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Muslim discrimination 'too common' in Sweden

Muslim discrimination 'too common' in Sweden

Published: 08 Mar 2013 15:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Mar 2013 15:45 GMT+01:00

Swedish Muslims have slammed the government for failing to combat discrimination, submitting a report to the UN with a list of proposed measures, such as setting up an inquiry into the abuse of Somali migrants in the tiny town of Forserum.

"Forserum really showed what proportions Islamophobia as well as Afrophobia can take when an entire town looks on as people have their human rights violated," Kitimbwa Sabuni told The Local on Friday.

Sabuni edited the report submitted to the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) by the Network of Swedish Muslims (Nätverket Svenska Muslimer i Samarbete), a cooperation of several different associations, in which representatives said Sweden was failing to tackle discrimination against Muslims.

The report estimated there are 350,000 Muslim Swedes, making it one of Sweden's biggest minorities.

It asked the government to order an inquiry into how local authorities failed to help Somali migrants, some of whom were too afraid to let their children go to school after suffering verbal and physical abuse.

"Not everyone partook in the abuse, but many silently witnessed it and the authorities were passive," Sabuni said.

The report also urged research into prejudices that ethnic Swedes who convert to Islam face, in many cases from their own families.

”We’re talking not only about excommunication, but also threats and violence that many converts tell us about," Sabuni said.

One father, based in the US, reported his daughter to the FBI, which led to her being questioned by the Swedish intelligence service Säpo.

In another case cited in the report, a Swedish woman who became pregnant with her partner of Middle Eastern origin was beaten by her family.

"They told her they would 'rip the Arab out of her belly' among other threats," Sabuni said.

"These are examples of honour crimes in ethnic Swedish families, even though the term 'honour crime' is usually reserved to people of non-Swedish origin."

The list also asked that the government probe the effects of Sweden anti-terror law, including the extended surveillance rights of the security agencies. It noted that out of 26 known arrests using the 2003 law change, all cases targeted Muslims.

Only two people were subsequently charged.

"As it is only Muslims who are detained on these flimsy grounds, the question of whether the terror law is a 'race law' must be asked," read the report, which also proposed a "Truth Commission" that would have the power to look into specific cases.

It also mentioned housing segregation as a problem that could in part be solved by allowing Islamic banking, which forbids interest rates, which could unlock flat and house ownership for many Swedish Muslims.

The report also addressed how Muslims were represented by the Swedish media, urging that greater attention be paid to how Swedish news channels report on matters pertaining to the minority community.

As an example, Sabuni referred to Sverges Television (SVT) debate programme Debatt on Thursday night featuring the topic "Repression of women among Muslims".

"What kind of headline is that? And it's on public service television," he said.

"As though women's lack of access to education and not being able to support themselves wasn't a problem in Sweden and other western European countries only 50 years ago, and that economic and social development weren't the keys, rather than religion, to their emancipation."

A further recommendation in the report was to foster a more diverse recruitment base for journalists working for the public broadcasting. It suggested that "Sveriges Television (SVT) remove the discriminatory ban on newscasters wearing headscarves."

Additionally, the report asked that the government gives funds to Muslim congregations to secure their safe operations. It also cited statistics that showed that per capita, Muslims receive less funding through community association funding than other groups.

The report concluded that Islamophobia had "been allowed to creep into the political mainstream," a comment that irked Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag.

"I think that's incorrect," he told Sveriges Radio (SR).

"The big difference between the Swedish government and say Denmark or the Netherlands is that we are crystal clear when it comes to distancing ourselves from racism and xenophobia."

Ann Törnkvist

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Your comments about this article

16:35 March 8, 2013 by CanadianEh
This is a good move, this racism in a politically correct nation needs to stop. Regardless of faith, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation we are all equals under the UN charter for human rights.
16:46 March 8, 2013 by jifajifa

They are engaged in anti-Semitic laws currently...

The Swedes have always been too busy hating the Jews, so they have no time for other things ...
16:46 March 8, 2013 by StockholmSam
Really, The Local? Do you not know how to spell the world "too" correctly?
16:47 March 8, 2013 by jifajifa

They are engaged in anti-Semitic laws currently....

