NRK: Religious Discrimination

Sikh, Muslim Hijab NRK Religious DiscriminationSikh boy. Photo:

NRK is complained about to the Equal Rights Ombudsman for Religious Discrimination

The State Channel is complained about to the Equal Rights and Discrimination Ombudsman (LDO) for denying crosses, but to allow hijab in actuality programs.


The complaint has been submitted by Line Konstali. She is Information Manager in the Norwegian mission organization HimalPartner, but emphasizes that the complaint has been submitted by her as an individual.

– NRK must explain its policies. How can they deny news anchors to wear a cross while allowing other program leaders wear a hijab? She says to the newspaper Vårt Land.

The background is a case from November 2013, when the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) presenter, Siv Kristin Sællmann, was requested by the management not to wear a cross on TV. The case ended with a complaint storm to the Broadcasting Council, where NRK received full support.

They also received support from the Equal Opportunities and Discrimination Board, although LDO in the meantime had concluded that NRK violated the Anti-Discrimination Act.

Konstali thinks that the state channel is inconsistent, as they send a topicality program this autumn, where one can see the hijab-clad Faten Mahdi al-Hussaini in the NRK initiative “Faten tar valget” (Faten makes the choice).

Sikh men and Muslim women

P3 editorial chief Håkon Moslet says to the newspaper that there are special guidelines for program leaders in news and debate programs, where there is a need for a neutral expression without religious, political or ideological symbols.

– Unlike a news anchor, Faten is subjective. Her point of view, like a young Muslim girl wearing hijab that speaks parts of the Muslim environment, is obviously interesting, says Moslet to the newspaper.

This of course entails that Sikh men, for instance, are not allowed to be news anchors or lead debate programs by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today