Take it Off! Norway Moves to Ban Hijabs in the Workplace

Friday, March 24, 2017
By Paul Martin


In the follow-up to the EU Court’s much-debated decision to allow the prohibition of religious symbols, the idea of banning hijabs and other Muslim garment seems to be catching a second wind. A Norwegian politician moved to ban Oslo municipality employees from wearing headscarves.

Remarkably, the idea to ban religious symbols, such as the hijab, from Oslo Municipality was put forward by Carl Hagen, former leader of the Progress Party, which has been advocating hijab bans on various levels for the past decade. By his own admission, Hagen would like to utilize the recent EU Court ruling as a basis to ban all municipal employees from wearing political, religious of philosophical symbols at work, NRK reported.

Hagens’ colleague and Progress Party labor spokesman Erlend Wiborg went even further in advocating a change in the Norwegian legislation to give employers carte blanche to ban hijabs, which he refused to call “discriminatory.”

“Norwegian employers should be entitled to prohibit the hijab and other religious garments in the workplace. I will take the initiative to amend the law so that Norwegian employers enjoy this right,” Erlend Wiborg told Norwegian national broadcaster NRK. “When at work, one represents their employer, not themselves,” Wiborg argued.

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