The Labour Party don’t e-mail me anymore but the other day this turned up in my in box.
It is a business survey that was focussed solely on diversity.”Diversity” is one of those buzz words that the PC world love and think is all about inclusiveness and multiculturalism. In a video I watched recently multiculturalism was referred to as multi-conflict and I think diversity is actually racism and sexism in disguise.
Yvonne Allen in a photograph included in the lawsuit filed against officials in Lee County, Ala. (American Civil Liberties Union)
Now I may not like all the concessions the West give to followers of Islam but I always assumed that at least the West would be consistent. If they upheld the religious freedom of a Muslim woman to wear a Hijab at work then, of course, they would not object to a Sikh wearing a turban because fair is fair right? Wrong. In Alabama, Muslim women get preferential treatment. There is one law for non-Muslim women and another law for Muslim women.
From the complaint in Allen v. English:
Plaintiff Yvonne Allen is a devout Christian woman who covers her hair with a headscarf as part of her religious practice. In December 2015, Ms. Allen sought to renew her driver license at the Lee County driver license office, where officials demanded that she remove her head covering to be photographed. When Ms. Allen explained her religious beliefs, the County officials responded with a remarkable claim: They admitted that there was a religious accommodation available for head coverings, but contended that it applied only to Muslims.
This is a post written by a Muslim woman who is best friends with a Muslim from the Ahmadiyya sect. The Islamic country of Pakistan does not recognise the Ahmadiyya as true Muslims so she was forced to make a choice.
If you are a conscientious , or if you don’t live under a rock, it is hard to ever forget or ignore the kind of infuriating discrimination and shameful persecution that members of the Ahmadiyya community suffer in our country.
You console yourself by thinking, “at least I personally don’t discriminate or persecute”.
And, if you’re outspoken, you think, “I won’t and don’t ever let it happen in front of me”.
But then, there is a point in time when you are forced by the lottery of birth, and the Constitution of Pakistan, to become party to the state-sponsored discrimination of Ahmadis.
This is the time when you go to perform a simple act of citizenship: get or renew a passport.
The last time I got a passport back home, I was able to duck the question: you know the one right at the end where you have to sign to attest to the accuracy of all information on your application form — and that Ahmadis are infidels.
People of which race and gender earn the most in America, do you think? If your answer is white men you would be wrong. Now ask yourself, which race and gender is most likely to be discriminated against when it comes to getting a university education in America? If your answer is black women you are not only wrong, you are not even in the ballpark. Black women are now the most educated group in America.
This morning, the Pew Research Center released a new report on how Americans are paid by race and gender — and boy, are there some bombshells for those interested in our nation’s wage disparities…
1. America’s top earners are Asian men
…All groups trail white men in earnings — except Asian men. They made 117 percent of what white men earned in 2015: Last year, average hourly wages for black and Hispanic men were $15 and $14, while white men pocketed $21 and Asian men made $24.
Judge Juliane Kokott (pictured) not only ruled against a Muslim woman’s demand to wear the hijab at work, she also issued some good news for European businesses.
After 10 years of fighting a legal battle to be allowed to ignore company rules a Muslim convert was told by today’s face of the day Judge Juliane Kokott,that not only was the court ruling against her discrimination case, but that all companies in the EU can ban Muslim employees from wearing headscarves as long as they have a rule that states that workers must refrain from religious and political symbolism. This is a fair verdict as it treats all religions and political affiliations equally.One rule for all is as fair as it can get.
The headscarf ban “may … be justified in order to enforce a legitimate policy of religious and ideological neutrality pursued by the employer,” Juliane Kokott, a German advocate general at the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg, said in a statement on Tuesday (31 May). Kokott said G4S was right to have a no-symbol policy “because of the special nature of the work which G4S employees do” and because Muslim scarves or other religious paraphernalia would have “a defining impact … on the image of the firm.”
Kokott added that businesses must first establish “a general company rule” that bans religious symbols of any kind, adding that it must be “proportional” to all ideologies to be fair. Since Christians and Jews would not be allowed special rights in the workplace, Muslims should adhere to this rule just like everyone else.
