Monday, January 16, 2012

Veiling the Police in Norway

Cultural Enrichment News

The Norwegian government’s ethics committee is recommending that the hijab be allowed for police officers and judges. To make it fair, they also want other religious symbols, such as crucifixes, to be permitted.

One would have thought that crucifixes would be excluded, since they are symbols of “intolerance” that damage “community cohesion”. That’s the official treatment Christian crosses receive in Modern Multicultural Britain, but maybe Norway is different.

Here’s an article on the topic from today’s Aftenbladet. Many thanks to our Norwegian correspondent The Observer for the translation:

Committee wants hijab in the police force

Police officers and judges wearing hijab may become a reality if the Government’s ethics committee led by Sturla Stålsett gets its way, according to an article from the Norwegian newspaper Vårt Land.

Minister of Culture, Anniken Huitfeldt (Labour) established the committee a year and a half ago to outline Norway’s new guidelines on religions. According to Vårt Land the committee will recommend that the use of hijab, crucifixes and other religious symbols be allowed in the public space. If the recommendations of the committee are implemented, police and judges will be allowed to wear hijab, something they’re currently not permitted to do.

“To be exposed to other people’s religions is something we have to tolerate, whether it’s an Imam in a hospital corridor or a police officer wearing a hijab,” one of the members of the committee told the newspaper

Another member confirms the committee’s recommendations.

“By gauging the attitudes within the committee I’m confident that it will be accepted to use religious head garments alongside with judge’s robes and police uniforms,” according to this member.

The leader of the committee, Sturla Stålsett, stresses that Norway is taking a different route than France on this issue.

For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.


Alan said...

Yeah, if they're gonna bring sharia to Norway, they should be properly covered...::rolls eyes::

Anonymous said...

No doubt the Norwegians will expect this to be recognised as the start
of integration into Norwegian life.
Poor fools, they don't yet realise that Islam takes but never gives.

Anonymous said...

"Radical Muslims plan biggest Swiss mosque"

Anonymous said...

Man got attacked by three masked men
- Rendez-vous with Facebook "friend"

A man had agreed to meet female Facebook "friend" "Henrietta Jonasson" in Bergen on Saturday 7 January, after discussing immigration politics on the net

There was no "Henrietta" at the meeting point, but soon three joggers showed up.

- Kick him! one of them said.

The man does not know for certain who the three men were, but something like this has never happened in Norway before, at least not known to the public, according to Hege Storhaug, Human Rights.

Was he mistaken for being an NDL supporter? Were the attackers leftists?

Edgar said...

"To be exposed to other people’s religions is something we have to tolerate, ..."

What I shall never tolerate is being told what I have to tolerate.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Edgar

And regarding being exposed, a religion is something you keep inside your head, unless you're in the church, temple or synagogue, so there should be no question of being exposed to religion.

For ideologies, it should be the same!

But there is one ideology in particular, where exposing the rest of the world for their ideology is a central part of the ideology.

We should not and cannot tolerate that.

Anonymous said...

So, does this mean that i can wear my cowboy hat as it is mandatory in my religion?

Chiu ChunLing said...

The sticking point is not the issue of "exposure" to other religions but rather the question of whether there can be an impartial judiciary and law enforcement.

If your religion requires you to wear some outward sign that distinguishes you from those not of your faith, well so be it. I have no wish to be protected from knowing who on the street regards Muhammad as the exemplar of all right actions. I would equally wish to know if someone submits that Christ or Buddha or Che were the exemplar of morality.

But in the case of a judge or police officer, one of the things that we essentially demand is that they do not put anything before the law they are nominally there to uphold. By wearing a symbol indicating sympathy to some particular ideology that is not (indeed must not be) part of the law they call into question their impartial observance of the law alone as the basis for their actions.

Of course all human arbiters of the law are biased one way or another. But what do we make of one that is not even willing to put aside the appearance of bias?

We are to make of them exactly what those pushing for judges and police to be permitted to wear outward symbols of their faith intend us to make of them. We are to understand that, whatever the law might have to say about a situation, what their religion says about it is going to be their first point of reference. We are to understand that we had better be demonstrating adherence to the same ideology if we happen to encounter that particular judge or officer.

Chiu Chun-Ling.