park
Yas Gateway Park
Delma Park
Al Bateen beach
Saadiyaat beach
The Corniche
Zayed Sports City
 
Dubai
Kite Beach
Zabeel Park
Al Nahda Pond Park
Mushrif Park
Safa Park
Al Mamzar Beach Park
Al Qudrah Lakes 

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

Tips for job-seekers
  • Do not submit your application through the Easy Apply button on LinkedIn. Employers receive between 600 and 800 replies for each job advert on the platform. If you are the right fit for a job, connect to a relevant person in the company on LinkedIn and send them a direct message.
  • Make sure you are an exact fit for the job advertised. If you are an HR manager with five years’ experience in retail and the job requires a similar candidate with five years’ experience in consumer, you should apply. But if you have no experience in HR, do not apply for the job.

David Mackenzie, founder of recruitment agency Mackenzie Jones Middle East

THE SPECS

Cadillac XT6 2020 Premium Luxury

Engine:  3.6L V-6

Transmission: nine-speed automatic

Power: 310hp

Torque: 367Nm

Price: Dh280,000

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

AUSTRALIA SQUAD

Aaron Finch, Matt Renshaw, Brendan Doggett, Michael Neser, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (captain), Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Jon Holland, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle

THE BIO

BIO:
Born in RAK on December 9, 1983
Lives in Abu Dhabi with her family
She graduated from Emirates University in 2007 with a BA in architectural engineering
Her motto in life is her grandmother’s saying “That who created you will not have you get lost”
Her ambition is to spread UAE’s culture of love and acceptance through serving coffee, the country’s traditional coffee in particular.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Dresos

Started: September 2020

Founders: Vladimir Radojevic and Aleksandar Jankovic

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Fashion

Funding: $285,000; $500,000 currently being raised

Investors: Crowdfunding, family, friends and self-funding

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

SOUTH KOREA SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu, Jo Hyeon-woo, Song Bum-keun
Defenders: Kim Young-gwon, Kim Min-jae, Jung Seung-hyun, Kim Ju-sung, Kim Ji-soo, Seol Young-woo, Kim Tae-hwan, Lee Ki-je, Kim Jin-su
Midfielders: Park Yong-woo, Hwang In-beom, Hong Hyun-seok, Lee Soon-min, Lee Jae-sung, Lee Kang-in, Son Heung-min (captain), Jeong Woo-yeong, Moon Seon-min, Park Jin-seob, Yang Hyun-jun
Strikers: Hwang Hee-chan, Cho Gue-sung, Oh Hyeon-gyu


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