The minister for Justice in Norway decided it was a good idea to allow female muslim police officers in Norway to use the traditional religious head wear “hijab”on the job. This decision went against all former norms of not displaying any sort of religious or political affiliation when police officers are in uniform, which has been a measure intended to maintain a police officer’s neutrality and security – and personal safety of course.
Meanwhile, a religious historian expresses her view in the comment; “Why can’t we just try it out?”
The ever PR-hungry Islamic community in Norway decided that hyping one police academy student’s letter to the minister was a good idea, in order to push through a place on the agenda for the matter. This they managed to achieve, and the minister was forced into a hastened decision to allow the headgear. Earlier this week, the minister decided to take a bold action, and announce that he was going to reconsider the idea, and has taken a lot of heat for that, of course.
Polls on Norwegian newspapers’ internet sites have shown that the public votes a resounding NO on having the permission go through, and senior police officials say that they agree with this, even though a preliminary statement from the Police Directorate says yes.
Reality is that when displaying religious or political affiliation while in the service of a police force or other authority will diminish your impact and standing, and that is not a maybe.
Female muslim police officers are also speaking up against the use of hijabs with the uniform.
In a similar story, a Facebook group wants the traditional Sami head wear included in the uniform… that would be fair, wouldn’t it?