Rules on ‘Islamic dress’ for women are enforced by police in Iran. In this picture, two policewomen warn a woman (centre) about her hair and clothing during a crackdown on skirting of the law in 2007. Majid Saeedi/Getty Images
Most of us believe in religious freedom but few of us would support a religious legal system of government. In Iran the government has removed people’s freedom to practice or not practice the religion or non-religion of their choice and instead forces them to adhere to one religion’s rules in a totalitarian manner.
Iranian MPs – before & after the Islamic revolution of 1979.
When any religion uses force or coercion to keep and control its members it has more in common with a cult than it does a religion.Personal choice is something that we take for granted here in the West and we women must never forget how hard other generations of women fought for us here in New Zealand to enjoy the freedoms we have today. Women in Iran used to have freedom but it was taken away from them. They now are fighting a very difficult fight to regain even the most basic of rights, such as the right to feel the wind through their hair.
When Pete and I visited New Zealand’s largest mosque we were made very welcome. We enjoyed talking to the Ahmadiyya Muslims there and could see that they were tolerant of other religions and that everyone including Jews were welcome. Like us they were concerned about extremism and their community overseas has suffered attacks from other sects who do not consider them true Muslims.
As a feminist one thing that really stood out to me during our visit was the gender segregation. Separate entrances and separate prayer halls. It was explained to me that they were separate but equal. I was told that the purpose of the segregation was to ensure that people focussed on prayer instead of being distracted by the opposite sex. I could see that they genuinely believed that what they were doing was not discrimination and that there was no intention to treat women as second class citizens.
Of course as a woman who has grown up in New Zealand used to equal rights I saw it very differently. While it is one thing to enforce gender segregation in a religious setting it is quite another thing to try to enforce it in a secular setting or on Non-Muslims. I have written before about Alison Bevege who decided to challenge Hizb ut-Tahrir for forcing women including herself to sit at the back of a secular meeting hall. Her long and difficult battle to stand up for equality and the rule of secular law took two years but she was determined and did not give up.
Apartments available for rent in Rotorua, only to women.
At first glance these apartments may seem like a good idea but, as a woman, I had to ask myself how would I feel if the shoe was on the other foot? What if I wanted to rent one of these apartments and they only rented to men? What if I was a Muslim and they only rented to Christians? What if the apartment block was owned by two homosexual men and they said that they would only accept tenants who are gay? What if you were Maori and were told that the apartments were for Chinese New Zealanders only? When you look at the bigger picture it is clear that discrimination is discrimination whether it benefits you or not.
A Rotorua apartment block that will be let only to women may be in breach the Human Rights Act.The apartment block of one-bedroom apartments, which is still being completed, is being marketed as a safe, private place for women who want to live alone.Property manager Richard Evans said there had been a lot of interest in the properties and positive feedback. They are listed for $280 a week each.
…But a spokeswoman for the Human Rights Commission said anyone who was providing housing or other accommodation had to comply with the Human Rights Act and could not discriminate on the grounds of sex.
The only exceptions were in shared accommodation or institutions such as hostels or retirement villages.
…Lawyer Thomas Biss said the offer seemed problematic.
“If you are advertising for a flatmate where you are living in the house then you can specify a female flatmate. But generally a property manager could not simply only deal with females.”
Men can visit the apartments but cannot be named on the tenancy agreement.
My daughter works part time in a deli. She has to handle salads and different kinds of meats. When she applied for the job they were interested in her customer service skills. At no time was she asked her religion. The job description only mentioned what experience and skills were required to apply for the job.
Imagine that there is a job that you have the skills and experience for. Now imagine that you are not eligible for the job unless you are a certain religion. If the religion required was Christian you know Susan Devoy would be all over it.
Let’s pretend that a bakery requires someone capable of making hot cross buns as well as a wide range of bread. However they want the hot cross buns to only be made by Christians. Do you think that the bakery would get away with that? Do you think Susan Devoy would be silent about the blatant discrimination on the basis of religion?