Norway's finance minister and leader of the nationalist Progress Party Siv Jensen has defended immigration minister Sylvi Listhaug over controversial comments criticising the leader of another party.

Listhaug accused Christian Democrat Party leader Knut Arild Hareide of pandering to extreme elements of society instead of confronting people with extreme opinions during a debate on the NRK P2 radio station.

The Norwegian expression used by Listhaug, "sleike imamer oppover ryggen", translates approximately to saying Hareide was 'sucking up to' or 'prostrating himself before' imams.

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