The Swedes have always been too busy hating the Jews, so they have no time for other things ...
17:00 March 8, 2013 by TG22
"As it is only Muslims who are detained on these flimsy grounds"

Flimsy grounds? Are you mad? You should have a walk around Malmo on a Saturday night and I'm sure your opinion will change quite fast...
17:01 March 8, 2013 by RobinHood
Extremist troublemakers from both sides of the immigration debate should be clearly identified as such, so their views can be disregarded. The Local does not help when extremists from either side are given a prominent platform. It tends to excite the trolls, and ruins a very important and necessary debate.
17:22 March 8, 2013 by flyintiger
The report estimated there are 350,000 Muslim Swedes, making it one of Sweden's biggest minorities." I notice something blatantly fishy is going on here, this figure 350,000 muslims is remain the same unchange in the last few years. Everytime they they try to estimate the muslim population then the 350,000 appears like in the last few years the muslims didn't give birth or they didn't import any of them in. Last year a lone 119,000 immigrants move to sweden, a large chunk of them are muslims and yet the 350,000 remain the same over and over again. I think the media (we all know who) is trying to hide the fact, hiding the true number of muslims in sweden to fool the swedes here. The true is that the muslims in sweden are well above the 500,000 thousands and growing and growing, but somebody afraid to show that true figure because the people may put an end to that grow. If you can trace back other articles in the last few years about the muslims and there were too many then you will see my point. Or wait for the next articles because there will be many and see. Next year when they try this again you will see the same number gain trust me!

The only way for the swedes to stop this so called " discrimination of muslims or islamphobia" is that they must give up their homes their country to the muslims and start converting to islam and change their names to muhammad or ahmad svenson and fatima svenson or something in that ball park, and may then only then they might satify their beloved muslims.

These poor poor muslims, they are suffer to much in this hell hole call sweden, what are we going to do about it then??? Oh how about this....stop taking them in and put an end to their suffering already! You know it's funny because from what I see and heard, it is the swedes that got their behinds knocking about not other way around. In Malmö, Stockholm and some other cities it is the swedes and the jews that afraid of these peaceful muslims not other way around but in lalaland called sweden the truth doesn't mean much does it?
18:53 March 8, 2013 by Khazara
Swedes that is white people who speak Swedish do not have many children; are prone to have many with serious birth defects since many women try to have children to late and have a huge white homosexual population. Thus, Sweden needs to fool immigrants and cajole them to live in Sweden. If one was to rank Sweden on a scale of 1 to 10; 10 being the highest and 5 being average, Sweden would rate a 3 (I have lived here for 4 years, originally from N.Y.). The weather is horrible and there is a monopoly in almost every business sector. The only industries that are growing are heavily subsidize by the Government (Colleges and language schools) and there revenue is directly connected to the influx of immigrants that attend those schools. Prove me wrong!

Most of the Muslims are mulattoes from Eastern Europe, The Middle East and North Africa. They are for the most part people who have watched too many Hollywood movies and are easily duped into believing Scandinavia is great. How sad it is to see so many; just like the natives; disappointed with Sweden.
20:19 March 8, 2013 by Svensksmith
Khazara, can I party with you, dude? You seem like such a light-hearted, laff-a-minute guy.
20:41 March 8, 2013 by Emerentia
"They are for the most part people who have watched too many Hollywood movies and are easily duped into believing Scandinavia is great. "

What Hollowood movies about Scandinavia are you talking about? Mention 5 of them. Or one at least? Hollywood usually don't make movies about Scandinavia, I would say that at least 95 % of all Hollywood movieas are about US, if there is something about Europe it's usually undefined...just Europe, like Europe was one place. Or Paris. That's it. Nothing about Sweden. If Sweden are mentioned it's usually something about the Stockholm Syndrome or the Nobel Prize. I've not heard of one Hollywood movie where Scandinavia is described as great, so great that people would like to move here.
21:09 March 8, 2013 by Svensksmith
Yeah, but there is a lot of mention of the easy hand-outs out there on the grapevine.
21:16 March 8, 2013 by Enjoyourlife
1...majority do not intergrate

2...they love to revenge

3....they want convert others by force

4....they want things to go they way they want

5.....majority stay home and make at least 5 babies

6....they love to live on benefits
21:28 March 8, 2013 by Phillynilly
"The big difference between the Swedish government and say Denmark or the Netherlands is that we are crystal clear when it comes to distancing ourselves from racism and xenophobia."

