Norway: Neighbors fighting over hijab

Norway: Neighbors fighting over hijab

Police in the Norwegian town of Drammen were called in twice over the past two weeks to intervene in a neighbor's quarrel about wearing a hijab.

One of the families are Kurdish-Iranian Sunnis. They've been living in Norway for nine years. Their daughters don't wear a hijab. Their neighbors are Iraqi Shia and their daughters always wear a hijab outside. This fact has led to a lot of quarreling and fights between the families.

"Whether you're Sunni or Shia Muslims isn't important. I should be able to decide for my own family, without anybody else telling mee what is right or wrong," the mother told Drammens Tidende.

when the police were called in, they calmed down those involved and explained how to lodge a complaint. The police also involved the child welfare agencies.

Last time a fight broke out, one of the children was sent to the emergency room with minor injuries.

The children in both families say they are afraid of each others and therefore play as little as possible in the shared yard.

"What happens between two counties, there's probably a good reason for it, but it's not something to drag with you to a neighbor's quarrel in Norway," says the Kurdish-Iranian mother.

The Shia deny that they're judging their neighbors. "We don't care if they wear the hijab," says the Iraqi mother, adding that we're all humans.

Both families had turned to the municipality and the police for help and both want to either move or for the other family to move.

Many of the children go to the same elementary school. At the school they say that they hadn't seen any problems between Muslim children who wear the hijab and those who don't, but that if that happens, they'll handle it the same way they deal with other conflicts in the school.

Source: Drammens Tidende (Norwegian)