Wednesday, February 06, 2008

British hospital porter fired in crucifix row

A hospital porter has been sacked after a row over a crucifix being covered up in a prayer room. Joseph Protano, 54, was suspended four days after the incident last month at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury. He has now been dismissed for gross misconduct, but intends to appeal.

Police quizzed him for four hours last month, on suspicion of religiously aggravated assault, but he was released without charge. He denies the allegations and must wait to see if police take any action.

The row centres on a prayer room available to staff and visitors of all faiths at the hospital, which contains a Virgin Mary statue and a crucifix. Mr Protano, a Roman Catholic who has worked two years at the hospital, entered the room when three Muslims were using it - two patients and a doctor.

An argument broke out after he asked them to remove a cloth covering the crucifix and statue and to turn a picture of the Virgin Mary face up. He said he was unable to comment on his sacking as the police probe and his plans to appeal were ongoing. But a friend said: "He was very shocked at the decision. "He thinks he has been treated terribly. "He loves his job and doesn't do it for the money - until recently, his employers were paying just 5.88 pounds an hour.

"They are saying he should not have gone into the prayer room and it is alleged he used racist language, which he totally refutes. "His pay has been stopped, even though he intends to appeal, and he has had to sign on for benefits."

The friend said Mr Protano went into the prayer room about six times a day to check the statue and crucifix were not left covered. He said as a Christian, he felt it could be upsetting for visiting parents to find them covered up. The case has angered many hospital staff, who think he has been treated unfairly. Police said a file had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service to decide on any further action.

Source. As GOV comments:

"It seems that this miscreant, who was interrogated by the police for four hours on suspicion of the crime of "religiously aggravated assault" [I kid you not] had the audacity to request that the Christian icons in an interfaith chapel be uncovered while he prayed....

So that's where the time, money, and productivity of Britain's public servants go: harassing whomever the Muslims complain about. And the Manchester Children's Hospital? They're just trying to avoid a costly lawsuit.

Female Muslim medics 'disobey hygiene rules'

Muslim medical students are refusing to obey hygiene rules brought in to stop the spread of deadly superbugs, because they say it is against their religion. Women training in several hospitals in England have raised objections to removing their arm coverings in theatre and to rolling up their sleeves when washing their hands, because it is regarded as immodest in Islam

Universities and NHS trusts fear many more will refuse to co-operate with new Department of Health guidance, introduced this month, which stipulates that all doctors must be "bare below the elbow". The measure is deemed necessary to stop the spread of infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile, which have killed hundreds.

Minutes of a clinical academics' meeting at Liverpool University revealed that female Muslim students at Alder Hey children's hospital had objected to rolling up their sleeves to wear gowns. Similar concerns have been raised at Leicester University. Minutes from a medical school committee said that "a number of Muslim females had difficulty in complying with the procedures to roll up sleeves to the elbow for appropriate handwashing". Sheffield University also reported a case of a Muslim medic who refused to "scrub" as this left her forearms exposed. Documents from Birmingham University reveal that some students would prefer to quit the course rather than expose their arms, and warn that it could leave trusts open to legal action.

Hygiene experts said last night that no exceptions should be made on religious grounds. Dr Mark Enright, professor of microbiology at Imperial College London, said: "To wash your hands properly, and reduce the risks of MRSA and C.difficile, you have to be able to wash the whole area around the wrist. "I don't think it would be right to make an exemption for people on any grounds. The policy of bare below the elbows has to be applied universally."

Dr Charles Tannock, a Conservative MEP and former hospital consultant, said: "These students are being trained using taxpayers' money and they have a duty of care to their patients not to put their health at risk. "Perhaps these women should not be choosing medicine as a career if they feel unable to abide by the guidelines that everyone else has to follow."

But the Islamic Medical Association insisted that covering all the body in public, except the face and hands, was a basic tenet of Islam. "No practising Muslim woman - doctor, medical student, nurse or patient - should be forced to bare her arms below the elbow," it said. Dr Majid Katme, the association spokesman, said: "Exposed arms can pick up germs and there is a lot of evidence to suggest skin is safer to the patient if covered. One idea might be to produce long, sterile, disposable gloves which go up to the elbows."


