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Chacham's Journal: News: Norwegian Teacher barred from wearing Star of David 4

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A non-Jewish teacher in Norway wears a small (.6 inches) "star of David" necklace. He wears it because of it's significance to X-tians. Apparently, since it could be attributed to Israel, and someone might be there from that region, and they may decide to take offense, the teacher has been told not to wear it.

Title: Teacher told to drop Star of David

A municipally employed teacher in Kristiansand has been prevented from wearing a Star of David around his neck. Kristiansand Adult Education Center, where the man works, ruled that the Jewish symbol could be deemed a provocation towards the many Muslim students at the school, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports.

Teacher Inge Telhaug said he feels this is a violation of his freedom of speech.

"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 teaches immigrants Norwegian language and culture at the education center. Telhaug is not Jewish.

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

The principal of the school, Kjell Gislefoss, feels that the Star of David can also be interpreted as a political symbol for the state of Israel, and is afraid the star can provoke and offend students, for example 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," Gislefoss said.

Telhaug has hired a lawyer and refuses to give in.

The head of the Education Association in Kristiansand, Heidi Hauge Uldal, called the school's decision "unacceptable". Uldal said her group did not want to go the way of France and forbid all religious symbols in schools, a topic that is currently becoming relevant in Norway as well.
Teacher Inge Telhaug said he feels this is a violation of his freedom of speech.

"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 teaches immigrants Norwegian language and culture at the education center. Telhaug is not Jewish.

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

The principal of the school, Kjell Gislefoss, feels that the Star of David can also be interpreted as a political symbol for the state of Israel, and is afraid the star can provoke and offend students, for example 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," Gislefoss said.

Telhaug has hired a lawyer and refuses to give in.

The head of the Education Association in Kristiansand, Heidi Hauge Uldal, called the school's decision "unacceptable". Uldal said her group did not want to go the way of France and forbid all religious symbols in schools, a topic that is currently becoming relevant in Norway as well.

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News: Norwegian Teacher barred from wearing Star of David

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  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the Star of David just "of David"--i.e., not a religious symbol any more than the crown of the King of England--for millenia, until the German Nazis needed to find a clear symbol to denote Jews?

    I know that it was some modern event that turned the Star of David into a religious symbol.
    • Actually, it seems that David put the symbol of all his warriors shields. Some say for religous purposes.

      Strangely enough, it's the candelabra that has traditionally been the icon of Judaism, and the six pointed star was more associated with Roman markings (amongst others). Today, the six pointed star is recognized as being exclusively Jewish, and the candelabra mostly is, but not as much.

      What made that happen? I don't know.
  • I'd be curious to know first, if Norway has a Constitution and second, what if any freedom of speech there is?

    I noticed that France is in the process of passing a law banning just about any religious symbol from Public School. The French politicians were applauding the law as an affirmation of the Country's Secular nature.

    Of course, we should remember that Norway and France are not subject to American Law, nor our cultural sense of freedom.
    • Constutution? Duh. Tutu!

      As punishment I will force myself to write constitution 100 times on the chalk board. ;)

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