Pulse Media


Very Cross and other stories

On this issue of BA banning a small cross, I think Ian Hislop put it well on Have I got News for You. Of course, it's not only nonsensical for BA to dig their feet in over such a small item of jewelry, it's also unfair to expect a person to hide their faith when others are allowed to show theirs. That said, such a ban doesn't amount to persecution of christians. As Hislop said, persecution is stoning, beating etc. I do believe people or groups can be persecuted without physical violence, but to say christians are persecuted in Britain, a country whose head of state is also head of the church, is almost comical.
I also think this case has shown how politicians, especially elected ones, should be careful when they open their mouths. Jack Straw may feel intimidated when a veiled muslim woman comes into his surgery (poor thing), but his job as an elected representative is to defend the rights of all first and foremost. If he believes a christian BA worker should be allowed to wear her cross, then he should defend the right of a muslim woman to wear the veil if she so chooses, and however intimidated he feels. I find it hard to believe an experienced politician such as him, what's more MP in an ethnically diverse town in a multicultural country, could be so ignorant and small minded as to feel uneasy facing a veiled citizen.
My personal view is, that the veil or niqab was never a problem until recently. Similarly, islamic terrorism never took place in this country until 7/7/05. I don't think it is coincidental, that this all takes place post-9/11/01 and post US/UK invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. I think Blair and his minions which include Straw, would like us to conveniently ignore those links, and believe, that islam has suddenly become a faith to be feared, for no apparent reason.
Finally, I would like to point out, that faith is a personal issue. Some christians may say the cross is not necessary as some muslims may not feel the veil is necessary. It is not for anyone to say what a believer should or should not wear. Faith, in my opinion, is cultural. This is why in some muslim countries women wear a niqab and in others they wear a hijab or nothing. It is also why in some muslim communities in Britain women will be more likely to wear a niqab than in others. This is why it is more a case of cultural tolerance than religious tolerance. Furthermore, since faith is a personal matter but also a belief, who are we to say what believers should or should not believe. When western politicians call on muslims to practice a moderate islam, they are belittling the faith. If a muslim believes in a radical islam, that is his or her right, so long as he or she does not harm others.