Columnist Calls Immigration Minister's Crucifix Necklace a Symbol of Xenophobia

Country: Norway

Date of incident: March 6, 2017

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Media / Private



Sven Egil Omdal, a veteran journalist and editor who currently works as a commentator for newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad, noted that Sylvi Listhaug, Norway’s government minister in charge of immigration and asylum issues, had been wearing a cross necklace much more often than in the past. “Am I claiming that she uses the cross as a political statement to appeal to that strange group who thinks that fear of foreigners is a Christian virtue?” Omdal queried on social media. “Yes, that’s basically what I’m doing.”

Listhaug called this "fake news" and responded by saying “This (the cross) is a piece of jewelry that means a lot to me, which I have had for many years and which I feel secure using when I need to perform and a lot is happening,” 

“I clearly have had more need for it (the cross) during the past year,” she said. “I think there are few politicians who have been subjected to as many claims and attacks from all sides as I have been, or who have had such a difficult assignment as I have had. So you clearly have to use what you have to get the strength you need to deal with it.”
Source: News in English