I've seen a couple of questions connected to whether the Paris attacks have affected attitudes towards Muslims. From Academia.SE, there's Will ISIS attacks hurt my PhD application as a Muslim and on Travel.SE there's Are [visas] for France stopped presently for Muslims?

My assumption was that the Paris attacks wouldn't change attitudes, because those who would have had a negative attitude because of Paris would have already had a negative attitude based on other incidents that have received widespread media coverage. I guess it could strengthen existing attitudes, though.

The only thing that I could see being different about Paris is that it was a large-scale incident in a developed (and majority-caucasian) country that isn't wracked by war and isn't perceived (rightly or wrongly) as being as much of a military hegemon as other some countries.

Recently, there have been some rather hostile statements about Muslims made, such as David Bowers' approving reference to the internment of Japanese in WWII, but I assume they were triggered by the large-scale refugee exodus happening at the moment.

Have attitudes towards Muslims changed as a result of the 2015 Paris attacks?

  • 1
    Voting to close this question off since it is primarily opinion-based. Nov 23 '15 at 15:08
  • @SamparkSharma- Is it? Surely a simple poll could do solve this question? Nov 23 '15 at 16:27
  • 2
    Regadless of opinion based, it's too early to be able to answer that - stable opinion hasn't formed yet (temporary spikes in sentiment are useless for policy purposes) and no reputable polling has happened yet.
    – user4012
    Nov 23 '15 at 19:22
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's impossible to get meaningful data and polling this early.
    – user4012
    Nov 23 '15 at 19:23
  • I think this is a really good question, but like @user4012 said, it's too soon to be able to answer it. Give it a month, and then there might be useful information. In regards to the linked questions, there's definitely the perception that those attacks could change people's attitudes, but we don't yet know whether they will.
    – Bobson
    Nov 24 '15 at 14:12

Yes, in the UK it has been a 300% increase in islamophobic hate crimes one week after the attacks. There was 115 attacks, mostly against women between 14 and 45 years of age. In France there have also been several attacks as well as various forms of vandalism.

References: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/paris-attacks-british-muslims-face-300-spike-in-racial-attacks-in-week-following-terror-a6744376.html




Attitudes have changed, but not in a surprising way. For a lot of people, the only thing they hear about Islam is that Muslims are killing indiscriminately. Many don't really know much about Islam, except that there are lots of Muslims in the middle east and that they're constantly killing each other pointlessly. To many, the attacks just make them think that Islam is now killing civilised people.

There is a much larger context, of course. The Paris attacks have raised many questions about Islam, Islamic extremism, and immigration- subjects that we already issues but have been brought to the fore. There have been questions for a long time as to why there's so much conflict in the middle east, and people have frequently debated potential solutions.

Of course, this is a difficult topic; there's a huge culture gap present that prevents most people from fully understanding the issues. Unfortunately, many formulate an opinion without studying the subject properly beforehand, so the negative image of Muslims means that even politicians who might know better are bound by the political system to listen to the voters.

What makes it even worse is that there's little discussion on many subjects because they're so emotionally charged. Certainly any criticism of Islamic ideas is impossible without being branded a bigot, so there's little awareness of these issues as actual issues worth thinking about.

I've no statistical evidence for this; it's just my understanding of the subject. I doubt there has been time for proper studies to be done.

  • I completely disagree with your description of the knowledge of islam in France. There are an estimated 5 million muslim people in France, in 66 million or so. This makes a difference since most french people, even in small towns, know some muslim people. Only the most isolated people could hear about islam only as "plenty in the middle east, kill each other, sometimes kill us ". Good point on the critic issue and culture gap, though. Dec 10 '16 at 17:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .