Equality and Integration Minister of Norway Makes Headlines for Her Integration Advice

Photo : Sylvi Listhaug | Statsministerens kontor, SMK

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“I think those who come to Norway need to adapt to our society. Here we eat pork, drink alcohol and show our face. You must abide by the values, laws and regulations that are in Norway when you come here,” said a Facebook post by Progress Party politician and integration minister Sylvi Listhaug earlier this week. Her statements has sparked criticism both at home and in European media.

But Sylvi Listhaug said she was ’misunderstood’ and meant that Norway’s Muslims should ’endure’ others eating pork and drinking alcohol.

UK’s leading newspaper Independent wrote Listhaug faces demands to resign after the statements. The newspaper wrote that she was widely mocked and asked to “reconsider her position” by referring to Norwegian media.

Spanish El Mundo covered the issue with a similar title and claimed she is asked for resignment. 

Russian state channel RT also described Listhaug as Norway’s controversial migration and integration minister and wrote on its website: 

Her  statement has sparked a firestorm of criticism after issuing firm instructions to newly-arrived Muslim immigrants, but claims she was merely helping the newcomers find a true home in the Scandinavian country.”

Some news channels presented the case with another controversial video of Listhaug in which she jumped in the Mediterranean sea in a survival suit in April 2016.

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On the other hand, Listhaug’s new secretary and former Oslo Major Fabian Stang said to Aftenposten that many of those who criticize Listhaug is biased.

He further noted that she never said that Muslims must begin to drink alcohol and eat pork. 

– She just wanted to point that immigrants must adapt to the labor market, and restaurant employees must be able to serve alcohol and pork although they do not consume it, said Stang to Aftenposten.

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