16 September 2016

Norway says no to burqa ban in nation's schools

Norway’s integration minister, Sylvi Listhaug, said on Friday that the government will not pursue a national ban on niqabs and other face-covering garments.

Listhaug’s statement was in response to an inquiry from the Labour Party's Jan Bøhler on whether the government intends to follow the integration recommendations from a committee of leading politicians, who among other things proposed a national ban on the niqab and burqa in schools and other learning institutions.

Before joining the government coalition, Listhaug’s anti-immigration Progress Party (FRP) had called for a total ban on the face-covering garments worn by some Muslim women.

But now that her party is in government, Listhaug said that there will be no nation-wide burqa ban “at this point”.

"To the extent that such practices pose challenges, the local municipality or local public authority can find individual solutions, in some cases a ban. For example, Oslo Municipality has instituted a ban on clothing that completely or partially covers the faces of students,” Listhaug wrote in response to Bøhler's formal inquiry. [The Local] Read more