Since July 1, the Norweaign armed forces have relaxed rules for religious headgear, writes the Local, quoting daily Stavanger Afterbladed. It is now possible for Sikh soldiers to use turbans as well as for Jews to use skull-caps while serving in the Norwegian armed forces. Muslim women are permitted to wear a hijab with their uniform.
Objection to the new military dress code has been voiced by Jan-Arlid Ellingsen of the populist anti-immigration Progress Party.
”The armed forces should be kept independent of ethnic and religious affiliations,” he was quoted as saying on Norwegian news agency NTB. ”It’s fine having symbols to denote affiliation, but it’s entirely unnecessary to show them.”
Ellingsen forgets an important point: The uniform that the Norwegian armed forces uses shows cultural and national affiliation. There is no such thing as “culturally neutral” clothing.