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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Norway school bans Star of David

A textbook case of how bigots can and do use political correctness as a cover for their hate.
A teacher working at an adult education center who has been told to stop wearing a Star of David because it 'provokes the many Muslim students at the school' in 2004 is now considering legal action against the ban, the Norwegian television network NRK has reported.

School head Kjell Gislefoss, said he thought that the Star of David can be seen to represent the State of Israel and is fearful of offending the school's Muslim students, citing immigrants from the Palestinian territories.

'The Star of David would be a symbol for one side in what is perhaps the world's most inflamed conflict at the moment.'

'Many have a traumatic past that they have escaped and then we feel that if they are going to learn Norwegian then they can't sit an at the same time be reminded of the things they have traveled from,' said Gislefoss.

But Telhaug has vowed to stand up for his right to wear the Star and has hired lawyers ahead of a possible legal battle.

Inge Telhaug told NRK that his right to freedom of speech was violated by the banning.

'I can't accept this. It is a small star, 16 millimeters (0.6 inches) that I have around my neck, usually under a T-shirt. I see it as my right to wear it,' Telhaug told NRK.

Telhaug, who is not Jewish, teaches the Norwegian language and culture to new immigrants at the school.

'I see it as the oldest religious symbol we have in our culture, because without Judaism there would be no Christianity,' he said.

The decision to ban the Jewish symbol from the school was slammed as 'unacceptable' by head of local Education Association, Heidi Hauge Uldal.

Norway's education minister, Kristin Clemet, said last year that she had no intention of banning the wearing of hijabs in Norwegian public schools.

'It is typically Norwegian clothing that has caused more problems in Norwegian schools,' she said.