Young Muslims Three-Times More Likely to be Antisemitic, Homophobic Than Atheists Counterparts: Study

A Muslim man reads from the Koran at the Grand Mosque in Brussels on Match 25, 2016, as Mu

Young French-speaking Muslims in Europe’s capital Brussels are at least three times as likely to be antisemitic, homophobic and sexist compared to their atheist counterparts, according to a Belgian study.

The study was highlighted by signatories to a letter published by newspaper L’Echo condemning a recent move to allow the wearing of the Islamic veil in Belgian schools by several secular and feminist activists this week.

Published earlier this month, the 70-page study, which was authored by Professor at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris Joël Kotek and Joël Tournemenne, examined religious attitudes in 38 schools in the Brussels region, compared to atheists.

“Islam is even, according to all of our respondents, the religion with the most positive image; Judaism… the most negative,” the authors said in a summary of their findings.

The authors add that Muslim women often appeared to be even more conservative than Muslim men. The study found 40 per cent of practising Muslim women refused the idea of marrying a Jewish partner, compared to 29 per cent of Muslim men.

21 per cent of Muslims also say the figures of the Holocaust were “inflated” and over 35 per cent believe in conspiracy theories that “Jews control the banks and the media with the Freemasons”, and the study also revealed that 17 per cent of Roman Catholics agreed with the statement.

The authors also said young “radical” Roman Catholics held antisemitic attitudes and beliefs two-times more often than non-believers, but found that so-called “cultural Catholics” generally held opinions that were indistinguishable to atheist views.

Another survey, published in January by the Jean Jaurès Foundation, stated that religious belief in Belgian schools is on the rise and that 53 per cent of secondary school teachers face “religious pressures.”

“As a result, fear and self-censorship are the hallmarks of the profession today,” the authors of the letter published by L’Echo stated.

The study comes a year after Italian populist Senator Matteo Salvini blamed mass migration of Muslims to Europe for the increase of antisemitism across the continent.

“There is, of course, antisemitism of small political minority groups – Nazis and communists,” Salvini said and added, “But, now the massive presence in Europe of migrants coming from Muslim countries, among whom are many fanatics who are getting the full support of certain intellectuals, is spreading antisemitism in Italy as well.”

The German Federal Agency for Civic Education (FACE), meanwhile, has blamed Islamophobia for the rise in antisemitic attitudes within the Muslim community.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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