Hijabgate: What the papers said / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Hijabgate: What the papers said. Knut Storberget is still in heavy weather about his earlier decision to allow the wearing of hijabs whilst in police uniform. Here are some excerpts from what three of the main Norwegian newspapers had to say about it. Aftenposten’s leader of Saturday 21 February says that at the start of it all that thought that what they believed to be: “…a decision by the Justice Minister being something he was willing to stand by, as quite un-dramatic. Despite the strong feelings that the decision evoked, we did not find it plausible that a hijab would undermine respect for the power of authority, or raise suspicions that the police would drop the principle of treating everyone equally.”

hijab, leader, aftenposten, dagbladet, stavanger, aftenblad, storberget, norway



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Hijabgate: What the papers said

Published on Monday, 23rd February, 2009 at 06:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 27th February 2009 at 10:35.

Knut Storberget is still in heavy weather about his earlier decision to allow the wearing of hijabs whilst in police uniform. Here are some excerpts from what three of the main Norwegian newspapers had to say about it.



Aftenposten’s leader of Saturday 21 February says that at the start of it all that thought that what they believed to be:

“…a decision by the Justice Minister being something he was willing to stand by, as quite un-dramatic. Despite the strong feelings that the decision evoked, we did not find it plausible that a hijab would undermine respect for the power of authority, or raise suspicions that the police would drop the principle of treating everyone equally.”

They still think that this is the case. It has, however, escalated since then. The case is:

“…no longer primarily about hijabs in the police, but about the Justice Minister’s handling of this emotionally charged issue. He gravely underestimated how important it is to have a solid footing in cases containing potential political dynamite, and omitted to ensure that his back was covered amongst the ranks of his own governing party.”

In his commentary in Dagbladet on Saturday, John Olav Egeland refers to what has already been written in the papers earlier last week:

“…The debate about hijabs only existed as politically valuable case for 2 or 3 days, before it was transformed into a row about the political process. With one fell swoop, political content was swept aside so that those involved could pose questions as to what the minister’s opinion was, what he knew, thought, decided, felt and whom he consulted, before the decision to allow hijabs in the police was made public.”

He explains that in Norway, for a political conflict to escalate into a political crisis, it has to be a question about how a minister has handled it, rather than about the matter itself. In this case, it has rather set the country back in terms of its integration politics:

“…There’s reason to believe that the matter’s explosive power has scared off politicians of all parties from exhibiting boldness…for a long time. Now there will be back-tracking and a pause in reform. That’s daring when the Central Statistics Offics (SSB) estimates that Norway will have an immigrant population of over one million by 2020, of which 491,000 will be from non-western countries.”

And finally, there’s Stavanger Aftenblad. They also comment on the weakness of the government’s handling of the issue, and warn of what may happen in the future, should governments not stand firm on principal issues:

“It is such a weak an approach to an important area of politics, that plays the ball into the hands of xenophobic powers that would be more than happy to stir up the waters and profit on people’s uneasiness and ignorance.”

Lessons to be learned, it seems.




Published on Monday, 23rd February, 2009 at 06:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 27th February 2009 at 10:35.

This post has the following tags: hijab, leader, aftenposten, dagbladet, stavanger, aftenblad, storberget, norway.





  
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