Sunday, November 11, 2007

British Hairdresser sued for refusing to hire Muslim woman in a headscarf

The owner of a hair salon is being sued for religious discrimination for refusing to hire a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf. Sarah Desrosiers, 32, says she turned down Bushra Noah as a junior stylist to maintain the image of her salon, which specialises in "urban, funky" cuts. She told Miss Noah, 19, she needed her staff to display their hairstyles to the public

But the devout Muslim insisted that wearing her headscarf was essential to her beliefs. Miss Noah, who has been rejected for 25 different hairdressing jobs after interviews, is suing Miss Desrosiers for more than 15,000 pounds for injury to her feelings plus an unspecified sum for lost earnings.

Miss Desrosiers, who set up the Wedge salon in King's Cross, North London, 18 months ago, says she faces financial ruin if she loses the case. She denies any discrimination and insists it is an "absolutely basic" job requirement. Yesterday, Miss Desrosier said: "When a potential client walks past on the street, they look into a salon at the stylists to get an impression of what haircut they are going to get there. "The image I have built my salon on is very urban, funky, punky. That is the look I am going for. "If an employee were wearing a baseball cap or cowboy hat I would ask them to remove it at work.

"It has nothing to do with religion. But I now feel like I have been branded a racist. My name is being dragged through the mud." She went on: "This girl is suing me for more than I earn in a year. "I am a small business and have only had my salon a year and a half. If I lose this lawsuit, my business will fold."

In legal papers setting out her employment tribunal claim, Miss Noah alleges she was discriminated against at her interview in March and wrongly turned down for a job she was capable of doing because of her headscarf.


Insane British policing again

A DAD grabbed a drunken teenager he thought was trying to break into his home, handed him to police - and was arrested. Now Mark Goldberg fears he could lose his Ministry of Defence job if he is prosecuted.

The head chef, who has children aged five and 15, heard a noise at the window of his townhouse at around 10.30pm. He opened the curtains and spotted the yob teetering on the window ledge. Mark, 38, said: "He must have jumped over railings and climbed up a drainpipe. But when I went out he tried to say he was looking for someone."

While his wife called police in Gravesend, Kent, Mark grappled with the teenager - who may have been attending a nearby party. He managed to flee but Mark chased him and marched him back to waiting cops. To his amazement they arrested HIM for assault. He said: "The police said the guy had a fat lip. We did tussle and fall to the ground but I didn't hit him. He's just making up stories and they believe him, not me. They threw me in a cell for 15 hours."

Mark has been told he must return to the police station on December 6. He is the latest in a string of householders to be arrested trying to protect their homes and property. Mark said: "This country has gone barmy. You can't even protect your own family in your own home any more." A police spokesman said: "Our investigations continue."


Porn harmful?

In the 1980s, conservatives and feminists joined to fight a common nemesis: the spread of pornography. Unlike past campaigns to stamp out smut, this one was based not just on morality but on public safety. They argued that hard-core erotica was intolerable because it promoted sexual violence against women. "Pornography is the theory -- rape is the practice," wrote feminist author Robin Morgan. In 1986, a federal commission concurred. Some kinds of pornography, it concluded, are bound to lead to "increased sexual violence." Indianapolis passed a law allowing women to sue producers for sexual assaults caused by material depicting women in "positions of servility or submission or display."

The campaign fizzled when the courts said the ordinance was an unconstitutional form of "thought control." Though the Bush administration has put new emphasis on prosecuting obscenity, on the grounds that it fosters violence against women, pornography is more available now than ever. That's due in substantial part to the rise of the Internet, where the United States alone has a staggering 244 million web pages featuring erotic fare. One Nielsen survey found that one out of every four users say they visited adult sites in the past month.

So in the last two decades, we have essentially conducted a vast experiment on the social consequences of such material. If the supporters of censorship were right, we should be seeing an unparalleled epidemic of sexual assault. But all the evidence indicates they were wrong. As raunch has waxed, rape has waned.

This is part of a broad decrease in criminal mayhem. Since 1993, violent crime in America has dropped by 58 percent. But the progress in this one realm has been especially dramatic. Rape is down 72 percent and other sexual assaults have fallen by 68 percent. Even in the last two years, when the FBI reported upticks in violent crime, the number of rapes continued to fall.

Nor can the decline be dismissed as the result of underreporting. Many sexual assaults do go unreported, but there is no reason to think there is less reporting today than in the past. In fact, given everything that has been done to educate people about the problem, and to prosecute offenders, victims are probably more willing to come forward than they used to be.

No one would say the current level of violence against women is acceptable. But the enormous progress in recent years is one of the most gratifying successes imaginable. How can it be explained? Perhaps the most surprising and controversial account comes from Clemson University economist Todd Kendall, who suggests that adult fare on the Internet may essentially inoculate against sexual assaults.

In a paper presented at Stanford Law School last year, he reported that, after adjusting for other differences, states where Internet access expanded the fastest saw rape decline the most. A 10 percent increase in Internet access, Kendall found, typically meant a 7.3 percent reduction in the number of reported rapes. For other types of crime, by contrast, he found no correlation with Web use. What this research suggests is that sexual urges play a big role in the incidence of rape -- and that pornographic websites provide a harmless way for potential predators to satisfy those desires.

That, of course, is only a theory, and the evidence he cites is not conclusive. States that were quicker to adopt the Internet may be different in ways that also serve to prevent rape. It's not hard to think of other explanations why sexual assaults have diminished so rapidly -- such as DNA analysis, which has been an invaluable tool in catching and convicting offenders.

Changing social attitudes doubtless have also played a role. Both young men and young women are more aware today of the boundaries between consensual and coercive sex. Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, thinks the credit for progress against rape should go to federal funding under the Violence Against Women Act and to education efforts stressing that "no means no."

But if expanding the availability of hard-core fare doesn't actually prevent rapes, we can be confident from the experience of recent years that it certainly doesn't cause such crimes. Whether you think porn is a constitutionally protected form of expression or a vile blight that should be eradicated, this discovery should come as very good news.


Australia: Repeated failures by a government "child welfare" agency just go on and on

If only the parents below had been a respectable middle-class couple whom some idiot had accused of "witchcraft"! The "social workers" would have taken all their kids off THEM in double-quick time! Feral parents, however, must be treated with "respect" -- and too bad about the kids

New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma is being told to stop denying there aren't major problems within the Department of Community Services (DoCS), with a baby known to the department in hospital suffering cardiac arrest and severe head injuries. The 14-month-old had just been returned to her mother and partner who is on parole for murder.

Opposition leader Barry O'Farrell says the Premier has a lot to answer for. "Morris Iemma needs to explain how laws used last year allowing DoCS workers to bypass the courts and rescue children in serious risk of harm aren't being enforced." "These laws may have prevented death and injuries, and Morris Iemma needs to explain why they're not being used."

An ambulance was called to the little boy's Blacktown home early yesterday morning, there they found the 14-month-old in cardiac arrest with head injuries. He is being treated in Westmead Hospital where he remains on life support. It's believed the child had been in the care of his grandmother, and previously DoCS, before being given back to his 19-year- old mother just weeks ago. DoCS has confirmed it was aware of the child, and the fact that his mother's partner has just been released from prison after serving time for homicide.

Shadow Community Services Minister Katrina Hodgkinson says it's yet another tragedy. "Why are babies who are clearly at risk not looked after properly by the Department of Community Services, when there is obviously a need for that to be happening?"

It's the latest in a series of abuse cases involving children known to DoCS including two-year-old Dean Shillingsworth, found dead in a suitcase and seven- year-old Shellay Ward, who starved to death at Hawks Nest.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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