French people are the most likely to hold misconceptions about the current and predicted Muslim population in their country, according to a study by Ipsos Mori published on Wednesday.
French people believed that 31 percent of the population was Muslim, when the real figure according to Pew research in 2010 was 7.5 percent.
Among the 40 countries polled, respondents in South Africa, the Philippines, and Italy also wildly overestimated the Muslim population.
French respondents also predicted that 40 percent of the population will be Muslim by 2020, but the same researchers predict the current number will rise to 8.3 percent (see graph below).
In Britain, respondents put the Muslim population at 15 percent – three times higher than reality.
The survey also asked people about their country’s views on issues like homosexuality and abortion, and how much they thought the government spends on healthcare every year.
Ipsos said that nearly all countries overestimate their Muslim population, and many are “extraordinarily wrong”.
6th May 2014
The cutting of girls at female genital mutilation “parties” is still going on in Britain and not just taking place abroad, healthcare experts have told MPs. The Commons home affairs select committee has heard that “cutters” – often older women – are flown into Britain for the events, at which as many as a dozen girls may be operated on.
Janet Fyle, of the Royal College of Midwives, said that by the time the authorities could be alerted, the cutter would have left. “By the time the girls are cut, the woman ‘cutter’ is on her flight back to the country she came from. We can’t go after the cutter. We don’t know who she or he is. The parents have to be held responsible,” she said.
Professor Janice Rymer, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, shared Fyle’s belief that FGM was happening in Britain. Asked about its scale, she said: “We have no idea. We have no data but I am sure it is happening in this country.”
The MPs also heard evidence that 75 to 80 women were undergoing FGM reversal operations in Britain each year. The MPs heard from French legal experts that statutory reporting to the police was required in France and that those responsible for mutilating girls had been jailed for up to eight years.
The first person to be charged under Britain’s FGM laws appeared at the Old Bailey last week. Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena, 31, is accused of carrying out the procedure on a woman after she gave birth at Whittington hospital in Archway, north London, on 24 November 2012.