Thursday, October 3, 2013

News from the United Kingdomistan

I can't shake a stick without reading about something involving Moslems (usually grievance-related) out of Merry Ole' England.  Here are a few from today...

Muslim supermarket workers win discrimination case against Tesco after bosses locked their prayer room and made them sign in and out
Two Muslim Tesco workers have won a discrimination case against the supermarket after bosses kept their prayer room locked.
Abdirisak Aden and Mahamed Hasan, both aged 27, were among a number of devout Muslim employees who had lobbied for a prayer room since 2006.

Abdirisak Aden and Mahamed Hasan were among a number of Muslim employees who lobbied for a prayer room. Pictured is a Tesco distribtution centre in Crick, Northamptonshire
"Support Tesco"
In 2008 managers agreed to set aside a security office at the distribution depot in Crick, Northamptonshire, as a prayer room for Muslims.

But in 2012 bosses set new restrictions on the use of the room which included keeping it locked when it was not in use. (Why did you allow one in the first place?)

Muslim workers were forced to tell managers when they were going to pray and had to ask for the key and fill in their names in a book every time they entered the room.

They also claimed they were forbidden to worship in groups and were only allowed to pray one at a time.

Mr Aden and Mr Hasan took the supermarket giant to a tribunal claiming discrimination on the grounds of their religion.

Bedford Employment Tribunal found Tesco was guilty of indirect discrimination and awarded the men an undisclosed sum for ‘injury to their feelings’  (Too freaking bad...)

Christopher Fray, equality officer for the Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC), which represented the men at the hearing which ended on September 3, heralded the ruling.

He said: 'A large number of Muslims complained that the nature of these prayer guidelines were being used as a way of controlling and monitoring and harassing them.

'The Bedford Employment Tribunal upheld their claims and found they were discriminated against on the grounds of their religion.

'This case is a victory not only for Muslims, but for all people who wish to pray while at work.

'It is one of the first religious discrimination cases that Muslim complainants have won in Britain.'

The tribunal heard both men had made it clear to their bosses that they needed to pray at set times in a clean environment.

They claimed that Tesco managers were aware of the difficulties Muslim employees faced while trying to pray with no place allocated for them to do this. (We have difficulties with your constant whinging and demands).

A Tesco spokesman said: 'We take our responsibilities as an equal opportunities employer very seriously.

'We are considering the implications of the judge’s ruling and await the full written judgment.'


Muslim pupils, 14, banned from the classroom at Catholic school for refusing to shave off their beards after claiming their religion forbids it

"I'm taking your Daughter to the Prom"
Two teenage Muslim pupils have been put into 'isolation' and banned from lessons after refusing to shave off their beards for religious reasons.

Mount Carmel Roman Catholic High School, in Accrington, Lancashire, has said the two 14-year-olds are in breach of the dress code, which bans beards as well as false nails, fake tan, make-up, dyed hair and inappropriate jewellery.

But the boys' families have said they are suffering discrimination because beards are a symbol of faith and their religion forbids them to shave. (Oh, cue the violins!)

The school has said after conducting its own research it has concluded they are not required by the Koran to wear beards, and are making a choice to do so. The school remains adamant they will not be allowed to go back until the matter is resolved.

Around a third of the 750 pupils at Mount Carmel are from ethnic minorities, mostly Pakistani, according to the 2012 Ofsted report.

Xavier Bowers, head teacher at the school, said governors had decided no exceptions could be made to the uniform policy.

But a relative of one of the boys said: 'Because these boys cannot shave their beards for religious reasons, they are being put in isolation for six-and-a-half hours every day.

'They are not being allowed to mix with anybody or speak to friends. It is pure discrimination.

'They chose that school because it is within their area and has good results. The school has to have an open policy and they have to take in people from all religions.' (BIG Mistake...)

She said the youngsters (with...beards...) were put in a room on their own and made to study without the rest of their classmates. 

She also said their parents sent the school a letter of complaint explaining they could not shave as their beards were symbols of their faith.

The letter has since been retracted to allow for talks between the families, teachers and the Lancashire Council of Mosques, due to take place today, the relative said. 

Mr Bowers said the rule had been in place for a while, but had been strictly enforced from the beginning of the new term, after letters explaining there would be no exceptions were sent out. 

He said: 'The rule in school is that all boys have to be clean shaven. 

'Having said that, there were two Year 11 boys last year who had grown a beard and because it was months or weeks before their GCSE exams, I spoke to the two boys, who explained that on religious grounds, they wanted to keep their beards.

'I felt it was an unfair pressure to bear on them and I agreed to an exception. (How's that camel's nose in your tent looking?)

'On the back of that, I made arrangements to speak to a number of other Asian boys who were also sporting beards to make them aware there would not be any further exceptions and, when they came back after the summer, they were expected to be clean-shaven. All but two did. 

Islamic Beard Solidarity
'Children who turn up to school with red hair, inappropriate jewellery, false tan or make-up are isolated in a room until the matter is addressed and then they return to their normal day. 

'These boys were given the option to do that and chose not to.'

The issue of whether beards are compulsory for devout Muslims is open to interpretation, according to Professor Muhammad Abdel Haleem, of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. 

He said the Prophet Muhammad was believed to have had a beard and that men insisting on doing the same claimed they were emulating his actions. 

Mr Bowers said the issue was not one of religion, but of upholding school rules. 

He said: 'We have not taken this decision lightly. I have spent quite a lot of time researching the issue and speaking to Muslim elders. 

'There is nothing specifically written in the Koran about wearing a beard. It is a choice those boys are making. However inclusive we are, we have standards to maintain.' (They know that - they're pushing envelopes).

Chairman of governors Dennis Ford said: 'The decision to uphold the rule was made by governors and it is a rule for everybody.' 

Abdul Hamid Quereshi, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: 'The headteacher is co-operating and the school wants to learn about the issue and address them appropriately. 

'Different people have different variations of understanding. 

'Some are newly interacting with the Muslim community and it is our duty not to put people in awkward positions.' (So don't! Tell the Moslems to fit in or get out!)

Last week the Prime Minister indicated he would support guidelines to judges, teachers and immigration officers telling them when Muslim women can be asked to remove their veils. 

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