PJA Then he (Ulenhag) has obviously never been to Denmark or Netherlands. For what Denmark and Netherlands have been through at the hands of Islam. I think they are a model considering...... This is another Muslim attempt to gain public sympathy by crying victim. When will they get it? It is not a religiously inclined part of the world. It is not compulsory to be part of a religion.If they truly understood this then they would be years ahead of where they are at the moment. My advise would be to lose the religion and join the society. Just because the law stipulates that you can practice whatever religion you like doesn't automatically force the general public to like it..... or accept it.... Its not as if other religions can go to a Muslim country, and establish another religious church there. Stop complaining,
22:48 March 8, 2013 by Programmeny
Today I learned a new term: "Afrophobia". This is getting ridiculous. How many more phobias can they accuse as of and take anymore before being too much and them returning from wherever they came from, where there is not phobia? Oh wait... they won't.
00:00 March 9, 2013 by John Redux
Then buy the Somalis, and the rest, tickets to go back to their OWN nations, and leave Sweden, and Europe, for the white people as it should be?! Please, just LEAVE, and take the white liberal trash with you!! Why import people from nations that have not created anything, or advanced, in the last 500 years? Disgusting.
00:37 March 9, 2013 by Kronaboy

I agree with your statement that when compared to the USA (particularly when considering equality in employment, poverty etc…) Sweden fares badly; however, we must consider it from a European prospective, then the treatment described above is still pretty tame when compared to other EU countries like the UK.


I disagree, you don't distance yourselves from racism you simply pretend it does not exist; I have often criticized the level of direct discrimination in the UK, however the one area they have got right is their equivalent of the DO and the race relations Acts which active challenges the status quo. You go on about religion as if that is the causal factor, and the reality is it is often your prejudices which force 2nd and 3rd generation migrants into the comforting bosoms of radical groups. Take for example 9/11, how many of them were from USA; none, most of them were radicalised in France, UK and Germany. Fact is you would be hard pushed to find more than a handful of radical Muslims in the USA; why, because most Muslims are economically included (positive discrimination) and are too busy bettering themselves and their families to bother with such nonsense.
02:28 March 9, 2013 by intrepidfox
Throw the lot out like Idi Amin did. A much safer land and the end of the R word
05:52 March 9, 2013 by engagebrain

Wrong bit of bigotry - Amin expelled people of Indian descent (probably not muslims).

Amin was pro muslim and after his regime collapsed he lived and was supported by Libya and then Saudi Arabia.

We are probably lucky he didn't seek refugee status in Sweden - he had cause to seek asylum after being responsible for 80-300 000 deaths.
06:20 March 9, 2013 by goldenabdullah
If the white men are hating to me I do not care. I just want the white girls. They do not seem to be minding brown guys. They are very happy with me. The dad let's me stay overnight. He is stupid. In my country this never is happening. I will have my fun with her and then one of your Swedish guys can have her when I am finishing. Its a great country. Thank you for your doughters.
09:14 March 9, 2013 by StockholmSam
Hey The Local, if you are going to put quotation marks around a phrase in the title of the article, as you did with 'too common' in the title of this article, then you must quote someone in the article that says it is "too common." Who, exactly, are you quoting there? Seriously, the fact that you cannot hire people who actually know how to write in the first place and edit in the second truly is pathetic. Why don't you hire some native English speakers who are trained in writing and editing? They are out there. I know many who have struggled to find work in Stockholm because of discrimination. Are you no different?
09:33 March 9, 2013 by Kronaboy

