Visible ears on passports opposes freedom of religion

PassportPassport.Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

Since 2014, it has been mandatory to have visible ears on Norwegian passport photos. Man believe this is an attack on religious freedom.

The proposal for a new passport and ID card regulation has been in hearing since March, and when the consultation deadline expired last week, 842 consultation responses had been received, wrote Rogalands Avis newspaper.

It was mostly private individuals who had answered, and among them, there was one requirement that stood out, namely that the ear requirement must be rescinded.

“The requirement for visible ears on the facial photo breaks with religious freedom” wrote the Muslim Joint Council of Rogaland. Also the Muslim Forum Sandnes and Sikhs & Punjabis of Rogaland were among those who responded to the ear requirement.

In the proposal for consultation, there are two alternatives for facial photos – one with and one without the requirement for visible ears for people who use religious headgear. The Ministry argued that visible ears are important in order to make a safe identification. “The ears are as unique as fingerprints and to a small extent are influenced by weight changes, makeup and ageing.”

Ingrid Rosendorf Joys, leader of the Co-operation Council for Religious and Life Sciences (STL), said Sikhs are among those who are particularly affected.

‘’The requirement to show the ears is a disproportionate intervention in the freedom of religion’’ she said.

In Norway, she estimated that there are about 250 Sikhs wearing the turban.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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4 Comments on "Visible ears on passports opposes freedom of religion"

  1. It is factually incorrect to say that there are 250 sikhs wearing turban. InOslo alone there are 2500 sikhs wearing turban.

  2. Berhane Haile | 17. June 2019 at 23:09 | Reply

    I am afraid Norwegian democracy is going too far that it will go down the abyss one day. How come visible ears be against freedom of religion. Religion is faith, if someone has faith there is nothing that can stand against his faith. But some people want to exploit the democracy of Norwegian society and bring idiotic points like this to mislead the unaware public. I am sure there are people in Norway who seek attention by bringing irrelevant issues of democracy that only runs against democratic principles.

  3. Sebastian kalathil Vincent | 18. June 2019 at 05:47 | Reply

    Some say they will not show their ears while some others cry they will not show even their faces in public places!Such things must not be allowed in a democracy.

  4. That is perfect example of stupid failure to distinguish between religion and politics—freedom to believe is not freedom to display. Public behavior must conform to national rules of conduct. Bizarre when religion is permitted to invade secular public life! The nation that permits it is suicidal.

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