Top Menu

Norway Survey Looks At Attitudes Towards Minorities



A Norwegian survey commissioned by the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice was undertaken by the Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities.

The survey was carried out between August 2010 and May 2012 by TNS Gallup and had some interesting results that in some ways are consistent with views across Europe.

The survey is described by the authors as the “first extensive population survey” of its kind. It largely focused on Norwegian views towards Jews and antisemitism but also covered attitudes towards other minorities, including Muslims.

As you can see from the summary of the survey, stereotypical and antisemitic views of Jews do exist in Norwegian society. The results also show that there is greater social distance to other minorities than to Jews.

Norwegian society is most negative towards contact with Muslims, Somalis and Romani. Those with the strongest antisemitic views were also strongly Islamophobic, xenophobic and skeptical of immigrants.

The results show that stereotypical views of Jews exist in Norwegian society. All in all, 12.5 per cent of the population can be considered as being significantly prejudiced against Jews. When compared to the rest of Europe, the prevalence of antisemitic views in Norway is relatively small and on a par with the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. Certain antisemitic notions are, however, more widespread in Norway. For example, as many as 19 per cent of respondents agree with the statement that “World Jewry is working behind the scenes to promote Jewish interests” and 26 per cent believe it is correct that “Jews consider themselves to be better than others”.

Antisemitism can also be gauged by analysing negative feelings and social distance. The survey reveals that 9.7 per cent of respondents feel antipathy towards Jews, while 8 per cent of the population do not want Jews among their neighbours or circle of friends. Overall, the three dimensions used in measuring negative attitudes towards Jews are somewhat less prevalent among women, younger people and those with higher education than they were among men, older people and those with lower education.

Respondents were also questioned about their attitudes towards immigrants and people of other nationalities and religions. The results show that the social distance to most other groups is greater than that to Jews. The Norwegian population is most negative towards contact with Muslims, Somalis and Romani (gypsies). Those with the strongest antisemitic attitudes also most strongly reject other groups. This is particularly evident in terms of attitudes towards Muslims, Somalis and Romani. Seventy-six per cent of those who distance themselves socially from Jews display similar attitudes towards Muslims. Antisemitic attitudes are also more common among those respondents who are highly sceptical of immigrants. Such tendencies have been observed in other European countries as well.

The number of respondents who believed that negative attitudes towards Muslims were widespread in Norway was far greater than the number of respondents who believed that negative attitudes towards Jews were widespread. When queried on what they thought the reasons for such prejudices were, respondents often made connections between negative views of Muslims and specific social problems of multicultural Norway. Negative attitudes towards Jews were often explained with reference to the role played by Israel in the Middle East conflict, and almost never with specific reference to Norwegian society. The comments did, however, occasionally contain stereotypical views of Jews or highlighted that such prejudices were often the cause of negative attitudes among other people.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Sodium

    Any site that requests money is not worth using, regardless how fabulous its upgrade might have been. As far as I am concern, it is for the birds/

  • Anonymous

    Their stupidity has the ability to leave people speechless.

  • Sodium

    You have hit the score in your theories, especially the first one, since I am a witness for what has happened at another website I was hocked on for reading and posting, for so many years I cannot even remember their exact number, because of the profound critical thoughts published on that particular site. When that particular site abandoned its former open form with its strict personal identities protection and adopted ” D ” account format, all the fine debaters, I truly enjoyed reading their posts and occasionally debated them, have promptly disappeared and the comment’s section of the site has been taken over by different breed of commenters, ever since. While I truly missed the former debaters of that site, I still pay visits to it and post on it occasionally, on the issues that of interest to me. Perhaps, I am still hocked-up to that site, because of so many years of service the site has offered me to express my views so freely, without the slightest of hindrance or censorship.

  • Tanveer Khan

    Is it possible to change the colour scheme? The upgrade is definitely an improvement, just needs a bit more colour in my opinion xD

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    “my college roommate who introduced me to the site”…cute

  • Anonymous

    I might have a suggestion, try to reach out to different websites; your site already has follower from the Islam subreddit on (
    You should even try to create your own subreddit as another avenue of discussion.

    I’ve seen that your youtube channel has very few updates and is overrun by trolls and bigots, I suggest doing a video series from user Danios’s excellent articles and clean the place out,

    These are just some suggestions to try to increase readership, Im interested in your feedback.

  • Ilisha

    I’m not the least bit sensitive. Simply stating facts.

    WordPress has templates, some of which are free and others which have more features and cost money. Fact: This template is an upgrade. No, I didn’t make the choice and I didn’t design the graphics.

    For that matter I haven’t banned anyone either. I don’t manage the black and white lists, or the site design. This is not my website. I’m just a contributing writer and a moderator.

  • Jacque Flores

    I’m not him, but, keep in mind, there are two sides to every tale. I don’t wish to get involved in their soap opera though.

  • Jacque Flores

    The code may be an upgrade, but the look is very blah. Your heading up top does not stand out as does nothing else. It all looks like it is mushed together. Don’t make it too fancy, but it needs to be a little more eye pleasing.

