Sixteen percent, or slightly less than one in six, French citizens view the Islamic State (IS) in a favorable manner, according to a new poll released this week. The study found that French President François Hollande, with an 18 percent approval rating, is only slightly more popular in Paris.
The poll was conducted by public opinion research company ICM for Rossiya Segodnya, a Russia-based news network.
Among respondents in the 18-24 age bracket, the Islamic State’s popularity spiked to 27%.
The poll also surveyed British and German citizens. It found that seven percent of British citizens and between three to four percent of Germans supported the Islamic State.
“This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds, unemployed to the tune of 40% who’ve been deluged by satellite TV and internet propaganda,” said Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Newsweek‘s France correspondent, adding that “these are the same people who torch synagogues.”
France has seen a rapid increase in Muslim immigration over past decades, with an estimated population now surpassing five million who follow the Islamic faith. On the contrary, France’s Jewish population has been fleeing in record numbers. Additionally, the first three months of 2014 saw a 40% increase in anti-Semitic incidents from the same period last year. Many attribute those statistics to the country’s rise in Islamic anti-Semitism.