Finland Interior Ministry Considers Letting Police Wear Hijabs as Official Uniform

A picture taken at a shop in Jerusalem's Old City on May 14, 2021 shows Muslim headdresses, including a nikab full face cover (R). (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Finland’s Ministry of the Interior is investigating the possibility of letting female officers wear hijabs as part of their police uniform.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior Kirsi Pimia stated that an investigation into the matter started last year but was ultimately not completed.

Finland has maintained a ban on any religious, political, or ideological symbols in police and military uniforms, justifying the ban by stating that police officers must remain to be seen as neutral parties, broadcaster YLE reports.

“We are now considering and weighing whether to exclude certain groups from these principles,” Secretary Pimia told the broadcaster.

“A uniform also lives in its time. When female police officers were introduced, the uniform code was modified. I believe that we should enable all Finns to apply to work for the police,” Pimia added.

The investigation is expected to examine other countries such as the UK and Sweden, which allow police to wear the hijab and look into what safety concerns might be raised if the officer were to get into a physical altercation with a suspect while wearing the garment.

In 2016, the Scottish police introduced a special official police hijab, claiming that it was being done to attract more Muslim women into policing.

Three years later, Ireland updated its Gardaí (police) uniform rules to allow the wearing of hijabs, claiming that a lack of ethnic diversity within the service was a “ticking time-bomb” that could lead to radicalisation among immigrants.

Secretary Pimia’s statements come just days after a Muslim woman challenged the Finnish army’s ban on the hijab, arguing that more women from migrant backgrounds would want to join the armed forces if they were allowed to wear the Islamic headscarf.

Major Marko Maaluoto of the Finnish Defence Forces defended the ban on the hijab and other religious garments, saying: “This is general guidance. Only military headgear is approved. They are part of the military equipment configuration. We have general guidance on what kind of headgear can or cannot be worn.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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