Saturday, January 27, 2007

German minister says niqab is antithetical to EU values

While Buckinghamshire County Council abandons Wycombe High School to fend for itself in its dispute over a pupil who is asserting her ‘right’ to wear a niqab, Germany is following France in an onslaught against religious symbols which are deemed antithetical to the Enlightenment values of the European Union.

According to Wolfgang Schaeuble, the interior minister of the German EU presidency, ‘the full veil runs contrary to the achievements of the European civilization’. He is kind enough to say that it should be for member states to make up their own minds on the wearing of full-face veils, but he asserts unequivocally that ‘the practice runs against European values’. Apparently, EU citizens have a new ‘responsibility’ (though quite where this is written eludes Cranmer). Mr Schaeuble argued: ‘Communication is viewed as one of the responsibilities of European citizens and the full veils as worn by some Muslim women prevent this.’ While Cranmer agrees with the Minister on his conclusion, his persuasion is profoundly flawed. Do EU citizens no longer have the right to not communicate?

Religious symbols in schools are forbidden by law in France and Turkey, and the Dutch government has also recently adopted a proposal to ban Muslim women from wearing the burqa in public places. While the United Kingdom dithers, the practice is being randomly accommodated hither and thither, making eventual prohibition all the more politically unattainable (if, indeed, it were desirable). The wonder in this case is that a Conservative-led county council is not supporting a head and governors on a matter of school uniform policy. The silence of the Conservative Party on this, and also on the Church-State issue below, is simply the result of HM Opposition being so afraid of saying the wrong thing, it is no longer prepared to say what is right; for fear of offending and alienating one group, it no longer prepared to defend the liberties of the other. Compassionate conservatism is all well and good, until compassion begins to supplant justice. A Conservative Party which ceases to pursue justice on behalf of individuals or groups is not remotely likely to pursue it on behalf of the nation.

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.


Anonymous Voyager said...

It would be good if in Britain they could beginb to distinguish what is religious from what is cultural

The confused nature of British officialdom suggests a breed of administrator wholly unconversant with any religion and any grasp of matters beyond the superficial.

This ignorance and glibness extends across a whole range of policy issues and the breezy and complacent utterances of those in positions of responsibility are rendering them both risible and contemptible

27 January 2007 at 16:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With apologies to His Grace, I'm fairly happy for adults to be allowed to go to hell in their own way ... BUT the girl at the centre of the Buckinghamshire circus is twelve. Fifty years ago it would have been inconceivable for parents to be allowed to condemn a child to live viewing the world through a slit a couple of inches wide.

There is such a thing as Britishness and it includes giving children certain rights, in spite of the "rights culture".

Goes off to play Elgar CDs very loud to the annoyance of the neighbours.

27 January 2007 at 20:14  
Anonymous Voyager said...

You forget that this girl will probably be married in the long vacation and have her first child in Sylhet next year before bringing her large family and husband back to England on her sixteenth birthday for local authority housing and tax credits and lodging immigration applications for her husband's extended family

28 January 2007 at 06:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voyager, precisely: it's a disaster all round, for this child as much as for the rest of us.

28 January 2007 at 12:55  
Blogger Curly said...

Your Grace is entirely correct in your assertion that the said County Council is failing in it's duty to back it's own education department, it's own headteacher and staff, and it's own uniform policies! Such a failure can do little at all to assist discipline in their schools and the matter of whether the young girl wishes to wear a niqab or any other religious adornment is irrelevant. Rules and regulations are there for all pupils to obey and to assist the teaching staff in the application of their duties.
Rather like the Sexual Orientation Regulations in the Equality Bill there is little point in drafting such rules if there are to be opt out clauses for a minority.

28 January 2007 at 13:17  
Anonymous Oiznop said...

I greatly fear a take-over through inertia:

The local MP is at loggerheads with the county council. The school is isolated. It will leave every school in the country open to challenge.

28 January 2007 at 14:41  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Thank you Mr Oiznop.

For those unable to cut and paste the above link, please click here

His Grace is not sure that the future is as bleak as you convey, not least because precedent has been set in the case of Begum v Head Teacher and Governors of Denbigh High School. Mohammedans may not arbitrarily ride roughshod over a school's uniform policy.

28 January 2007 at 15:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coincidentally it seems that the woman in the veil row in Dewsbury has no problem going to work with her Argos T-Shirt without a veil (if my sources are correct).

28 January 2007 at 15:41  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace has removed certain posts relating to the topic below and inserted them into the thread.

He exhorts his communicants to stick to the topic of each thread.

28 January 2007 at 17:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you make an stute point re the Conservative party your Grace.

It is precisely the failing at the heart of moral relatvisim that holds sway in our liberal elites today.

The lack of conviction is a sad failing that is leaving us open to abuse by those who do not lack conviction in their own beliefs.

28 January 2007 at 21:18  

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