CNRS study measures French youth support for terrorism

A recent CNRS study has attempted to measure support for “radical beliefs” among high schoolers in France following the November 2015 attacks. 7,000 students, ages 14-16, were interviewed about their opinions on radical religion and violence, the combination of these two factors demonstrating a possible susceptibility to jihadist propaganda.

Regarding religion, a minority adhere to “fundamentalism”: 11% believe there is “one true and correct religion” and that “religion is [more correct] than science,” regarding the Earth’s creation. This figure is 6% for those who are Christian and 32% for those who are Muslim.

Moreover, 25% of those interviewed believed in “violence and deviance”–33% among Muslims interviewed. They believed it was “acceptable” to “participate in violent action in support of one’s beliefs.” Researchers predicted this population is likely to “face run-ins with the police” in the future. “There is, among certain segments of the youth, a culture of violence and delinquency that has become commonplace,” stated Olivier Galland, one of the researchers. “When this culture combines with radical religion, it becomes very worrying.”

 

 

In Mayotte, Muslim leaders support Marine Le Pen

When Marine Le Pen arrived in Mayotte she was warmly greeted by Muslim leaders on the island, among them the High Cadi who prayed that she would be the 2017 president-elect.

The High Cadi and six other judges requested, using a translator, that “their role in the fight against fundamentalism would be remembered.” He also “ask[ed] God” that Le Pen become president in 2017.

Since April 2016, Mayotte’s 19 judges have depended on a social mediation service within the city council pay them.

“You have a spiritual magisterium, must we delegate the role of the Republic to a religious representative? I’m unconvinced,” she responded, while adding that she is “convinced [their] influence allowed for monitoring the possible dangers that weigh on the island due to the abandonment of the state’s role as a state.”

“I will fight against Islamic fundamentalism” she insisted. “It’s a common adversary shared with the High Cadi.” Le Pen was also received by several associations, including the presidents of the chamber of agriculture and the chamber of trade.

Statement by Gilles Lebreton, Political Advisor to Marine Le Pen

“Two young Frenchmen appear to have participated in the bloody executions on November 16 by the Islamic State. They are Michael Dos Santos and Maxime Hauchard.

This confirms the reality of the danger that Muslim fundamentalism represents in the world, but particularly in France. Every young Frenchman, no matter their culture or religion, is susceptible to being indoctrinated and to becoming a killer in the name of an extremist interpretation of Islam.

It is urgent to take strong measures to counter this threat, including:

-separation in prisons of fundamentalists from other prisoners, to prevent them from proselytizing;

-prohibiting fundamentalist preaching in mosques and more generally throughout the entirety of French territory;

-pronouncing the dissolution of fundamentalist movements, including the UOIF;

-firmly condemning the fundamentalists who have committed grave acts of violence;

-reaffirming our values of secularism and reviving our traditional policy of assimilation;

-and fighting fundamentalism everywhere in the world where it tries to plant the roots of terrorism, such as in Mali or Iraq.”

 

Valls: The Republic stands alongside Muslims

June 26, 2014

Prime Minister Manuel Valls stated, “It’s up to Muslims themselves to act, to refuse fundamentalism and radicalism, which use religion to spread hate and terror. And in this fight—and I want to acknowledge the beautiful text published by the French Council of the Muslim Faith, the Republic will always be on their side.”

His support was voiced at the exposition “Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca” presented at the Arab World Institute in Paris. Valls presented in front of several prominent Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders.

“This is a nation that recognizes the greatness and diversity of Islam,” said Valls. “This is a nation that also says that Islam has its place in France, because Islam is a religion of tolerance, of respect, a religion of light and of the future, miles away from those who twist and corrupt its message,” he stated.

The Prime Minister affirmed that “as in each year,” he would have the opportunity to meet Muslims at the meal breaking the fast during the month of Ramadan.

He promised to send Muslims “A message of confidence; a message which underscores that France is a land of freedom that respects all beliefs, and one that considers the fact that Islam is the second largest religion as an opportunity for France.”

A New Report on Islamic fundamentalism in Europe

December 16, 2013

 

In Western Europe, religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon but a trend. This is the conclusion of a German study whose results were presented last week in Berlin at WZB, a center for research in the social sciences.

This comparative study between Muslims of Turkish or Moroccan origin and Christians is based on a survey conducted on about 9,000 people in six European countries, including Germany and France.

44% of Muslims polled believed in a return to the origins of Islam and that the rules dictated by their religious beliefs are more important than those of the country in which they live. Contrastingly, in the Christian population this was the case for only 4%.

To determine the extent to which Muslim and Christian fundamentalists are considered hostile to the other groups, the researchers asked them whether they agreed with the following three statements :

“I do not want to have a homosexual friend”
“You just cannot trust Jews”
“Western countries want to destroy Islam / Muslims want to destroy western culture”

The results of the survey showed that 60% of Muslims and 13% of Christians did not like the idea of having a homosexual friend. Muslims who do not trust Jews were 45% compared to 9% of Christians.
About 25% of Christians think that Muslims want to destroy western culture, while 45% of Muslims are convinced that Western countries want to destroy Islam.

