Norway Launches National Action Plan Against Islamophobia

Surveys indicate that 34 percent of Norwegians bear anti-Muslim sentiments, and close to 40 percent subscribe to the idea that Muslims “pose a threat to Norwegian culture” – an attitude the Norwegian government wants to weed out.

A new national action plan targeting the discrimination and hatred of Muslims in Norway has been presented by Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Culture and Gender Equality Minister Abid Raja.

The government stressed that the previous action plan to combat racism and discrimination in general, presented in December of last year, is not enough, and that measures to weed out hatred aimed at Muslims in particular is necessary.

Solberg also stressed a spike in negative attitudes towards Muslims in recent years, which she ascribed to the refugee wave of 2015 and the rise of jihadist terrorist attacks.

The action plan that will apply between 2020 and 2023 includes an allocation of NOK 10 million ($1 million) and 18 various measures. The developments are based on the National Police Security Service’s (PST) threat assessment, according to which the threat from right-wing extremists has grown.

The action plan is seen as tool of promoting dialogue, bridging gaps and gaining more knowledge.

“It is important to bring out the diversity of Muslims. I believe that when many people think Muslim, they might think of a mullah or a terrorist extremist,” Culture Minister Abid Raja, himself a practising Muslim, told the newspaper Dagsavisen.

The action plan…

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