I know I'm a bit late into the game on this one but forgive me, for I have been sick as a butchers dog with e-coli and trychonosis. Might as well throw in some mad cow (no, I'm not talking about my ex-wife) and bird flu for good measure. Oooh, and SARs. Yup, I have been unwell. Actually I still am. Ne'er the less, my brain functioneth. My body not.
Anyway, to the point.
The recent comments that the wearing of veils dividing the community got me a little stressed in looking at the response from the veil-wearing brigade. I looked at the "human rights" argument and freedom of expression, and then I remembered the young lady from BA who was chastised for having a small cross on a necklace that she wore while working. Head-scarfs for Muslims are fine, but a small cross is not. And this is me speaking as a devoted and passionate atheist.
Once more, the nanny state panders to the minorities: pet hate of mine. For example, in my local council office which is in Manchester, there is some sign or other. Underneath the English is a Welsh translation. Underneath the Welsh translation is a phone number to call if you are partially sighted (???WTF???) and underneath that there is the equivalent message in Welsh (yes, I do read some) saying the same thing. So let me get this straight. On every board across the whole of the GM area, we are catering for partially sighted Welsh people? In England. The mind boggles.
Don't get me wrong. I am all for looking after minority groups but really, do we need to be so anal? The 80/20 rule exists for a reason. In the case of minorities I would apply a six sigma rule. Outside of that, it goes from the statistically viable (if not economically) to the utterly daft.
In the immortal cliche, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. We have three choices, and I know this will rile Stan no end: (i) total freedom to worship whatever we want whenever, (ii) a compromise whereby all faiths are treated equally or (iii) ban everything religious. (i) is a dangerous precedent, (ii) seems reasonable, (iii) seems pinko commie.
As with everything in life, nothing is absolute and a compromise is always the way to go. Stan thinks I am right of the parrot on Maggie's shoulder. Not so. Common sense may be an oxymoron but it is the future.
Veils be damned. Turbans, fine. Scarfs fine. Buddhist tattoos fine. Crosses on necklaces, fine. Whatever the Sikh dot thingumy is, fine. But when you detach yourself from a vital means of communication, you cross the line. When I was a kid, a woman with just her eyes peering out of a slit of cloth would have made me literally sh*t my pants. You have to remember how kids look at the world. I would never have noticed a necklace because it's so surrepticious and inoccuous. A veil is in your face (pun intended).
The problem that we are facing is that we think that the issue is in the here and now and it isn't.
In order to stabilize, we need to see the future and a fully integrated culture. Us Westerner native types have to give (and have, ref national dish = curry) and the Asian immigrants need to understand our Western values and what we think is tolerable. We were still a democracy last time I looked. I think the outcry over the veils and the amount of support that statement got shows an aversion to veils. Live by the will. If you don't like it, go somewhere that does. You have your right to your religion and dress sense, but don't insult us by saying you wear these things by choice.
I don't want to M-bash, but "what kind of God can this be anyway, when you have to prostrate to Him five times a day. With hate in your heart and a gun in your hand, His way the only way to understand. Underneath the black cloud of I*lam." Ten points for anyone who can name the song.
Wow. I really went off on one there. Soz.