Muslims in Finland: Strong Attachment, But Still Discrimination

More than 10,000 Muslims were part of the research, including people from Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

Composite picture / Credit: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Muslims in 15 EU member states, including Finland, have been having their say about the countries they live in.

The findings are published in a new report today but the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights FRA.

Among the key findings, 76% of Muslims who responded say they feel strongly attached to the country they live in, but 31% of those seeking work have been discriminated against over the last five years. Meanwhile, 42% who had been stopped by the police in the last year said this happened because of their migrant or ethnic minority background.

“I am encouraged by the confidence of Europe’s Muslim communities in our public institutions and rule of law, despite the individual challenges of discrimination which they attest to,” says European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

“But I am disheartened by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s report which shows that over the past five years almost one in three Muslims feel that they have been discriminated against when looking for work, but that only 12% of Muslims have reported the latest cases of discrimination. I want to assure our Muslim citizens that the European Commission will not tolerate intolerance. It goes against our values and our laws.” says Timmermans.

The new report suggests a number of solutions to those problems, including having effective sanctions for violations of anti-discrimination legislation, and to reinforce trust in the police through outreach activities.

Strong Attachments

In Finland less than 1% of the people surveyed did not have a strong attachment to their country – but in the Netherlands that figure jumped to 8%. Muslims in Finland also had the highest overall levels of attachment to the country they live in, researchers found.


The study showed that across the EU, there’s no particular difference as a whole in discrimination between Muslim men and women. However in Finland, 43% of Muslim women from Sub-Saharan Africa who responded to the questions, said they were discriminated against based on their ethnic or immigrant background (compared to 33% of Muslim men from Sub-Saharan Africa).

The EU study also found Muslims in Finland were more likely to report cases of discrimination than other countries.

More than 10,500 people who identified themselves as Muslims were included in the new research, in 15 EU countries including Finland, Denmark and Sweden.