You are nothing but a uncel tom newbie house slave, you may think you are smart guy, but you are nothing but a parasite feeding off others.
12:04 March 9, 2013 by johnny1939
I don't understand why so many people want to come to a miserable country like Sweden anyway. The climate is lousy the politics the same. The Swedes are narrow minded a**holes. Why don't they go to the US like I did.....much much better. The social assistance in UK and Germany is better or so I am being told.
13:17 March 9, 2013 by Skugglegend
@StockholmSam I guess the problem to hire native English speakers who doesn´t understand Swedish is that you need someone who can understand the Swedish news when writing about It :P


Well you can be a narrow minded a**hole yourself...thank you
13:51 March 9, 2013 by Svensksmith
Hey goldenabdullah, come to my house and try that stuff with my daughters. They'd kick yer @ss before I even had a chance to.
16:21 March 9, 2013 by Migga
"Muslim discrimination 'too common' in Sweden", too common in regards to what? Other countries? Hardly. Not even Denmark or The Netherlands. Kitimbwa Sabuni is known for having extreme leftish views, he doesn`t stop from twisting things to fit his agenda. I`d question the things he writes in his report. But I welcome any report to highlight the problem and battle it. While looking at the report one should also look at which events are true or false considering half the stories coming from Forserum were made up.


Why is the dad stupid? I`m sad to hear that it isn`t allowed in your homecountry, it seems like it`s stuck in the Middle Ages. Thanks for your kind words about Sweden being a great country though.


You call all Swedes narrow minded a**holes, what does that make you for thinking that all Swedes are the same? Take a look in the mirror before calling someone else narrow minded. Enjoy the US.
16:26 March 9, 2013 by Kronaboy

I would hurry up if I were you, the UK is about to follow Sweden's example and restrict EU nationals access to social security; that's going to pi?s of the thousands of Swedes who take advantage of my hard earned taxes to migrate to the UK each year;)
17:34 March 9, 2013 by bcterry
Swedish Muslims have slammed islamic states for failing to combat discrimination, submitting a report to the UN with a list of proposed measures, such as setting up an inquiry into the abuse of Jews, Christians, homosexuals, and non believers which is rampant throughout the "muslim world".
21:52 March 9, 2013 by Phillynilly
Goldenabdullah. I have no doubts you are are still living at home with in a room with the rest of your family.
22:21 March 9, 2013 by bcterry
Goldenabdullah. I have no doubts you are are still living at home with in a room with the rest of your family. "

LOL, and still a virgin with an overactive fist.
01:50 March 10, 2013 by JoshArnold
Okay .... I am originally from Pakistan, been working in Sweden for the past 6 years as a consultant software engineer. Here is what I think.

On the topic of immigration the ethnic swedish population is becoming increasingly polarised day by day. There are actually two extremes. One extremist group is dangeroulsy liberal and leftist when it comes to the immigartion. They dont want to talk about immigration, they will just not admit that people comming from an extremely differnt culture and environment shall have problems settling in a Swedish society. They would never adress or talk about the impacts and to be honest problems caused by the people who are of non-swedish ethnicity and have taken refuge in Sweden. They will for no sane reason continue advocating the devil by bringing in trivial and absurd rationales. Like "well if you look at the over all crime rate it evens out between ethnic swedes and immigrants"....

After these kind of people there is another group of extremists who actually believe that any thing that is not white and can breathe should not be allowed in Sweden. The people belonging to this group shall immidiately start trolling me since I have mentioned right in the beginning that I am originally from Pakistan. For them that fact that I and many people like me are infact positively contributing to the Swedish society by paying hudereds of thousands of SEKs as taxes every year is of least import. The only thing that matters to them is that I am not white and I am a Muslim. For them it doesnot matter how much value I bring to the Sweden with my professional expertiese, how positively I obey the Swedish laws. How much respect i have for the Swedish cultural norms

I personaly believe that both the afforementioned groups are full of BS.

The fact of the matter is that majority of the social crimes which the Swedish society is not very used to are actually caused by people of immigrant origin. Even when I, who is not an ethnic swede, see any one driving like idiots on the road the first thought that comes to my mind is (must be a ***** assylum seeker) guess what? so far I have never been wrong in my assumption.

