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Religious conflict on the rise in Sweden: study

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15:00 CEST+02:00
When American research centre Pew investigated the development of religious conflicts and oppression worldwide between 2006 and 2009, Sweden distinguished itself as a country where hostilities related to religion are increasing the most.

In the Pew index Sweden has risen from being one of the safest countries to positioning itself on the middle of the global scale, with an index rise from 1.2 to 2.3 between 2008 and 2009. By way of comparison Finland came in at 0.6 and Norway at 1.3.

Out of the ten countries where social hostilities related to religion are reported to be on the up, five are located in Europe, namely Bulgaria, Denmark, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

According to the report the increase is due to an “increased animosity between the general public and the growing Muslim minority”.

As an example of social hostilities related to religion Pew brings up the riots in Rosengård in Malmö in 2008.

Pew also alludes to a report from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande Rådet-Brå), which shows an increased number of hate crimes being committed against Muslims in Sweden. Pew also mentions a growing anti-Semitism in Malmö.

According to Pew’s report, religious hostilities are rising worldwide. Iraq is the worst case when it comes to violence with index 9.0, while the worst oppression is carried out in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. The report spans 2006 to 2009, when Hosni Mubarak still ruled Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood was prohibited.

The Pew report is based on information from 18 open sources, including the UN, the EU and several human rights organizations.

Therefore Pew says that its results may be misguiding, as open democracies are more likely to report incidents that will go unreported in more closed states.

Sweden, for example, finds itself at a par with Libya when it comes to religious conflict, according to the study.

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