Racism on the rise is Sweden

Aug. 23, 2011 at 1:15 AM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Racism toward Jews and Muslims is growing in Sweden, a public agency that advocates for tolerance, democracy and human rights says in a report.

The Living History Forum report indicates the number of racist Swedish Web sites has nearly doubled since 2009, the Swedish news agency TT reported.

Web sites created by right-wing extremist groups publish and spread anti-Semitic and Islamophobic propaganda. The report showed school textbooks have begun to show prejudice.

"There is today a small but growing minority that harbor hatred against Muslims and Jews," Minister for Integration Erik Ullenhag said Monday in a statement.

Recent crime statistics show there were 161 anti-Semitic crimes reported and 272 Islamophobic crimes reported last year. However, the Living History Forum said it believes the actual numbers may be higher.

"Above all this study shows that research and follow-ups into preventative actions regarding intolerance against Jews and Muslims is sorely needed," said head of Forum for Living History, Eskil Franck.

The study was requested by Swedish government officials to further their knowledge about xenophobia throughout the country.

"We have learned from experiences in other European countries that all the forces who want a tolerant society need to be active in the public debate. Prejudice against Jews and Muslims can never be normalized," Ullenhag said.

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