    “Nothing has changed here, apart from the site upgrade.”

    You can tell yourself that, but I don’t agree. The amount of debate and quality of debate have greatly depreciated. Everything is not fine.

    The quality of the articles is there. They are still well written and informative. I can only assume there must be another reason.

    Also, seeing how sensitive you are about the template, I just have one question: Did you choose it?

  • Ilisha

    Yes, it is an upgrade. It’s a new template, which includes my favourite new feature–a dynamic list of popular articles. You may not like the new graphics, but the template was an upgrade.

    I don’t really care if you’re Jon Diamond or not, but what any criticism from you should be taken with a grain of salt. Especially since you started complaining upon arrival.

  • Ilisha

    Belligerence. He was initially just put in moderation for a cool down, but in response he made increasingly nasty comments until he got himself banned by the admin.

  • Tighe McCandless

    Really? What was Jon banned for?

  • Ilisha

    Nothing has changed here, apart from the site upgrade.

    I noticed you have the same IP address as Jon Diamond, who was banned some time ago.

  • Jacque Flores

    I don’t like saying this, but readership is definitely down. How do we know that? Look at the upvotes. Months ago, I used to see people regularly get +20-30. Now, if you get five, that’s pretty good. That is a significant drop.

    What happened to cause that? Is it the fault of the website, moderators, or are the articles just not as interesting any more?

    I wish I had the link, but there were people, on a message board talking about Loonwatch and stating that some of the moderators are drama queens and don’t like people who disagree with them too often. They then wound up banning those people. Obviously, there is no way to prove that is true, but, if that does go on, I don’t understand why they would do that.

    To be absolutely honest with you, the site is nowhere near what it should be. I think the administrators need to ask themselves why that is.

  • Mehdi

    You do have some good points, indeed we keep reading and sometimes skip the comments as we don’t always have the energy or willingness to engage in debates or arguments.
    Indeed one of the points is that there is so much going on in terms of Islamophobia, in the end it becomes a bit depressing and tiresome, not to mention the trolls.
    Last weekend, I was confronted to a few pretty nasty islamophobic rants, one coming from someone I didn’t expect this from, and I have to admit that it took away my energy and eagerness to read more articles or comment, I was just angry and spirit-broken for 2 days. I’m OK now but it tells a lot about hard it is to handle all the meanness and bad spirits we have to cope with regularly.
    Maybe one take-away for LW is that the site should try to maintain a range of “positive” articles, like the interviews with Arsalan Iftikhar or Haroon Moghul, or JSB’s articles, or some history stuff (like about the important Women in Muslim history).
    Sometimes we also need positive news to keep the spirits high :-)

  • Anonymous

    I have some theories as to why commenting is low.

    1- People don’t want a Diqus account, which could be due to privacy concerns or something
    2-As you said, commenters are getting tired of responding to trolls who keep repeating the same old bulls*** that has been continuously debunked on this website.
    3-Too much exposure to negativity can really affect people psychologically and can cause depression.
    4-Just because people are not commenting doesn’t mean they are not reading the articles you and your team posts, it could be they have nothing to add to the story.

    Again these are just theories and not fact and I could be wrong in this regard.
    I do enjoy reading your website

  • Rights

    The Loonwatch website looks fine to me, although I am not much of a website connoisseur. But it does seem that compared to a few months ago there are fewer people commenting. That does not necessarily mean that interest in the Website and its mission has dwindled; it may just be that a few months ago the Website saw a peak that did not represent steady state.

    That said, I think in the end the quality of comments is the key to attracting and holding people. We should therefore strife to write comments that become teaching and learning experience for all. Of course snippets of humor are always good too.

  • Yausari

    Explain to me what ‘moderate Muslims’ mean? Please tell me the difference between Muslims and ‘moderate Muslims’.

  • Iman

    Most of the times I can’t comment because I can’t find the right words to describe my deepest feelings of disgust toward islam haters silly accusations .

  • Mehdi

    I think it’s just that people have different momentums when it comes to commenting, sometimes family life, vacation, work, or bad internet connections can get people to comment less for a bit of time.
    The website look & feel did not change my willingness to comment as far as I’m concerned.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    I don’t know while I have noticed that some commenters are less frequent here, there still seems to be a high level of comments on certain hot-button topics. Most topics, (e.g. apostasy, certain Quran verses) have long been debated to the point of exhaustion, so anonymous may be right in that regard.

    There are more changes to come to the site but I don’t see how its any harder to navigate and most responses to the change appear to have been positive. But we’re always open to different opinions.

  • Tanveer Khan

    You guys clearly come across as radical, jihadist, islamist, anonymous muslims.

  • Ilisha

    …The creators of the site consider themselves to be moderate Muslims…

    Really? That’s news to me.

  • Anonymous

    “I think it may have to do with the changes made to the website.”

    That, and I think people are getting tired of the drama and flamewars that goes on in some of the comment sections.

  • Tanveer Khan

    Bring back the orange and black!

Powered by Loon Watchers