Poll Finds Rising Antipathy Toward Jews and Muslims in Europe

September 17, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Reuters


Anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish feelings are rising in several major European countries, according to a worldwide survey released on Wednesday.

The Washington-based Pew Research Center’s global attitude survey found that 46 percent of Spanish, 36 percent of Poles and 34 percent of Russians viewed Jews unfavorably, while the same was true for 25 percent of Germans, and 20 percent of French.

The figures are all higher than in comparable Pew surveys done in recent years, the report said, and “in a number of countries the increase has been especially notable between 2006 and 2008.”

Opinions of Muslims are also worsening compared with previous years, with 52 percent in Spain, 50 percent in Germany, 46 percent in Poland and 38 percent in France having negative attitudes toward them.

Richard Wike, associate director of the attitudes project, said the poll did not explore why attitudes had changed, but other data indicate that negative attitudes toward Israel could be driving anti-Semitic feelings.

He also said concerns about extremism and immigration might be a factor in negative views toward Muslims.