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Six Out of 10 Norwegians Would Object to Their Child Marrying a Muslim

Almost 58 per cent of Norwegians would be unhappy about welcoming a Muslim son-in-law or daughter-in-law into the family according to an annual survey of attitudes in the country.

The Local reports that the 2015 survey by Norway’s Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDI) found that immigrants to Norway from Muslim countries were less worried about their children marrying outside of their religion. Just 15 per cent of Norwegians with an Iraqi background, 19 per cent Somali, and 39 per cent Pakistani said they would be worried about one of their children marring a Christian.

The annual barometer of national opinions seems to show that Norwegians are more tolerant of religious groups other than followers of Islam. Only 32 per cent of Norwegians claim they would be unhappy for their child to marry a Hindu, dropping to 27 per cent for a Buddhist and 24 per cent a Jewish son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

Perhaps surprisingly for a country which until recently had an official state church (the Lutheran Church of Norway), whose monarch is still required to be Lutheran and whose constitution is explicit that the country’s values are based on its Christian and humanist heritage, six per cent of Norwegians told IMDI they would be unhappy with a Christian marrying their child.

The survey also found that 60 per cent of Norwegians with an immigrant background feel discriminated against, rising to close to 75 per cent for Somali migrants, a particular concern for Sunniva Ørstavik, Norway’s Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud. She told the newspaper Aftenposten these are “huge numbers” which include “those who have lived here a long time”, continuing:

“I’m very concerned about it. Many believe that this is a question about bad people, but it isn’t. Most of the discrimination takes place because it is you and I who are doing it.”

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