New study reveals religious attitudes

Bookmark and Share

Anti-Semitism has declined in Norway, but a new study shows Muslims are more negative towards Jews than the rest of the population. The report also shows what a government minister calls a “worrisome” degree of Islamophobia in Norway.

Research leader Christhard Hoffman presented the report to government minister Solveig Horne. PHOTO: BLD

The report, entitled “Attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in Norway 2017,” is the latest to be commissioned by the government in an effort to measure anti-Semitism and other religious attitudes among Norwegians. It was carried out under the auspices of the Holocaust Center in Oslo by a group of national and international experts within anti-Semitism and quantitative research. It follows up on an earlier study, also based on surveys of Norwegians, that polled Norwegian attitudes towards Jews and other minorities.

One survey conducted for the new report polled Norwegians in general about their attitudes towards Jews and Muslims, while another polled Jews and Muslims themselves with questions about their experiences and own attitudes. Fewer Norwegians were found to be prejudiced against Jews this time around, but newspaper Dagsavisen reported Wednesday that fully two-thirds of Jews still have the impression that they should hide their religious beliefs. Prejudice against Jews was found to be widespread within the Muslim community, however, while Islamophobic attitudes were widespread.

The report was presented to government minister Solveig Horne, who’s in charge of equality issues in Norway. “This report gives us useful knowledge about the development of attitudes over time, and about challenges within our society,” Horne stated upon receipt of the report. “I hope the report will contribute, among other things, to making us more conscious of this.”

Horne said she was glad to hear there’s been a decline in negative attitudes towards Jews, and that people are less skeptical towards having Muslims as a neighbour or friend. “It’s worrisome, though, that negative attitudes towards Muslims are quite widespread,” Horne said. She intended to go through the report along with her colleagues in the education, foreign, municipal and justice ministries.

For a summary of the report in English, click here (external link to the HL-Senteret website) and then on “Summary in English” at right.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund