Discrimination and responses to it

This project examined the anti-Muslim hostility experienced by young Norwegian Muslims, and how they cope with and resist antagonism.


Research shows the existence in Norway and throughout Europe of widespread negative attitudes to Islam and Muslims. Hate and hostility to Islam impact the daily lives of the 200,000 Muslims living in Norway. Derogatory comments, hostile stares and concrete discrimination all reflect prejudice against Islam. There is very little research on how Muslims and other minorities respond to such unpleasant experiences. This project investigated the strategies young Muslims and other minorities employ in the face of hate and stereotyping.


We conducted 90 qualitative interviews with young Muslims in Norway about their experience of discrimination and anti-Muslim hostility, and how they reacted to it. The anti-Muslim hostility we describe is what interviewees experienced as direct personal hostility directed at them because they were Muslims.

We interviewed a further 40 young people with an ethnic minority background to widen our initial focus on religion, radicalization and resistance to extremism so as to include racism, mobilization against racism and discrimination against Muslims and ethnic minorities.


We examined experiences of racism and anti-Muslim hostility among ethnic minorities. Our studies particularly examined how young people from minorities responded to, negotiated, and resisted hate, hostility and prejudice. Many Muslims described how they got involved in discussions to “defend” Islam, while others tried to silence, ignore or patronize those who expressed anti-Muslim attitudes. Many also described trying to confront hostility with openness and understanding. There were similar responses to racism, but social protest was also important. Our studies in this project explored the relationship between anti-Muslim hostility, racism, and new types of social mobilization (Black Lives Matter).

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Published Feb. 8, 2021 12:59 PM - Last modified June 27, 2022 12:50 PM