On Januar 2, Najeeb ur Rehman Naz became the first military imam of the Norwegian Defense. He felt offended even before he started in the job.
When Najeeb ur Rehman Naz in 2015 visited the situation center at Akershus Fortress, he was asked by an officer:
- Do you have a security clearance?
He had already passed two security locks, and was there with the Armed Forces Beliefs Advisor Norunn Kosberg and head of the chaplain corps, Brigadier Alf Petter Hagesæter.
The officer then asks loudly if Naz is allowed to be there, but he is not concerned about Kosberg, who is also wearing civilian clothes but not looking like a Taliban wannabe.
- I was picked because I have a beard and looks like a Muslim, says Naz to the Armed Forces Forum Magazine about the incident.
- It was uncomfortable, he says.
Brigadier Alf Petter Hagesæter was provoked.
- I told the officer right away. It was degrading and unacceptable, he tells the magazine.
With Naz in place as the first imam, the Defense now hopes that the attitudes that Naz experienced at Akershus Fortress, disappears, reports ABC Nyheter.
In other words, if an officer spots a suspicious looking, civilian clothed, bearded Muslim inside a camp, do not ask if he's suppose to be there. He might get offended. Safety first, but after political correctness of course.
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