Nordic views on Islam sour after global attacks

In October, leading Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten stirred emotions when it defied Islam’s ban on images of Prophet Mohammad by printing cartoons depicting him in various guises, including one where his turban appears to be a bomb.

In Norway, the anti-immigration Progress Party won a record 22 percent of parliamentary seats in a September election.

A poll by Sweden’s Integration Board in September showed that while the country was more tolerant towards foreigners, it had grown less positive towards Muslims, with 40 percent saying they did not want a mosque in their neighbourhood.

“Islam has become the bottom of the pecking order, a type of new enemy,” Helena Benauda, head of the Swedish Muslim Council, said when the poll was published. “I fear it will get even worse after the terrorist attack in London this summer.”

Reuters, 23 November 2005