Monday, January 17

Presidential 2022. Great replacement, danger of Islam: are Eric Zemmour’s figures correct?

Invited this Thursday morning on Europe 1, Eric Zemmour defended his vision of French identity and his opinions on immigration. According to him, an “awareness” has taken place among the French on this subject. To support his remarks, he referred to “the latest poll” according to which “67% of French people say” yes, the big replacement is taking place “” and “63% say” yes, Islam is a danger for France and the Republic “” (from 21’10 on the video below). But the figures he puts forward are incorrect, even false.

Incorrect wording

Let’s start with the first statement of the far-right candidate, according to which “67% of the French” think that “the big replacement is taking place”. Eric Zemmour refers to a Harris Interactive survey for Challenges published on October 12, 2021. If we actually find the figure of 67% in this poll, it does not quite refer to what the former polemicist claims.

In reality, the 2,544 French * questioned had to answer this question: “Some people talk about the great replacement:” European, white and Christian populations being threatened with extinction following Muslim immigration, from the Maghreb and black Africa “. Do you think such a phenomenon will occur in France? “. 67% responded positively (see graph below).

Specifically, 34% said the big switch was “definitely” going to happen and 27% said it was “probably” going to happen. Not that he was already going. The founder of Reconquête therefore distorted the question formulated in this poll. But that’s not all.

A figure out of nowhere?

He then added that “63% of the French” think that “Islam is a danger for France and the Republic”. However, the Harris Interactive poll for Challenges mentioned above does not cover this subject at all. It relates only to the voting intentions in the two rounds of the presidential election, the minimum wage and the big replacement.

On this last theme, respondents are only asked if they consider that such a phenomenon will occur in France and whether this phenomenon worries them or not. Nothing to do, therefore, with the supposed dangers of Islam for France and the Republic.

So where does the “63%” mentioned by Eric Zemmour come from? We did not find a recent survey questioning the population on the risk that the Muslim religion would represent. The far-right candidate may be referring to an Ifop survey for Sunday Newspaper dated October 2019.

At the time, the polling institute asked 1,011 people * if Islam was “incompatible with the values ​​of French society.” (see photo below). 61% agreed (31% “totally” and 30% “rather”).

If Eric Zemmour refers to this poll, he distorted his result, since neither the number nor the title of the question correspond to his assertion. To say that “Islam is incompatible with the values ​​of French society” does not mean that “Islam is a danger for France and the Republic”.

In recent years, other opinion surveys have looked at the place of Islam in France. In August 2021, another Harris Interactive poll, there also for Challenges, asked this question to 10,001 people *: “If Islam were to become the first religion of France, do you fear or do you not fear that France will lose its identity? “. 72% replied in the affirmative. Here again, the number and the title do not coincide with what the candidate for the Elysee said about Europe 1.

A fourth survey, this time produced by Ifop for CNews and Sud Radio in October 2020 (i.e. after the assassination of Professor Samuel Paty), refers more to the words of Eric Zemmour. With the exception that he speaks of “Islamism” and not of “Islam”. 79% of the 1,002 people * interviewed agreed that “Islamism has declared war on France and the Republic”. However, Islamism and Islam are two different notions **, even if Eric Zemmour “does not make a distinction”, as he recalled this Thursday morning on France Inter.

* Representative sample of the population aged 18 and over.

** Islam is a monotheistic religion founded by Muhammad. Islamism brings together the radical movements of Islam who want to make this religion a political ideology through the rigorous application of Sharia law and the creation of Islamic states.

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