Sunday, October 15, 2006

Veils n' Crosses

Sounds like an old fashioned board game, doesn't it? But in Britain, its become serious stuff.

You'll remember that Mr. Appeasement, ex-British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw got the jihadis all riled up over his suggestions that the full Islamic femme-mask represents a barrier to communication, prevents assimilation and is ` a mark of difference'.

While Islamists like the Muslims Council of Britain went into a frenzy, many of Straw's fellow Brits both in and outside of government agreed with him.

Now, it's gone one better, with a Muslim teaching assistant being fired (`sacked', in Brit-speak) for refusing too take off her veil in class following complaints from children and teachers at her school that it was difficult to understand her in English lessons.

When she refused to remove the veil, she was suspended pending an employment tribunal.

The BBC provided some unintentional humor with its caption to the above picture: `The 23-year-old insists the veil is not a communication barrier' (!!)

This, of course, has agin sparked more controversy, with British Minister Phil Woolas backing the school and Muslim MP and the Muslim Council of Britain crying `Islamophobia!' as usual.

On the other side of the aisle a British Christian, Nadia Eweida, is suing her employer, British Airways over her suspension for wearing a cross.

MS. Eweida complains that she was sent home from her job at Britain's Heathrow Airport for refusing to remove the crucifix which supposedly breached British Airway's dress code.

The airline's uniform code says that employees are not allowed to wear visible jewelry or other 'adornments' while on duty without permission from management.

Of course, it makes exceptions for Muslim and Sikh minorities by allowing them to wear hijabs turbans, and traditional Sikh iron bangles...and probably allows the Sikh kirpa (traditional dagger) as well.

Ms. Eweida was quoted as saying "I will not hide my belief in the Lord Jesus. British Airways permits Muslims to wear a headscarf, Sikhs to wear a turban and other faiths religious apparel.

"Only Christians are forbidden to express their faith. I am a loyal and conscientious employee of British Airways, but I stand up for the rights of all citizens."

She's being backed by her union.

Perhaps the fact that she is a Coptic Christian of Egyptian origin with experience in how members of the Religion of Peace deal with diversity has something to do with her uncompromising stand.


Clovis Sangrail said...

Good post! I think you're spot on with the description of the positions but it's a bit hard to tell from close-up. What is very noticeable is that the BBC is trying to be/appear more balanced. I think many of the journalists have realised what a hot topic it all is. I don't think their underlying impulses have changed at all, though.

On a related topic here's a link to a post of mine on the how extreme things can be in this country:

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, the policy is no visible jewelry is to be allowed. That means that you can't let your cross show if you're christian, you can't let your fatima's hands show if you're muslim, and you can't let your dagger show if you're a sikh.

Turbans aren't jewelry, so they're ok. Same with headscarfs.

However, the airline really went overboard here. Technically, she was breaking the rules, but a cross, especially an inconspicuous one like shown in the picture is really no big deal. This is a good example of PC gone wild.

Freedom Fighter said...

The hamza (you call it a Fatima's Hand) is not a religious's a good luck charm used throughout the entire Middle East, including Israel.

The hijab, bangle and turban ARE religious symbols to Muslims and Sikhs, respectively. SO is the cross. And that's the point this woman is making.

I agree with her.