This week, in Britain, a case has come to a conclusion that concerned the right of a Muslim girl to wear her Jilbab
. The court ruled that she was unlawfully excluded from her previous school when she wore her traditional Muslim dress.
I have mixed feelings about this case....on the one hand I am glad that Britain's multi-cultural society is alive and kicking. On the other hand it bothers me that Britain is becoming so swamped by so many other cultures and religions that indiginous Brits are becoming the minority.
There have been so many cases in Britain over the past few years that show that they are being discriminated against in favour of our immigrant population...to cite a few....
the Red Cross shops in the UK stopped Christmas Trees, decorations and anything displaying Christian symbols or scenes being put in the windows of their shops under the auspices of not offending Muslims and other religions
. This was in the news headlines in 2003, whilst I was living in Jordan...my collegues (predominantly Muslim) were horrified that this was the case....a few of them citing the Christmas Trees in their own homes and on display around Amman.
Another religions issue in the UK, again related to Christmas, is the number of town councils that have decided that 'Christian' Christmas decorations should not be put up in their town centres in order not to offend those that subscribe to other religions.
All in the name of multi-culturalism.
As I have mentioned before I have travelled a fair amount and lived in a few Muslim countries....whilst living in Jordan, Indonesia and the UAE we were careful to be sensitive to the local culture and religion - dressing appropriately, behaving appropriately in public, ensuring that during Ramadan we were sensitive to the occassion...I remember in Dubai (about 1977) sitting at home with the curtains closed having lunch during Ramadan. I am not complaining just making an observation...this is what you need to do when you have the chance to experience and live in other countries...the local population has made you welcome...you get to enjoy the benefits of living there....but the trade off is that you need to be sensitive to the local culture, history and if necessary religion.
So, the upshot is....by all means come to live in the UK, enjoy the freedom of speech, the benefits of the social security system, NHS etc etc...but do not try to change our culture, basic beliefs and traditions.
One of my favourite memories of Amman is Christmas Eve a few years back, standing outside Books@Cafe and looking down over Downtown, the sky was that beautiful deep, dusk blue that only the sky in Jordan seems to produce....the sky was clear and the stars were just coming out, the lights of the city were coming on, the white lights in the houses dotted the landscape interspered with the telltale green lights of the Mosques...there were only two sounds to be heard....one was the sound of the Mosques calling people to prayer, the second was the sound of the Church bells ringing to call people to church for Christmas.....now that is the kind of religion that I can handle...everyone getting on with their own thing and not infringing on anyone else's beliefs or thoughts.
I was pleased to see via Mental Mayhem
that there is someone in Egypt that agrees (however ironically!) with my basic sentiment. Big Pharaoh
seems to understand where I am coming from.