Hellerud high school in Oslo had become the first school in Norway to establish a prayer room and this decision had been criticised by Carl I. Hagen, former head of the right-wing populist Progress Party (FrP) and currently a representative on the city council.
According to NRK’s report, Hagen threatened to jeopardise budget negotiations if the city’s education authorities did not intervene the school’s decision. Then, the council had to warn the school, even though the school’s principal Tora Morstad explained the room is not a “prayer room”, but a quiet room where pupils can go to pray.
After the continuing pressure on the high school, Morstad announced to fall in line with the council’s decision and the prayer room in school would be closed.
After the controversial intervention, Education Minister Kristin Halvorsen said that principals themselves should decide whether schools need a quiet room that can be used for prayer or not.
Also, Secretary of Islamic Council Mehtab Afsar expressed his disappointment about the decision. He pointed out the importance for many people to practice their faith.