Britain: Muslim ´Cultural Sensitivity´ Runs Amok (GateStone Institute) by Soeren Kern 04/20/12)
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The largest university in London plans to impose a ban on the sale of
alcohol on campus to accommodate the "cultural sensitivity" of its
London Metropolitan University´s Vice Chancellor, Malcolm Gillies,
says it would be unwise to "cling" to a "nostalgic" view where the
vast majority wants alcohol to be available. Instead, he says that he
believes the university should take account of diverging views,
namely those of Muslims, who now comprise 20% of the university´s
"Many of our students do come from backgrounds where they actually
look on drinking as a negative. We therefore need to rethink how we
cater for that 21st-century balance," Gillies declared in an
interview. "What we don´t want is the tyranny of a majority view," he
Gillies´ proposals to re-engineer social life on campus have, not
surprisingly, generated a mostly negative response from students,
many of whom say a ban on alcohol smacks of politically correct
pandering run amok.
Muslims, too, are unhappy with Gillies. Far from thanking him for his
multicultural activism, Muslims say they are "offended" by
his "generalizing about their beliefs."
To be sure, London Metropolitan University is not the first
institution in Britain to bend over backwards to avoid "offending"
Muslims. In fact, hardly a day goes by in which Britons are not
surrendering some aspect of their culture and traditions -- not to
mention their rights of free speech and free expression -- in order
to make Britain safe for Islam.
British schools increasingly are dropping the Jewish Holocaust from
history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, according to a
report entitled Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, which was
commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills. British
teachers are also reluctant to discuss the medieval Crusades – in
which Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem --
because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.
British social welfare offices have banned novelty pig calendars and
toys lest they offend Muslims. Workers in the benefits department at
Dudley Council, West Midlands, for example, were told to remove or
cover up all pig-related items, including toys, porcelain figures,
calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
In West Yorkshire, the Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in
Batley has banned stories featuring pigs, including "The Three Little
Pigs," in case they offend Muslim children.
In Nottingham, the Greenwood Primary School cancelled a Christmas
nativity play because it interfered with the Muslim festival of Eid
al-Adha. In Scarborough, the Yorkshire Coast College removed the
words Christmas and Easter from their calendar not to offend Muslims.
In Scotland, the Tayside Police Department apologized for featuring a
German shepherd puppy as part of a campaign to publicize its new non-
emergency telephone number. The postcards are potentially offensive
to the city´s 3,000-strong Muslim community: Islamic legal tradition
says that dogs are impure.
The British Girl Scout Association has designed new uniforms
especially for Muslims students, who had "issues" with the existing
range of clothing.
In Sheffield, a five-year-old girl had her passport form rejected
when an official said the bare shoulders on her photograph could
Muslim doctors and nurses in Britain are now allowed to opt out of
strict hygiene rules introduced by the National Health Service to
restrict the spread of hospital superbugs. The change was made after
female Muslims objected to being required to expose their arm below
the elbow under guidance introduced to reduce the number of patients
who were falling ill, and even dying, from bacteria.
Meanwhile, in South Yorkshire, an elderly woman in a nursing home
died after she suffered a fall and was left lying on the floor
bleeding because the Muslim nurse, Abdul Bhutto, said he had to
finish his prayers before he could help the woman.
In Oldham, a breastfeeding mother was evicted from a waiting room in
city hall (aka a "multicultural" building) to avoid offending
Muslims. British law allows nursing mothers to breastfeed in public.
In Glasgow, a Christian radio show host was fired after a debate
between a Muslim and a Christian on whether Jesus is "the way, the
truth and the life." In Birmingham, two Christians were told by
police "you can´t preach here, this is a Muslim area." In Cheshire,
two students at the Alsager High School were punished by their
teacher for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious
education class. Also in Cheshire, a 14-year-old Roman Catholic girl
who attends Ellesmere Port Catholic High School was branded a truant
by teachers for refusing to dress like a Muslim and visit a mosque.
In Liverpool, a Christian couple was forced to sell their hotel after
a female Muslim guest accused the pair of insulting her during a
debate about Islam. In London, Rory Bremner, a political comedian,
said that every time he writes a sketch about Islam, he fears that he
is signing his own death warrant. Also in London, Scotland Yard says
that Muslims who launch a shoe at another person are not committing a
crime because the practice is Islamic symbolism.
In Kent, police have been banned from asking for a
person´s "Christian" name, in case this request offends Muslims. The
Kent Police Department´s 62-page ´Faith and Culture Resource´ guide
tells officers to use "personal and family name" instead
of "Christian" name.
In East London, all elected members of Tower Hamlets town council
were told not to eat during daylight hours in town hall meetings
during the Muslim month of Ramadan. Special arrangements were also
made to disrupt council meetings to allow for Muslim prayer.
Meanwhile, the council renamed a staff Christmas party as a "festive
In Leicester, a gang of Somali Muslim women who assaulted and nearly
killed a non-Muslim passer-by in the city center walked free after a
politically correct judge decided that as Muslims, the women
were "not used to being drunk."
