Monday, November 27, 2006

Nadia Eweida and the Adams Family

Michelle Idrees was returning from a July 7th commemoration in Hyde Park when she was attacked by three men, the Adams Family, on a train. They called her a "f*cking Muslim slag" and a "Paki-loving whore". "Mrs Idrees had travelled into London with her 15-year-old nephew, a neighbour, her wheelchair-bound partner and their two children."

The main protagonist has been jailed for 15 months. Because Mrs Idrees is white, they could not be done for a racially aggravated crime, but only for a religiously aggravated crime. I think this was racism and these men are racist pieces of scum. They had earlier called a black woman on the train a "nigger", but this is a new form of racism, not attached to skin colour but instead to culture or "religion". Some reports have described her as wearing a burkha, others as wearing a headscarf. This was surely a key feature, even though the attack pre-dated the major media feeding frenzy around veils later in the summer.

This is why I agree to some extent with those who criticise this government for creating a climate of anti-Islamic hatred. This is dangerous shit to play with. However much Islamism represents a terrible threat to our society, playing fast and lose with glib generalisations about Muslims contributes to this sort of violence.

This is not the only viscious attack on vaguely Asian or Muslim looking people recently. This horrible incident is in court now in Leeds.

Interesting that the Dhimmi-watching websites I occassionally link to in my criticisms of Islamism have been pretty much silent on this court case. Plenty of fascist blogs have actually described the Adams men as free speech heroes. I won't link to them as I don't like to link to fascists. Just a shade away from them you have people like this American blogger and this Conservative blogger, who have celebrated the fact that Mrs Idrees now plans to leave the country.

Meanwhile, a Lib Dem councillor thinks it's OK to use the work "Paki", claiming "only one or two people" find it offensive. "Are we going to ban 'golliwog' and 'blackboard' too?" he continued.

***

So, some people think that the UK and its government is creeping towards fascism, others think we are in thrall to Islam. The latter see the decision of BA to stop Nadia Eweida from wearing a crucifix at work as more example of special treatment for Muslims and other efniks, bad treatment for the white Christian majority. Her colleagues of other faiths, she says, are free to wear their "religious attire" at work.

Whatever petty-minded supervisor noticed Ms Eweida's cross and told her to take it off is a stupid, anal idiot. (Blair is right to say some battles are not worth fighting. Applies to both sides here.)

But of course Eweida does not have the right to wear a cross. For a start, unlike Orthodox Jewish men in yarmulkes or certain types of Muslim women in hijabs, Christians are not commanded by their faith to glorify Christ by displaying a cross. It is not equivalent.

And, asks Ophelia (commenting on this Times article), why should we "respect" this sort of commandment anyway?
What is this idea that people 'expect' 'respect' and that therefore everyone else 'needs' to give it to them? Why hasn't that imbecilic and tiresome idea been nipped in the bud yet? People can expect anything and everything they like; that doesn't oblige the rest of us to give it to them. I can sashay around the place announcing that I 'expect' everyone to fall down and knock their foreheads against the ground when I pass, but that doesn't oblige them to oblige, does it. Expect away, 'people of faith', I don't have to respect you unless you do something I consider respect-worthy. So get busy.
And now fucking Jack Straw has weighed in supporting her, giving grist to the mill of those who think Blair's government is at war with Islam...

And it looks like BA might give in too, as the Church of England has a lot of financial clout. (See this Christian blogger, who notes that when God fails try Mammon.)


Blog links: Jenna Says No; Oh, Nadia, Shut Up

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re Nadia Eweida, I think the problem is between perception and use. There are internal reasons for using the cross and external threats. I feel it is all silly. Christianity is certainly important to Eweida for what ever reason. I wonder how I would react if they told me to displace my Star of David rather than my kipa, which is merely worn as an identity tag.

In any sense it is a funny thing with BA, only 10 years ago they wer epainting all their planes in all sorts of ethnic textural styles, in an effort to express the cultural diversities of Britain. Whilst I have taken issue with that at the time, mainly for not going far enough and including also "white" diversities of textural style, it is clear that the change in their outlook to teh union jack, symbolises a change in cultural attitude that interestingly predates the current debate.