Saturday, November 25, 2006

Why can't I wear my Lenin badge?


I wonder whether, if I worked as a check-in worker at British Airways, I would be allowed to wear a Lenin badge? A small, discrete one, of course (I'm sure I still have one, somewhere). Or possibly - this is one suggestion for an atheist symbol - a crucifix with a red line through it? Why not? The furore over the woman asked by BA to remove her cross while at work seems to me quite mad. No one is saying she can't wear the damned thing. She can put it on as soon as she leaves work. She could get a bigger one - life size - and drag it around with her wherever she goes. Requiring her not to flaunt her religion at work is hardly a major civil rights issue; any more than it would be for my boss to ask me to take off my Lenin badge (if only I could find it).

The proposal of the government of the Netherlands to ban the wearing of niqab and the burka in public (apparently a populist ploy by right-wing politicians) is a different matter. It involves an invasion of the "sphere of the private" which is unjustified. I dislike the veil and wish that Muslim women did not wear it. But I can't see that it is reasonable to criminalise it. There is a great deal of difference between disapproving of something and making it illegal. Are we really to imagine that if a Muslim woman walks down the high street in Amsterdam wearing the niqab a police snatch squad will haul her off to the local nick in handcuffs? This in Amsterdam of all places where, so I am led to believe, prostitutes parade their goods in shop windows and cafes serve coffee and cannabis. And presumably the streets are awash with teenagers in "FCUK ME" T-shirts.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great point

8:21 pm  
Anonymous Michael Oakeshott said...

So the left defend Muslims and criticise Christians. Real vote winner. Keep it up.

4:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the right praises christians, defies commandments from their own freaking book, and then opress(es, ed) the japanese during world war two, blacks up until the 1960's, and then muslims? real vote winner.

9:29 pm  

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