Elsewhere in Britain, a foster mother was struck off the social
services register for allowing a Muslim girl in her care to convert
to Christianity. Officials insist the woman, who has looked after
more than 80 children in the past ten years, failed in her duty to
preserve the girl´s religion and should have tried to stop the
baptism. They ruled that the girl, 17, should stay away from church
for six months.
In London, the Harrow Council provoked a storm of protest after
announcing plans to offer Islamic halal-only menus in the borough´s
52 state primary schools. Parents are outraged that meat prepared
according to Islamic Sharia law is being pushed on non-Muslim
children. Meanwhile, most of the in-flight meals on British Airways
could soon be halal. The airline also says Muslim staff may wear
veils, but Christian employees may not wear crosses.
In West Yorkshire, an electrician working for a housing association
in Wakefield was told he would be fired for placing a small palm
cross on the dashboard of his van. His employer said the cross could
be offensive to Muslims: "Wakefield and District Housing has a stance
of neutrality. We now have different faiths, new emerging cultures.
We have to be respectful of all views and beliefs."
In London, a Christian employee at Heathrow Airport was fired for
exposing a campaign of systematic harassment by fundamentalist
In Leicester, furious Muslims demanded that Walkers, a British snack
food manufacturer owned by PepsiCo, demanded that the company change
its packaging labels after it emerged that certain varieties of its
potato chips contain small amounts of trace alcohol to extract
Across Britain, Muslim bus and taxi drivers are telling blind
passengers that they cannot bring their "unclean" dogs on board. The
problem of prohibiting guide dogs on religious grounds has become so
widespread that the matter was recently raised in the House of Lords.
In Reading, one pensioner, a cancer sufferer, was repeatedly
confronted by drivers and asked to get off the bus because of his
guide dog. He also faced hostility at a hospital and in a supermarket
over the animal. In Nottingham, a Muslim taxi driver refused to carry
a blind man because he was accompanied by his guide dog. The taxi
driver was later fined £300 ($470).
In Stafford, a Muslim taxi driver refused to carry an elderly blind
couple from a grocery store because they were accompanied by their
seeing-eye dog. In Tunbridge Wells, Kent, a blind man was turned away
from an Indian restaurant because the owner said it was against his
Muslim beliefs to allow dogs into his establishment.
In London, a bus driver prevented a woman from boarding a bus with
her dog because there was a Muslim lady on the bus who "might be
upset by the dog." As the woman attempted to complain, the doors
closed and the bus drove away. When a second bus arrived, she again
tried to embark, but was stopped again, this time because the driver
said he was Muslim.
In Britain, police sniffer dogs trained to spot terrorists at train
stations may no longer come into contact with Muslim passengers,
following complaints that it was offensive to their religion. Sniffer
dogs used by police to search mosques and Muslim homes are now being
fitted with leather bootees to cover their paws so they do not cause
In British prisons, radical Muslim gangs are imposing Sharia law on
non-Muslim inmates, who have been forced to stop playing Western
music, take down pictures of women from their cells and stop eating
sausage. The gangs are also targeting non-Muslim inmates for forced
conversions to Islam.
In Leeds, more than 200 Muslim inmates at a high security prison are
set to launch a multi-million pound claim for compensation after they
were offered ham sandwiches during the month of Ramadan. They say
their human rights were breached when they were offered the meat,
which is forbidden by Islam. At the same time, Muslim sex offenders
serving time in British prisons are asking to be exempt from a prison
treatment program because the idea that "criminals should not have to
talk about their offenses" is a "legitimate Islamic position."
Meanwhile, Muslim prisoners in Britain are being given fresh clothes
and bedding after sniffer dogs search their cells. The inmates say
their bedclothes and prison uniforms must be changed according to
Islamic law if they have come anywhere near dog saliva. Government
rules mean prison wardens must hand out replacement sets after random
drug searches to avoid religious discrimination claims. The dogs have
also been banned from touching copies of the Islamic holy book the
Koran and other religious items. Prisoners now receive special bags
to protect the articles.
At the same time, the British government has spent thousands of
pounds of taxpayer money to rebuild prison toilets so that Muslim
inmates do not have to use them while facing Mecca. Islam prohibits
Muslims from facing or turning their backs on the Kiblah -- the
direction of prayer -- when they visit the lavatory. After pressure
from Muslim, who claimed they had to sit sideways on prison WCs, the
Home Office agreed to turn the existing toilets 90 degrees.
Muslims attending the 2012 Olympic Games in London will be relieved
to learn that toilet facilities at London´s Olympic Park are being
built so they will not have to face Mecca while sitting on the loo.
Nevertheless, the 2012 London Olympics have been plunged into
controversy by the discovery that the Games will clash with Ramadan.
In 2012, Ramadan will take place from July 21 to August 20, while the
Olympics run from July 27 to August 12. Muslims have asked for the
games to be rescheduled.
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