55% of hate crimes in Sweden have racial motivations: Report
Muslims are most targeted religious group in country, according to report by Sweden's National Crime Prevention Council.
After the burning of a copy of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, outside the Turkish Embassy by extremist Swedish-Danish politician Rasmus Paludan in the Swedish capital Stockholm on Saturday, discussions on hate crimes in the country have come to the fore again.
A report published by the National Crime Prevention Council, which is affiliated with the Swedish Justice Ministry, in 2021 revealed results about racism and hate crimes against religious groups in the country.
At an overall level, xenophobic and racist hate crimes by 55% were the most common among the reported hate crimes, followed by hate crimes against religious groups by 17%, with Muslims targeted the most, followed by Jews and Christians, respectively.
Of all hate crimes against religious groups, 51% were Islamophobic, 27% anti-Semitic, and 11% anti-Christian.
The Islamophobic hate crimes -- among the few crimes where women were victimized more frequently than men -- mainly comprised harassment, agitation against an ethnic or national group, and unlawful threats.
Meanwhile, hate crimes against Christians were mostly committed through unlawful threats and the victims were often males.
As to the anti-Semitic crimes, social media stands out as the primary place where hate crimes against Jews are committed.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes consisted largely of agitation against an ethnic or national group on social media and in public, and most of these cases concerned general anti-Semitic messages that were not directed at a specific person.
According to the report, 16% of anti-Semitic hate crimes in 2020 were committed through social media, 15% in public spaces, and 14% over SMS or phone.
In hate crimes against Muslims and Jews, women became more targets than men, while among Christians, mostly, men were primary targets.
Also, the 2021 Religious Freedom Report by the US State Department, citing the figures in Sweden's report on anti-Muslim hate crimes, said many hate crimes were not reported to the police for various reasons.