A Swedish teen claims to have been forced to remove his cross necklace for a school photograph in case it offended others, while Muslim students were allowed to wear their hijabs.
A report in Swedish media site Nyheter Idag claims a report was made to the Discrimination Ombudsman and to the Child and Student Representative (BEO) which advocates for children who may have been the victims of abuse or other forms of ill-treatment, after a teen was asked to remove a symbol of faith for a class photo.
The 15-year-old, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed the incident occurred in August. He told Swedish media that the photographer had ordered him to remove the necklace.
“She asked me to take off the cross, that it wasn’t good to have in the school photograph,” the boy said, alleging the photographer claimed that “it could be offensive if it were included in the school photo”.
“My teachers didn’t hear the remark at all. But I was a little shocked. I’d never experienced this before. So I took off my cross and put it in my pocket. It didn’t feel good,” he added.
The boy noted that Muslim girls had not been instructed to take off their Islamic headscarves, however, saying: “But if I was forced to take off my cross, the same should surely apply to other religious symbols, as well.”
Swedish 11-Year-Old Assaulted in Multicultural Malmö for Crucifix Necklace https://t.co/Hct7XkQu0K
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 5, 2020
The school’s principal is reported to have claimed that the photographer was not used to school photography and said her actions were wrong.
In July, an 11-year-old boy was harassed on the streets of the southern Swedish city of Malmö because he wore a cross necklace. A gang of young men verbally abused and called him a “pig bastard” before assaulting him.
“They asked if he ate pig and called him ‘pig bastard’. Then he was pushed to the ground, and he injured his arm or wrist,” police press spokesman had Calle Persson said in September when the incident became public.