Muslims face most racism in Sweden

Muslims are exposed to the most racial harassment in Sweden, according to a new report from the Board of Integration.

Seven out of ten reports of ethnic discrimination came from people with a Muslim background, and almost 40% of those questioned in the survey said they had witnessed verbal abuse directed at Muslims.

The report, Racism and Xenophobia in Sweden, also showed an increasing intolerance of immigration.

“If you look at the whole period from 1999 to 2004 there has been a significant increase in the number of people who want to close Sweden’s borders to immigration, from 35% to 45.5%,” said the report’s author, José Alberto Diaz.

But the picture painted by the report is complex. While one in five respondents said that they were “negatively inclined towards people who they did not consider belonged in Sweden”, the support for anti-immigration political parties, such as the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) and the National Democrats (Nationaldemokraterna) is declining.

One in four said they could consider voting for such a party, down from almost one in three in 1999.

Two thirds of those questioned rejected the notion that Sweden is a racist country, and fewer people then five years ago believe that racism is increasing. In 1999, 56% said they believed racism was rising, but by 2004 this had decreased to 46%.

Have you been subjected to racism in Sweden? Discuss!