Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A comparison of discrimination in Israel, the UK, Sweden and USA

I thought it might be interesting to compare treatment of African-Americans, British Moslems and Israeli Palestinian-Arabs.  Note that I have excluded the occupied territories.  In some cases the situation in Israel is good enough that factoring in the occupied territories would still leave it comparable with other countries. I did not include economic data because of time constraints.

Discrimination varies between countries and is affected by particular local conditions. It is important to note differences: Not all Israeli Arabs are Moslem while I focussed on Swedish and British Moslems. African Americans are not a religious group but a skin-colour group.  Israeli Arabs and African Americans are local minorities while in Britain and Sweden most Moslems are relatively recent immigrants.

In the course of looking for sources I found Moslem sites discussing some of these problems. One memorable quote said that there are more Phd's in France then in the entire Moslem world. Problems of inequality are not purely the product of discrimination and any comparison of data needs to factor that in.

This is what I found:

Members of Parliament

Israel: 10/120 10% of seats vs 20% of population
UK:   8/650 1.2% of seats vs 4.8% of population
Sweden: 3/349  0.8% of seats vs (roughly) 4% of population.
USA: Senate - 0/100 African Americans are  13.6% of the population
          Congress - 41/435 9.4% of seats
Taken together 41/535 7.5 % of seats

Executive (government ministers)

Israel: None
UK: 1
Sweden:  None
USA: Head of State + 3

High Court

Israel: 1/15
UK: None
Sweden: None
USA: 1/9


Israel: 3750 out of 22,000 (17% vs 20% of general population) An additional 7,000 were held from the occupied territories. 2008 10% os Israeli Arab prisoners were involved in political crimes.
UK: 11,000 out of 86,000 (13% vs 4.8% of general population).
Sweden:  No data Non-Swedes form 30% of inmates and immigrants are reported to be disproportionately represented in the prisons.
USA: 900,000 out of 2.3m (39% vs 13.6% of general population) 2009

Voter participation

Israel: 56% vs 67% national average. 2013 elections.
UK:  No data by religion but Bangladeshi and Pakistani voters were reported as having a higher then average turnout (70%+) . 65% national average. 2010 elections
Sweden: Studies suggest that voter turnout is lower among immigrants.  Many immigrants are given residency but not citizenship.
USA: African American voters had a higher turnout then any other major ethnic group.

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