Norwegian Muslims say they want full gender equality

Gerard BiardGerard Biard in the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo participates in an open conversation on freedom of expression.Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB scanpix

In a poll among Norwegian Muslims, 97% said that they support full gender equality, and that everyone should be free to choose a spouse.


845 Muslims responded to questions about women’s views, support for democracy and liberal society, human rights, terrorism, and radicalisation, reported Aftenposten newspaper.

Approximately 98% of respondents believe women should have the same right to education as men. At the same time, 3% of men believe that they should be able to beat disobedient women.

The survey showed that 2% of those who responded agreed that the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 could be justified, and that Islam allows for violence and terror.

The results were presented in a 260 page book called ‘Who’s Talking To Us?’, published by Cappelen Damm. The author is the doctor and social commentator, Bushra Ishaq.

May be too high Ishaq acknowledged to Aftenposten newspaper that the 97% figure could be too high.

‘But I actually think that these differences appear to be relatively small. I think we are more like-minded than many people think, ‘ said the author.

Professor of Political Science at the University of Bergen, Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, said that a survey that is only made in Norwegian and English would inevitably lead to the poorest results being captured. She believes, however, that the survey was thorough and relevant.

Wishful thinking

Others are more critical of the survey. ‘The answers are wishful thinking,’ said Dana-Æsæl Manouchehri, secretary general of the Norwegian organisation LIM, who works for integration based on liberal values.

‘Norwegian Muslims say they are for gender equality, but I see and hear stories of girls and women everyday confirming that their reality is not that way,’ she said.

The survey, carried out in Norwegian and English, was sent by post to 10,000 people from Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Somalia and Morocco, all of whom had a minimum of five years’ residence in Norway. 12.8% responded. 845 people who confirmed that they were Muslims were included in the analysis.

The poll was conducted by TNS Gallup in 2015 and 2016, and the project was supported by, among others, Fritt Ord.


©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today