A Norwegian minister was accused of wearing a crucifix as a “prop” to promote “xenophobic” views.
In response, Sylvi Listhaug, Norway’s first Minister of Migration and Integration, argued the “liberal media” ignores facts to target right-leaning politicians after journalist Sven Egil Omdal claimed she never wore the crucifix before being appointed to her current position.
“They have an agenda, which is attacking the right. They have no standards and they don’t care about the facts – everything is okay as long as I or the Progress Party is the target,” she said.
Listhaug is a member of the Progress Party, a right-leaning political party that is part of the coalition governing Norway along with the majority Conservative Party.
Omdal is currently a columnist for Stavanger Aftenblad, a newspaper based in the Norwegian city of Stavanger.
“She looks like a bishop even when she says that it ‘has never been something for us’ to live side by side with people from another culture,” Omdal wrote in a posting on Facebook.
“Sylvi Listhaug is almost always seen wearing the cross now, and she is always talking about how important it is for her. But I’ve been through all images in the Scanpix database in the period from 2001 to December 15, 2015, when she became immigration and integration minister.”
“She does not wear the cross necklace on one of them.”
Omdal accused Listhaug of wearing the crucifix as a “political prop to appeal to strange people who think xenophobia is a Christian virtue.”
For her part, Listhaug noted the crucifix was a gift from her grandmother, who is nearly 100 years old.
“It is important for me to correct him. It is a piece of jewelry that means a lot to me, that I have had for many years and that gives me comfort, especially when a lot is going on and I need to perform,” she said in comments to NRK.