Muslim women face islamophobia in France

More than 40% of Muslims in France have suffered harassment

24% of Muslims claim to have been insulted for their religion, a figure that is at 37% among Muslim women who cover their heads. In addition, 7% say they have suffered attacks.

Around 42% of Muslims living in France – the country with the largest Muslim population in Europe – claim to have suffered some type of harassment at least once in their lives because of their religion, according to an official survey released on Wednesday.

The study, carried out by the French Public Opinion Institute (IFOP), indicates that most of the situations of harassment and discrimination suffered by Muslims occur during police checks (13%), as well as during the job search (17%) and when renting a home (14%).

In fact, it is Muslim women and especially during the search for work that suffer most from this type of situation. In addition, 60% of women wearing the Islamic veil claim to have suffered harassment at least once in their lives; a situation that 44% of the Muslims who do not cover their heads with the hijab or any other garment also have lived.

37% of Muslim women who cover their heads have suffered insults

Up to 24% of Muslims said they suffered harassment in the form of verbal aggressions and insults, a percentage that is reduced to only 9% among non-Muslims. Again, the situation is aggravated in the case of women, since up to 37% of Muslim women who cover their heads report having suffered insults. Likewise, up to 7% of Muslims claim to have been subjected to physical aggressions, more than double that the rest of the population.

This is the first official sociological study in France on the issue of Islamophobia, just a few days after the demonstration convened for Sunday in Paris against this form of xenophobia. The march was called in the wake of the attack carried out last week in a mosque in Bayonne – in southern France – by a man who shot at Muslims praying in the temple, seriously injuring two people.