Sunday, October 14, 2007

Religious (in)tolerance

I'm not personally a big fan of Jesus posters - if you have ever walked through the Arab Shuk in the Old City you will know that those ones with the eyes that follow you as you walk are creepy (not religious intolerance on my part - just anti-creepiness).

On the other hand, I would never have the gall to ask someone to remove a poster from a public area. I don't particularly want to look at a poster of a bloody heart and hands with nail wounds in them while I am trying to eat my sandwiches, but there are worse things in some staff cafeterias.

Can you imagine the religious intolerance that would lead a member of staff to complain about such a poster, and (even worse) can you imagine an employer suspending someone for putting up such a poster?

To make it worse, it was a Muslim who complained, despite the fact that Jesus was a prophet according to the Koran:

the Quran not only discusses Jesus many times but also gives him a role of high honor, though only as a prophet.... Jesus is one in a succession of highly revered prophets, including Abraham and Moses, in the Quran. The Quran, which is broken into 114 Surahs (chapters) and verses, describes Jesus' miracles (5:110) and his special relationship as "the word" and "the spirit of God" (4:171). Muslims believe Christ was taken alive into heaven and will return at Judgement Day (4:159).
(from the Observer). Why would a picture of a prophet be considered objectionable (I thought it was only Muhamed they were not allowed to depict).

What next? Will they ban Santa Claus (and Coca Cola)? Will they forbid Xtians to wear crosses (oops - British Airways already tried that one - see the end of this article!)?

Britain is trying to present itself as a tolerant country. Schools had the day off on Friday because it was Eid (I'm not sure if it was all the schools, but certainly some). But it seems that tolerance is defined as 'pleasing Muslims at the expense of everyone else'.

If that is the case - WAKE UP JEWS! Time to pack up and come home to Israel.

From the BBC

A Catholic worker at Manchester Airport was suspended after hanging an image of Jesus on a staff room wall.

Gareth Langmead, 40, was sent home from his job as a car parks supervisor after a complaint from a Muslim colleague.

He was off work for three days while an investigation was carried out and later reinstated with a clean record.

Union officials accused the airport of overreacting and said Mr Langmead was upset by the incident, but the airport said he had not complained.

The airport worker, from Atherton, Greater Manchester, found the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as he was clearing out a desk drawer.

As he felt unable to throw it away, Mr Langmead hung it on a wall in the staff rest room, prompting a complaint it had been put up as "an act of provocation".

Airport bosses investigated the claim but reached the decision that he had done nothing wrong.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that a member of staff was suspended pending an investigation into his conduct.

"This investigation was swiftly concluded and the employee has returned to work with a clean record.

"Given the nature of this incident, we have agreed with our airport Chaplain that he and his team will work with the employees involved to foster a greater level of understanding about each other's beliefs and how this applies in the workplace."

News of the suspension emerged a week after Hindu Heathrow Airport worker Amrit Lalji, who lost her job for wearing a nose stud, was reinstated.

Last year, Heathrow worker Nadia Eweida was suspended by British Airways for wearing a Christian cross but later reinstated following condemnation by clerics and politicians.

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