At the same time I see that in the labour market there are many sectors in which Sweden is facing a huge shortage of man power and it needs more people to fill that gap. Now guess the skin color of the majority of those immigrants who can help you get over such problems.

If you keep placing all the non-white immigrants into a single group of people you will only end up upsetting quite a lot of such people who are genuinely needed by sweden , and they have no issues what so ever relocating to a different country. What shall you be left with at the end is going to be the kind of immigrants who are infact happy to be alive. So never mind the swedish laws and society. They are just happy they survived the israeli and american bombs and now they get money even if they dont work.
03:00 March 10, 2013 by Kronaboy

So what's your point newbie, as I have often said on this site I can stomach the racist pigs on this site, the one thing I can't stomach is the newbie uncle tom house slaves who take advantage of the rights my generation have fought for.
05:20 March 10, 2013 by European12
These vermin need to leave Europe, immediately.
07:21 March 10, 2013 by jessieluv
@ Kronaboy

Did you really just say that compared to the US unemployment, equality freedom Sweden fares badly? ARE YOU MENTAL?

The US has a higher poverty rate than even South Slavic countries. Your poverty rate is higher than every European country and every single country in the Western world. You also have THE LARGEST gender gap in the west.

You are below the rest of the western world in practicaly all fields, and are even below even some of Europe's worst nations. Parts of your country actually look like Africa or some third world country. Ive been to the US, and you have many cities and locations that look as horrible as Detroit. Outside the suburbs most of your country looks like Africa.
09:15 March 10, 2013 by Khazara
@jessiehate - You have never been to Africa. Africa is quite beautiful. Your just another racist who has watched way to much t.v.- In the U.S.A (I'm from N.Y.) the life expectancy and overall quality of life for European women is lowest between all the racial groups and genders. Explain that. Detroit is just a example of white corporations abandoning U.S.A. citizens and searching for cheap labor oversees. You do understand economics? Probably not.

@josharnold - You are either young, immature or you are like many mulattoes from Pakistan severely prone to internalize self hatred. Sweden and white people who live there have not establish a Utopia (far from it, the weather would first be agreeable) and never will become one in your lifetime. It is a racist country (a mind set you have bought into; non-white people are Asylum seekers, really?) that has survived by excluding (not that any one with brains would want to live here long term) and backstabbing it's closest relatives(other whites nations) for it's survival. Sweden is essentially a slave state. A slave will say you can take my mother, father and children, just leave me be.

Sweden has a dying white population it needs people from the Middle East and North Africa to prop up it's declining population numbers; educate and hope that these non-whites buy into a racial hierarchy (that is based on human arrangements, not on actual genetic quality; so called white people are inbred mutant albinos) that devalues these same non-whites; while these non-whites still pay taxes to those who could care less about them. ¨

I warn African people (which are very few in Sweden) to leave as soon as they can, take advantage of the free Universities but I have to admit some are brainwashed or have already done the "dumbest of things"; like get a white woman pregnant.
12:05 March 10, 2013 by Migga

It`s sad to see that immigration has become such an infected subject. Something extreme groups on boths side live on. The best way is to have an open and honest discussion about the issue. The best way to approach it, in my mind, is to have a balanced opinion or a so called "golden middle way".


Sweden has racism, just like any country. I don`t belive it is any worse or better then any other western country. But the things you write is ridicolous. Things like "white people are inbred mutant albinos" or "dumbest of things; like get a white woman pregnant" is disgusting.
13:20 March 10, 2013 by Kronaboy

Check the stats for yourself employment levels for migrants are substantially higher, there is actually a minority middleclass and when was the last time you saw a senior minority (excluding the token minority affairs minister) minister of state in Europe, the only difference between the EU and the USA is, in the USA you white boys are given a taste of poverty which is the norm for us in Europe; as I recall on The Local even published a recent article regarding Economic integration of Somali migrants when compared to Sweden.
18:27 March 10, 2013 by bcterry
"in Europe, the only difference between the EU and the USA is, in the USA you white boys are given a taste of poverty which is the norm for us in Europe; as I recall on The Local even published a recent article regarding Economic integration of Somali migrants when compared to Sweden."

