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Muslim Political Participation in Europe$
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Jorgen S. Nielsen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748646944

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748646944.001.0001

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Political Opinions and Participation Among Young Muslims in Sweden: A Case Study1

Political Opinions and Participation Among Young Muslims in Sweden: A Case Study1

(p.61) Chapter 4 Political Opinions and Participation Among Young Muslims in Sweden: A Case Study1
Muslim Political Participation in Europe

Jonatan Bäckelie

Göran Larsson

Edinburgh University Press

The chapter analyses young Swedish Muslims’ attitudes towards democratic processes in relation to Swedish political parties. Based on a survey among approximately 250 young Muslims that are affiliated to the Swedish youth organisation SUM (Sweden’s Young Muslims), the chapter outlines how young Muslims position themselves in relation to the political left-right spectrum. The survey’s findings lead us to conclude that the political left-right spectrum is hardly relevant to this group of young Muslims. The majority of the respondents self-identify as either somewhat or clearly to the left. However, in seven out of 25 specific political proposals, the group show a clear sentiment towards what could be called conservative values (usually considered to be located to the right of the political spectrum). The chapter shows that no party seems to fully correspond to the full range of sentiments held by the majority of respondents, effectively leaving them without a fully representative political alternative. If anything is a problem for this group of respondents, it is not a lack of interest or knowledge about politics, but rather one of representation.

Keywords:   Muslims, Political participation, Sweden, Politics, Youth, Muslim Youth Organisations, Party Politics, Left-Right Scale, Values, Representation

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