Am I the only one getting fed up with news stories that seem designed to cause religious tensions being forced in my face all the time? This week has been really bad. Two minor employer/employee conflicts (minor in terms of world importance – not for the people in question of course) that have become front page news stories.
We have the whole teacher suspended for wearing a veil thing. This story actually seems to have happened several weeks back (her tribunal was held in September) but has been dragged out just because of a certain statement by Jack Straw a week ago.
Then we have the woman that has left her job after BA asked her to conceal or remove her crucifix. You’ll notice that that article actually links this story to the first one I mentioned for no particular reason. You can also see the feelings it stirs up by looking at some of the comments here. How many “But Muslims can wear veils…” comments has that caused.
For the record I’m fine with whatever religions people want to have and I like to look at things with an open mind. In the case of the teacher with the veil, the school is at fault in my mind. None of the children complained (so who reported it as a problem?) and she offered a compromised which was refused. In crucifix womans case, she is at fault. BA did not ask her to remove it, just conceal it to comply with their dress code – something they have said they would ask people to do for any religious symbol that can be concealed. She has given no good reason why it must be worn in the open and what harm it would do wearing it under her shirt. She simply seems to be crying “Religious descrimination” so she can ger her way.
How many more of this type of story can we expect? I went into town yesterday and I noticed every single woman that walked past in a veil because it had been pushed to the front of my mind by these stories. I’d never given veiled women a second glance before now. It disturbed me that my perception was being manipulated like that….