Skip to Content

Sikh wearing red turban. Stock photo from Pexels

Islamists argue against showing ears on Norwegian IDs

In 2014, Norway introduced new rules for identification on passports. One of the requirements was that one should have visible ears on the ID photograph. But a religious lobby is fighting the decision.

Published: June 21, 2019, 11:05 am

    Oslo

    Ears can be of significant importance in identifying a person. The Islamic headdress, such as the hijab, burqua or ear-covering Sikhs turbans, do not allow for baring ears .

    “The ears are as unique as fingerprints and only slightly affected by weight changes, makeup and aging. They therefore provide much information that may be important for the manual checking of passport applicants against submitted documentation and previously registered facial photos in the passport register of the same name,” the legal justification for the requirement noted.

    A group of Norwegian Muslims are now campaigning to remove this particular requirement for visible ears on passports and ID cards. The new rule is said to be a “degrading” breach of their religious faith.

    A petition containing some 842 camplaints from organisations and individuals alike were handed over to the government demanding the removal of the mandatory ear rule, according to the news outlet Document.

    “The requirement for visible ears on facial photography is contrary to freedom of religion”, the Muslim Common Council of Rogaland argued.

    “As a Muslim, I ask the government to change requirement to show the ears in the passport image. We feel that it is very offensive and degrading to have to remove the ears from the hijab as it violates the rights of all Muslim women living here in Norway. We believe that this law limits our freedom,” a petitioner complained.

    Sikhs as well as Punjabis of Rogaland have joined the protest to remove the visible ear requirement.

    Ingrid Rosendorf Joys, the leader of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities (STL), defended the Sikhs. “The requirement for visible ears is a disproportionate intervention in the freedom of religion”, she said.

    The law was implemented despite earlier protests after a large group of Muslims and Sikhs set up the so-called Religious Freedom Group and gathered 3 600 signatures, which were subsequently sent to the Minister of Justice.

    Norway’s Islamic community is growing at a fast pace with Muslims already estimated to constitute 5,7 percent of Norway’s population of 5,2 million.

    Norway’s Sikh community is estimated at 5 000, of whom 250 wear a turban to cover their ears.

    The outer ear could be an even better unique identification mark in human beings than finger prints, forensic specialists have found.

    “When you’re born your ear is fully formed. The lobe descends a little, but overall it stays the same. It’s a great way to identify people,” said Mark Nixon, a computer scientist at the University of Southampton and leader of the research.

    in 2010, Nixon’s team presented a research paper at the IEEE Fourth International Conference on Biometrics revealing how an algorithm identified people with 99,6 per cent accuracy.

    “The rays fly around the image and get caught in tubular things. The helix, or outer edge, of an ear is a wonderful tube that rays keep hitting,” said Alastair Cummings, the Southampton University computer scientist who developed the algorithm. “There are dozens of ways of doing ear biometrics, but this is a very good one.”

    US Fingerprint databases alone store the records of more than 100 million people, but fingerprints can be altered by for example hard, repetitive labour. Researchers and identification industries have therefore been seeking improved biometrics.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Official files a complaint against anti-Macron comments on Facebook

    The prefect of the Drôme, a department in southeast France wants to file a complaint against a Facebook user, who had denounced an "apartheid" speech by Emmanuel Macron on Facebook. Macron had spoken of his desire for a "society of vigilance".

    Influential economist predicts the end of fossil energy by 2028

    Jeremy Rifkin believes the fossil fuel civilization will collapse by 2028, and he has proposed a bold economic plan to counter that.

    German journalist says climate protests are for the privileged only

    The journalist Dirk Maxeiner has accused the "Fridays for the Future" movement of having no sense of the everyday problems of a large part of society.

    Salvini plans massive anti-government rally in Rome

    RomeThe anti-immigration League party leader Matteo Salvini said on Thursday that Saturday's massive anti-government rally would be open to all including the CasaPound party.

    Dutch MPs demand investigation into Ukraine’s role in MH17 crash

    The HagueUkraine will cooperate in an investigation that should answer why Ukrainian airspace was not closed during the downing of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014. Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said he received this commitment from Ukrainian President Zelenski.

    An elected RN official challenges a veiled woman

    Julien Odoul, a member of Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) and other elected RN officials created a controversy by asking a woman accompanying the class of her son to remove her veil at a plenary meeting of the Regional Council of Burgundy-Franche-Comté, on Friday, October 11.

    Nobel highlights male scientific achievements

    This week, as every year, the Nobel Prize winners were announced. The winners in the categories physics, chemistry and medicine are, as in many years before, exclusively male.

    Marine Le Pen: ‘The State is criminally absent’

    ParisDuring a recent press conference, Marine Le Pen, the leader of National Rally in France, addressed the deadly jihadist attack on the central Police Prefecture in Paris, as well as the effect that mass Islamic immigration is having on public order in France.

    Several French police stations targeted by Islamist chants

    ParisSeveral law enforcement establishments in the Paris region were targeted by Islamist chants in the wake of the Paris knife attacker's rampage at police headquarters. A complaint has been filed.

    Malta Pact on migrant redistribution a flop as landings increase

    RomeItaly's former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini noted the increase in migrants landings and said the new leftist coalition's open port policy should be blamed for recent deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Go to archive