In the conclusion, the study’s author, sociologist Rudd Koopmans, emphasizes, however, that the results should be relativized: “We must not forget that Muslims are a relatively small minority in western Europe. Considered in a relative manner, the levels of fundamentalism and hostility are certainly higher among the Muslims, but in absolute terms the Christian fundamentalists are just as numerous.”

Ticino Live: http://www.ticinolive.ch/2013/12/16/allarme-fondamentalismo-islamico-europa/

 

Fundamentalism and out-group hostility: Muslim immigrants and Christian natives in Western Europe

December 2013

 

In the heated controversies over immigration and Islam in the early 21st century, Muslims have widely become associated in media debates and the popular imagery with religious fundamentalism. Against this, others have argued that religiously fundamentalist ideas are found among only a small minority of Muslims living in the West, and that religious fundamentalism can equally be found among adherents of other religions, including Christianity. However, claims on both sides of this debate lack a sound empirical base because very little is known about the extent of religious fundamentalism among Muslim immigrants, and virtually no evidence is available that allows a comparison with native Christians.

 

View full report here: Fundamentalism and out-group hostility – Muslim immigrants and Christian natives in Western Europe

Author: Ruud Koopmans

Published in: WZB Mitteilungen

Study about the rise of fundamentalism among European Muslims

December 11, 2013

 

A comparative study conducted by the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), results that approximately 65% of interviewed Muslims prioritize religious rules above Federal laws by western States. The study was conducted on France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Germany and Sweden. About 75% of the interviewed individuals would prefer the law of the Koran as the only reference for the society.

The study compares these rates with the results of interviews conducted with Christians, where fundamentalism is also present. Only 13% of the interviewed Christians perceive religious laws more relevant than secular laws. About 17% of interviewed Christians prefer the law of the Bible as the only reference for the society.

 

Article on the study at WZB: http://www.wzb.eu/sites/default/files/u252/s21-25_koopmans.pdf

Discussion Paper at WZB: http://bibliothek.wzb.eu/pdf/2013/vi13-102.pdf

News of the study at Die Welt: http://www.welt.de/debatte/kommentare/article122828293/Westeuropas-Muslime-werden-fundamentalistischer.html

A Dialogue with Islam but with the denunciation of fundamentalism

In a speech, Cardinal Angelo Scola commented on the image of the boundary, proposed as the theme for the tenth meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Oasis Foundation. The two days of meetings also mark the tenth anniversary of the Oasis organization, conceived by Scola; the meeting and anniversary brought together some seventy scholars, Christians and Muslims. And it is the reality of the contemporary period especially with echoes of the protests in Turkey, and with complete transition far from being accomplished in the countries following the riots of 2011 – which all confirmed the basis of the Oasis Foundation: that we are in a delicate moment of transition.

Christians and Muslims are increasingly faced with the need create two opposite poles, both of which are dangerous: that of a secularism that – in the words of the French philosopher Rémi Brague, who spoke yesterday at the meeting “persuades those to disregard the question of God.”

In this context the archbishop was asked about the issue of the construction of a possible mosque in Milan: “The right to religious freedom fails if we refuse to provide places of worship” the cardinal explained “But to apply it in practice, the authorities have the task of verifying who is in command. And the mosque must fit in context. For example, a mosque should not be built on a building that housed a church.”

Trouble in paradise: The darker side of the Maldives

11 April 2013

 

Public lashings. Religious extremists seizing power. A gay blogger with his throat slashed. Few of the million annual visitors to the Maldives will recognize the hellish side of these heavenly islands. Following a miraculous recovery the blogger, now lives in exile in Sri Lanka. He misses home, but a country where it is illegal to be non-Muslim and violent forms of religious fundamentalism are on the rise is no place for a homosexual secularist, he says. Recent weeks have put a spotlight on Islamic fundamentalism in the Maldives after a 15-year-old girl who had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather was sentenced to 100 lashes for “fornication”. A petition by the global advocacy group Avaaz has been signed by more than two million people demanding a tourist boycott until the flogging sentence is annulled. President Mohammed Waheed told The Independent that he strongly opposes the court ruling. “This case should not have come to the courts at all. We see this girl as a victim,” he said, adding that he has set up a committee to “understand what went wrong”. The author points out that few of the millions of tourists to the Maldives each year see this side of the country. Most are whisked off to uninhabited resort islands before even setting foot on the crowded, alcohol-free capital of Malé. But the Islamic hardliners are reportedly responsible for further incidents. They are blamed for a raid on the national museum last year in which a priceless collection of ancient Buddhist artefacts was destroyed. They are also thought to be behind the killing in October of a member of parliament who had spoken out against extremism.

Antwerp’s new mayor expresses views on Islam

14 January 2013

 

Following a public chat on the intern site of Gazet Van Antwerpen, Bart De Wever, the city’s new mayorresponded toa question on his views on Muslim residents that he does not consider Islam to be a problem. The presence of Islam in the community is for him no different to the presence of any other religious community in Antwerp. He states that Muslims have their place in the city.

 

Simultaneously he denounced fundamentalism as a problem but generalized it to be an issue no matter where its source is to be traced.