Displays of religion in the workplace are becomming a more and more sensitive issue. However the latest battle in the veil wars is quite incredible to me.
The first report I read told how 24 year old Aishah Azmi refused to remove her veil whilst teaching primary school children. The school subsequently suspended her in February pending a hearing in September. It failed to mention at the time that she was actually suspended on full pay! I mean how fantastic, 8 months off work on full pay just for wearing a veil. I must buy myself one next time I want an extended holiday. Come the September hearing, she gets her case thrown out but is awarded a £1,000 pounds because the school hurt her feelings. Wow, 8 months pay and a thousand pound bonus.
I don’t think of myself as racist and I don’t perceive this as a racist issue. It’s a sorry situation where someone is trying to use their religion to justify what would otherwise be socially unacceptable. Muslims are very religious people and no doubt very sensitive to criticism of their religion. It’s a shame therefore that a single individual such as this can bring that religion into disrepute (in the eyes of many onlookers) by exploiting it in this fashion.
I would never allow my children to be taught by someone who looks like Mrs Grim Reaper. Having multi-cultural teachers is a very good thing, but I think just about any European would see a teacher cloaked from head to toe in black as unacceptable, if not downright sinister. Sorry if this sounds offensive to any Muslims but I have been brought up in a society where facial expression and looking someone in the eye is an important part of social interaction.
In this article David Cameron is quoted as saying, “he was concerned British Muslims were feeling ‘slightly targeted’ on the issue”. Well David, they are not just slightly targeted, they are totally targeted. That’s because they are the ones wearing veils. It would be silly to target anyone else don’t you think? How about you start considering that the majority is feeling targeted by all the concessions made to minority groups. Like I’d get suspended on full pay for 8 months and awarded compensation for my hurt feelings if I refused to comply with a simple company dress code? I’d be sacked without a single headline in even the local paper.