Norway: 'Norway shouldn't be more Pakistani than Pakistan'

Norway: 'Norway shouldn't be more Pakistani than Pakistan'

As Ahsan points out, in my respects, Muslims in the West have more freedom to practice their religion than Muslims in Muslim countries.  And while Muslim women in the West are fighting for their right to wear a hijab, women in the Muslim world are fighting for their right to equality. 

For more on the police-hijab debate in Norway:
* Norway: Police-hijab debate
* Norway: Hijab allowed with police uniform
* Scandinavia: Headscarf for police agents


Aslam Ahsan (Labor) thinks it's ridiculous if Norway would allow a police hijab when it isn't even possible in Pakistan.

"I must say that I'm shaking my head at the hijab debate.  When not even police women in Muslim Pakistan get to go with a hijab, why in the world should Norwegian Muslim police women get to go with it," says Ahsan.

"Norway shouldn't be more Pakistani than Pakistan, or more Muslim than Muslim countries.  I think then we would be going off in the wrong direction," says the famous Norwegian-Pakistani.

- Isn't it a positive thing if wearing a hijab can help a Muslim policewoman have better dialog with, for example, Muslim youth who have problems?

"What's good is that there will be Muslim policewomen, but people don't need a hijab to make their background clear."

He says the debate is also ongoing in Pakistan.

"It came up because some religious groups don't want women in the police.  They demanded that they should wear a burka.  Others thought they should go with a hijab," he says.

"It ended with a decision that police agents should wear the same outfit, regardless of they were a man or woman.  It was also concluded that it was best from an equality point of view:  if women should get ahead, it must happen on equal premises.  That must also happen in Norway."

Ahsan won several prizes as a bridge-builder between Pakistan and Norway

He thinks Norway should protect its culture.

"According to Norway Statistics there will be two million of immigrant background in Norway in 2050.  I don't think people should start so early with letting go of Norwegian culture.  Rather the opposite, it's in this way that we who come from abroad, must adapt to the culture we move to, and not the other way around.  When I came to Norway 38 years ago, we knew that we came to a completely new country, and that we must adapt to the culture that was here in the West.  Anything else is unreasonable."  

Source: VG (Norwegian), h/t R.

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