Friday, September 20, 2013

No compulsion?

Whilst I am of the opinion that people ought to be able to dress the way they like whilst out in public, I'm of the opinion that when compulsion is used in the form of a religious mandate then it's very wrong. I'm ok with the likes of Mosques and Synagogues insisting on making visitors wear appropriate garb, but I'm not so sure on forcing non-believers to wear religious garb in a religious school, particularly if they are not of that religion...
Staff at Al-Madinah School, in Derbyshire, say that they have been told to sign new contracts agreeing to wear hijabs and make girls sit at the back of classes.
The Muslim faith school, which caters for 200 students aged four to 16, also forbids the teachers from bringing in non-Halal food or wearing unacceptable jewellery, it is claimed.
Non-Asian staff have been seen removing the headgear immediately when leaving the building, but refused to reveal the extent of the school's demands.
Nick Raine, regional NUT officer, said: "We are very worried about the school and the education of the 200 children there.
"It's one thing to have a dress code which we can challenge and quite another to build it into a contract.
"The school is publicly accountable so there needs to be greater transparency."
Now whilst I'm mostly of the opinion that it's their gaff, their rules I feel that this is very different from the failure of that Birmingham college to try and ensure that faces will be uncovered for security (and honesty) reasons. This is a deliberate attempt to get staff to comply to a dress code foreign to this country and not islamic in any way shape or form.
As an imam Dr T Hargey who is the Director, Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford put it in a letter to the Times (paywalled)
For Muslims to claim that the niqab/burka is Islamic is not only deceitful, but disingenuous. At best it is an outmoded cultural convention and a primitive tribal habit. Many ill-informed Muslims have, however, been conditioned to conflate culture with religion and befuddle liberal Britain that this is a principle of religious freedom and human rights when it is neither. In fact, it is illegal for masked women to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca or to perform their daily prayers. If women are prevented from hiding their identity at Islam's holiest shrine, why do they need to do so in the UK?
And as an imam, he would know.
No, this is yet another example of islamics trying to set themselves and keep themselves apart from society and enforce their weird and inappropriate dress sense on the rest of us. I suppose the staff could simply hand their notice in or refuse to wear medieval tribal clothing, but the point is as non islamics not in a religious building is that they simply have no need too.
Sue Arguile, branch secretary of Derby National Union of Teachers, said: "There are worries over practices concerning the discrimination between male and female pupils in the school, with the girls being told to sit at the back of the class regardless of whether they can see the board properly.
Perhaps we should simply close it down as they can't seem to follow civilised patterns of behaviour so that even the left wing NUT are concerned...

4 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Depends whos footing the bill for this.

If the school is fee paying or funded through a suitable method of grants from private business, then they can do whatever they like, its their money to spend their gaff and their rules.

If however its funded from taxes forcibly taken from the British people who are nett tax contributors, then they will tow the bloody line..though i won't hold me breath whilst we search for an apparatchik with a full set of bollocks to enforce it.



Fred said...

Quiet Man says:------------Now whilst I'm mostly of the opinion that it's their gaff, their rules-------------
I say our country our bloody rules.
Try setting up a Christian school anywhere in Saudi etc.

Anonymous said...

Yes Fred, but did you see our Home Secretary covering her hair on the news last night. What was the definition of dhimmi again?

Mark said...

Making girls sit at the back of class?

So you could sign a contract that is in blatant breach of discrimination laws. Surely such a contract would not be worth the paper its written on.

I'm with Fred here Their gaff their rules but, there are laws and civilized practices.