Public swimming halted for ‘Muslim afternoon’
Cranmer’s occasional communicant, Mr Croydonian, will now be barred for two whole hours on Sundays from swimming in his revealing speedos, and there will be no watching the girls go by, because they are all banned. Mr Croydonian will only be admitted if he conforms to Shari’a law and wears shorts that hide the navel and cover the knees.
Croydon Council has made provision for Muslim women outside its normal opening hours, and the Shari’a dress code is to be covered from the neck down to the ankle. Have you ever tried swimming wrapped in a sheet? Cranmer can’t help wondering why health and safety factors have been subsumed to this impractical dress code.
Croydon Mosque states quite unequivocally: ‘Muslims are not allowed to show off intimate parts of their body. This is non-negotiable. Muslims have as much right to go swimming as anyone else.’
Indeed they do, sir, indeed they do. But everyone else also has as much right to go swimming when they wish to do so. This is the United Kingdom, and nothing is ‘non-negotiable’ in its liberal democratic tradition. With ironic timing, the Prime Minister has said in a speech today that tolerance was 'what makes Britain, Britain' and warned 'we must be ready to defend this attitude...so conform to it; or don't come here. We don't want the hate-mongers, whatever their race, religion or creed.'
Cranmer wonders how such sectarianism in the leisure industry would go down in other parts of the UK. What would be the outcry in Northern Ireland or Scotland if there were 'Protestant only' swimming times? How would the Mohammedans react if Christians started to insist on non-negotiable Christian-only hours in the public services? Cries of ‘racism’? Religious discrimination? Insults to ‘The Prophet’? ‘Behead those who oppose the Shari’a swim’?
By adopting Islamic practices, Croydon Council is unwittingly conforming to the demands of the Dar-al-harb – the House of War. In Islamic theology, this is a battle that rages until there is a victor, and a vanquished…