You "black boys" have got your head up your axx if you think "white boys" have not tasted poverty.

Fxxxing ignorant.
22:59 March 10, 2013 by InterceptorZone
Hey dudes listen up what i am about to say is very true. I came from one of these countries and guess what my experience isn't very different.

I wanted a better life, my academic performance was far from assuring my dream job where I am coming from.

I hate complaining (the victim mode) but it happens sometimes that the tunnelbana is freaking full and the three places next to me are empty. People are scared of me just of the way I look. When I get into a small shop the girl in there gets very confused, the boss shows up sometimes and picks up the bank notes of big values from the cashier while giving me "that" look. I never could date a Swedish girl. The longest experience was two weeks and then the girl was honest about it after i insisted (she thought I would never fit in her friends circle) When I get into a bar or restaurant (i pick up the most swedish ones normally) I always get that kind of look (what the f## are you doing here?) and I feel it because I am smart enough. My questions is to you, what do you think it feels to have this kind of life? on a daily basis? Do you think I brought as much amount of hate with me from home? Do you think my parents raised me to hate people or (white people specifically)? Not really. I feel like I pay a life debt from something I haven't really done or been the reason for.

Despite everything I said, I don't hate Swedish people, I just understand their concern. I would be very worried if ever back home I feel like something big is starting to erase my culture. I will feel very angry when foreigners come to my country and don't respect our laws. What i find it strange though is the patience and kindness of Swedes in all that. They haven't stopped helping! However, very soon things will change and there will be an end for every matter.

I got used to my life at some point, my american girlfriend kept telling me how mean she thought her friends from the states were when talking about me. They told her I could be a terrorist and that I will cut her head off if she ever cheats on me or do something stupid! What is sad in all of that, in return, I can't stop liking different cultures, I love hearing pure British accent, I love practicing my french with some fellow friends, I like irish bars and irish live bands, my favorite beer is Swedish.. I give admiration and respect and i only get rejection, hate and prejudices, what a fun life. Never ask me how police at heathrow or jacksonville handle my visit to their countries. they can't understand that i was there because I am curious and wanted to know more abt them.
08:59 March 11, 2013 by Migga

What is there to say, racism exists. It`s bad and should be fought. It`s really bad in some places but I`d also like to think that it`s getting better in other places. If you got looks in Sweden then I`d say that`s bad but also better then in some places. In some places you get assulted, raped or killed because you are or think different. Just because it`s worse in other places doesn`t mean that it`s ok that it isn`t as bad in Sweden, that`s not my point, but one should recognize the good things in Sweden and work from there. Not whipp up more hate with dishonest reports.

People get looked at and treated bad because they are different. No matter if it`s the way they talk, is dressed or what kind of dialect they have. It isn`t always about sex, race, sexual preferences or religion. If one is going to battle racism it needs to be discussed openly and honestly. Making wild reports with lies or exagerations won`t lead to anything. Something the one who wrote this report, Kitimbwa Sabuni, doesn`t shy away from doing. But I look forward to reading it.
10:17 March 11, 2013 by Khazara
Many of you need to take an English grammar course. ^^^^^^^( last two comments, what!!?)

I'm just saying!
19:30 March 11, 2013 by Skugglegend

I would hurry up if I were you, the UK is about to follow Sweden's example and restrict EU nationals access to social security; that's going to pi?s of the thousands of Swedes who take advantage of my hard earned taxes to migrate to the UK each year;)

access to social security in UK!?...Eh don´t think so :P

You get nothing before you have "paid, or been credited with, enough Class 1 National Insurance Contributions". My Swedish friend worked here for a year and lost her job...she got nothing I can tell you
01:48 April 19, 2013 by clearandpresenttruth
Too Common? Unfortunately, it's not enough : )

SvD in 2014!
14:11 May 11, 2013 by m7311ann
Hi, I feel so sorry for sweden. Any nation which rejects its own ideology and values, heritage and the religion that gave such vales, it is quite clear that its demise is not very far away. I shed a tear for you Sweden!!
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Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

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