22 August

According to a new report, presented by the Living History Forum (Forum för levande historia), Jews and Muslims wearing apparent religious symbols are subjected to significant discrimination in Sweden and the number of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic web sites have, according to figures originally presented by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, almost doubled since 2007. Today the number of xenophobic web pages is estimated to approximately 15.000.

Even so, minister of integration Erik Ullenhag, wrote in a statement following the report that “Sweden as a whole is a tolerant country, but we cannot close our eyes to the fact that racism is growing and is being professionalized on the internet. There is today a small but growing minority that harbours hatred against Muslims and Jews.” Therefore Swedish authorities must further their knowledge about what causes hate against these groups to grow and how the trend can be turned.

On these web pages the Jewish group is often imagined as world conspirators whereas the Muslim group is seen as occupiers, using mass-immigration and rising nativity figures “Islamizing the West”. According to estimations the Jewish community in Sweden consists of some 20,000 individuals and the Muslim community of 300,000. Crime statistics presented in the report mentions 161 reports of crimes with anti-Semitic motives and 272 with Islamophobic motives in 2010. These figures are, however, based on police reports and there may be many more unrecorded cases.

This is confirmed by as well Omar Mustafa, chairman of the Islamic Union in Sweden (IFiS) as bt Lena Posner-Körösi, chairman of the Jewish Central Council in Sweden (JC). They both claim that their members don’t report hate crime out of resignation or fear.

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