Politicians split over school hijab ban / News / The Foreigner

Politicians split over school hijab ban. Rights, principles, and consequences. The debate about hijab-wearing in Norway continues. Last year it was the police; now it’s children’s schools. The Far-Right are pro, whilst the Socialist Left are careful.Over-regulation? “Children, adolescents, and adults must be allowed to dress the way they want,” Sunniva Ørstavik, the Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombudsman (likestillings- og diskrimineringsombud) tells NRK.

hijabs, children, schools, kristin, halvorsen, sv, socialist, left, far-right, frp, veto, audun, lysbakken, social, inclusion



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Politicians split over school hijab ban

Published on Friday, 26th February, 2010 at 14:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 4th March 2010 at 13:30.

Rights, principles, and consequences.

Konsert Malam Gemilang Hijrah
Konsert Malam Gemilang Hijrah
Photo: amrufm/Flickr


The debate about hijab-wearing in Norway continues. Last year it was the police; now it’s children’s schools. The Far-Right are pro, whilst the Socialist Left are careful.

Over-regulation?

“Children, adolescents, and adults must be allowed to dress the way they want,” Sunniva Ørstavik, the Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombudsman (likestillings- og diskrimineringsombud) tells NRK.

She’s against state-sponsored legal intervention, arguing Norway has little or no tradition for regulating how people should dress.

“I certainly don’t think we should start now.”

Ørstavik goes on to say judging whether the choice to wear a hijab is taken by the child or it’s parents is difficult anyway.

Force

Earlier this week Kristin Halvorsen – leader of the Socialist Left Party (SV) and Minister of Education – told Dagbladet she’s against children wearing hijabs.

Halvorsen claims her travels to Muslim countries have shown the custom of dressing small girls in a hijab is by no means common.

“I can’t see any religious reason for it, and perceive hijab-wearing in Norwegian schools as putting them under duress. They prevent them from participating on an equal basis with other children,” says Halvorsen, adding she wasn’t concerned that her comments could spark protests.

Mazyar Keshvari – the Far-Right Progress Party’s (FrP) deputy group leader for Oslo – tells NRK today he’d also like to see hijabs prohibited, saying he’s going to suggest a motion to ban them as a matter of principle.

FrP have also said they’d like to ban burkas and niqabs in public, in addition to minarets.

Straddling the fence

Halvorsen underlines that it’s important for society to be clear about saying no to hijabs in children’s schools, rather than just debating whether they should be banned or not.

But she also admitted to being slightly unsure of the consequences.

“A veto could lead to some milieu becoming even more closed, with more Muslims sending their children to Muslim schools that allow hijabs. This is something we definitely want to avoid.”

“Limits”

Audun Lysbakken, the Minister of Children, Equality, and Social Inclusion, tells The Foreigner he opposes a ban on hijabs.

“I am against prohibiting hijabs because there are limits to how far we politicians should interfere with people’s lives. I am afraid that prohibiting the hijab would be counterproductive if the aim is social inclusion of girls and women of certain minorities. It would lead to more isolation, not more inclusion,” he writes in an email.




Published on Friday, 26th February, 2010 at 14:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 4th March 2010 at 13:30.

This post has the following tags: hijabs, children, schools, kristin, halvorsen, sv, socialist, left, far-right, frp, veto, audun, lysbakken, social, inclusion.





  
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