A new poll released last week revealed that 69 percent of French people — or nearly 7 out of 10 — believe “Islamo-Leftism” is a serious problem in France.
The Odoxa-Backbone survey revealed on Feb. 24 that participants view left-wing political parties as being “complacent with radical Islamism,” while refusing to take firm stances against the extremist beliefs out of fear of “stigmatizing” Muslims.
The poll also showed that over 80 percent of right-wing and center-right individuals believe “Islamo-leftism” is an issue, whereas those on the left were divided: 46 percent of far-left individuals believe it’s an issue compared to 63 percent of Socialist Party supporters consider it a problem.
Two-thirds of those questioned agree with French Minister of Higher Education Frederique Vidal, who said “Islamo-leftism plagues society as a whole and the university is not impermeable.” However, when divided by age, older populations overwhelmingly agreed with Vidal’s remarks, whereas only 46 percent of those aged 18 to 24 agreed with the minister.
The poll was conducted via the internet on February 23 and 24 with a sample size of 1,005 French people “representative of the French population aged 18 and over.”
In February, French politicians, journalists, and intellectuals expressed concern that “woke” theories from the United States on race, gender and post-colonialism posed a serious threat to France.
According to the New York Times, top intellectuals joined forces to fight “what they regard as contamination by the out-of-control woke leftism of American campuses and its attendant cancel culture.” The movement comes months after French President Emmanuel Macron criticized the theories.
The Times pointed to remarks made by Macron in October, which the news outlet summarized as calling “woke” ideology an “existential threat” that “fuels secessionism. Gnaws at national unity. Abets Islamism. Attacks France’s intellectual and cultural heritage.”
The French president warned about separatism and the erosion of topics that the country once excelled in teaching as a result of the importation of American woke theories.
Macron’s education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer echoed the president’s concerns during an interview in October, adding that “Islamo-leftism” was wreaking “havoc on the university.”
“No one has the right to cowardice anymore,” Blanquer said, according to a translation of his comments. “There is a fight to be waged against an intellectual matrix coming from American universities and intersectional theses, which want to essentialize communities and identities, at the antipodes of our republican model which, for its part, postulates equality between human beings, independently of their characteristics of origin, sex, religion. It is the breeding ground for a fragmentation of our society and a vision of the world which converges with the interests of the Islamists.”
In October, teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by a radical Islamist refugee. Paty had reportedly shown his students cartoons and caricatures that included the prophet Muhammad. Some Islamic beliefs hold that depictions of the prophet Muhammad are forbidden.
Macron subsequently announced anti-Islamist measures, including the targeting of “structures, associations and people close to radical groups … who spread hate and can encourage attacks.”
“Fear is about to change sides. Islamists must not be allowed sleep soundly in our country,” Macron said.