This will have the Australian Left frothing

But they wouldn't say a word if it were Ramadan that was involved

Kevin Rudd is under pressure from the Jewish community to change the date of his Australia 2020 summit which clashes with Passover. The Prime Minister has been accused today of inadvertently locking out the Jewish community from political talkfest by holding it during a period which is the Jewish equivalent of "Christmas or Easter."

The nation's peak representative body representing the Jewish community, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told The Australian Online today that it will lobby the Prime Minister to change the dates or develop alternative ways Jewish people can contribute. "We are not suggesting it was deliberate as opposed to inadvertent,'' President Robert Goot said. "(But) It is most unfortunate because regardless of your religiosity, the festival of Passover and in particular the first night of the festival is almost universally observed. It will preclude I would think practically anyone of the Jewish faith of attending. "I have written to the Prime Minister today pointing it out and seeing if it is at all possible to change the dates. But if not we are seeking an assurance that people who would have been invited but will be precluded will have the opportunity to make a contribution through alternative means."

The chief executive officer of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Vic Alhadeff said he was also concerned. "It actually is a problem simply because the Passover is one of the most solemn days on the Jewish calendar. It makes it very difficult for Jewish people to be present,'' he told The Australian Online.

Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield raised the alarm this afternoon attacking Mr Rudd's decision to hold his Australia 2020 summit during Passover as "insensitive and discriminatory". "Mr Rudd says he wants to 'bring into the tent those who have got ideas to contribute to these long-term challenges', yet he has chosen dates that will preclude most of the Jewish community from attending,'' Senator Fifield said. "The Rudd Government can hardly plead ignorance. Passover is listed on the Calendar of Cultural and Religious Dates on the Federal Department of Immigration and Citizenship's website. "It is simply unacceptable for the summit to proceed on these dates. Kevin Rudd must announce new dates that do not clash with important faith festivals or national events."

Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce said today the 2020 Summit risked degenerating into a Jerry Springer-style fight club. "I'm very dubious that 1000 people, if they're truly given the chance to have their say, are going to come with a conclusive co-ordinated position," he told the ABC. "I do perceive that what we will end up with is some sort of mutli-faceted hothouse gab session with an outcome very similar to Jerry Springer. "


Australia: Total leniency for a disgusting Muslim

Previous report here

A Brisbane judge spared him a criminal conviction so as not to jeopardise his future career, but the would-be doctor who tried to give an 11-year-old boy a penis massage might not be so lucky a second time. State Attorney General Kerry Shine is seeking a jail term for disgraced University of Queensland medical student Shakeel Mirza, who escaped with only 12 months probation over his attempt to molest the boy in February 2006.

A criminal conviction was not formally recorded after his defence lawyers successfully argued that a black mark against his name could prevent Mirza, 27, from getting a government Blue Card - or security clearance - allowing him to treat children in hospital. But at an appeal hearing in Brisbane's Supreme Court today, barrister for the Crown, Michael Copely described Mirza's punishment as "manifestly inadequate", and accused sentencing judge David Searles of "closing his eyes" to other sentencing options. He asked the court to resentence Mirza to 12 months' jail - albeit wholly suspended - and record a criminal conviction. "The offence was serious enough in itself, given the age disparity of the parties and the breach of trust," Mr Copely argued.

The Pakistani-born medical student had been appointed as a mentor to the 11-year-old boy under the Lions Club's "Aunties and Uncles" program when he tried to force his hands down the youngster's pants at the family's Brisbane home.

The court heard he had been rubbing the child's head to relax him when he offered to massage the child's penis instead because "it would feel better". The boy managed to fend off Mirza's advances. It was later suggested Mirza had been inspired to touch the boy after watching the comedy film Spaceballs, which had been playing in the room at the time.

Today, Mirza's defence barrister Brad Farr argued that in some cases, shame was enough to deter people from reoffending, and that a jail sentence - even a wholly suspended one - was not warranted. He also maintained that a criminal conviction would cast a pall over his client's promising future as a doctor. [As indeed it should!] The court has reserved its decision.



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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