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A ban on Norwegian female police officers wearing Islamic headscarves has been ruled illegal.

The Norwegian Equality Tribunal said the ban ran counter to the country’s freedom of religion and anti-discrimination laws by depriving a whole category of women from joining the police force.

The row began when a Muslim woman who had applied to become a police officer said she did not want to remove her hijab.

Last year Norway’s centre-left government at first approved a police decision to allow women officers to wear the headscarf but the move sparked outrage. Right-wing groups complained about the so-called “Islamisation” of the country.

The main police union has also voiced concerns saying the headscarf undermines the neutrality of the uniform.

The equality tribunal’s ruling is not legally binding.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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