Friday, June 20, 2008

Muslim woman not given job as a hairdresser gets $8,000 for "hurt feelings"

Since people are not usually awarded large sums of money for hurt feelings, we have to assume that Muslim feelings are especially important. So whence equality before the law?

A Muslim woman has been awarded 4,000 pounds for "injury to feelings" after a hair salon owner refused to employ her because she wears a headscarf. Bushra Noah accused Sarah Desrosiers, owner of a trendy central London hair salon, of religious discrimination after she failed to offer her a job in May last year. A panel sitting at the central London employment tribunal dismissed her claim of direct discrimination but upheld her complaint of indirect discrimination.

Mrs Noah, of Acton, west London, applied for a job as a junior assistant at the Wedge salon in King's Cross. Giving its judgment, the tribunal said it accepted that Ms Desrosiers said that Mrs Noah lived too far away but was persuaded to give her an interview. But when the 19-year-old applicant arrived at the salon she claimed that the Canadian salon owner was clearly shocked by the fact she wore a headscarf.

Ms Desrosiers told the tribunal she was surprised that the younger woman had not mentioned it earlier. She said she needed stylists to reflect the "funky, urban" image of her salon and showcase alternative hairstyles. If an applicant had a conventional hairstyle she would insist that it was re-styled in a more "alternative" way, she said. After a 15-minute meeting she and Mrs Noah parted and both parties told the tribunal it was obvious that the 19-year-old would not be offered the job.

The panel refused an application by Mrs Noah for aggravated damages and rejected her claims that the episode had put her off hairdressing, finding that she applied for further salon jobs before deciding to retrain in tourism. But they did find that she had been badly upset by the 15-minute interview and awarded Mrs Noah 4,000 pounds damages for "injury to feelings".

In their judgment, the panel stated: "We were satisfied by the respondent's evidence that the claimant was not treated less favourably than the respondent would have treated a woman who, whether Muslim or not, for a reason other than religious belief wears a hair covering at all times when at work." But they also concluded: "There was no specific evidence before us as to what would (for sure) have been the actual impact of the claimant working in her salon with her head covered at all times. "We concluded that, on a critical and balanced assessment, the degree of risk, while real, should not be assumed to be as great at the respondent believed."

Ms Desrosiers, 32, said: "I feel it is a bit steep for what actually happened. It's really scary for a small business. "I never in a million years dreamt that somebody would be completely against the display of hair and be in this industry. I don't feel I deserve it." She said she still had not appointed someone to the job and had decided to "leave it for a while".


Almost 1000 days in hell - for what?

Reuters today reports yet another exoneration in the matter of Haditha: A military judge on Tuesday dismissed the case against the highest-ranking U.S. Marine charged in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha, whittling down the list of those who must still face justice for the 2005 killings to just the accused ringleader. Military Judge Col. Steven Folsom dropped all charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, who was accused of violating a lawful order and dereliction of duty.Folsom threw out the charges against Chessani after finding that a four-star general who oversaw the investigation was influenced by an investigator who later became his advisor.

The appalling Congressman Jack Murtha in 2006 found the Marines guilty of "murder" with zero evidence, and did so on the national stage: "Who covered it up, why did they cover it up, why did they wait so long?" Murtha said on "This Week" on ABC. "We don't know how far it goes. It goes right up the chain of command."."I will not excuse murder, and this is what happened.This is worse than Abu Ghraib."

Haditha happened in November 2005. The Haditha Massacre entered the lexicon shortly after that, as a result of irresponsible, biased reporting in TIME Magazine and the MSM, and irresponsible, biased accusations like that by Congressman Murtha, all apparently in the service of an anti-war agenda with no consideration for the actual servicemen fighting actual battles with their lives at risk.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani and his comrades have suffered nearly 1000 days in hell from this persecution for no good reason whatsoever - and to the detriment of our armed services and the fine men who protect our freedoms. Who will give them back the three years of their lives that our enemies in Iraq, with the help of our media and Congress, have taken from them?


The Unity Weapon

Next time you hear a liberal politician speaking, check your watch and count the seconds until you hear a call for unity. The problem -- we're told -- is that we are divided, and consequently, more interested in fighting than in solving problems. Barack Obama offers a good, if somewhat self-congratulatory, example from a speech he gave after winning the North Carolina primary election -
"'s possible to overcome the politics of division and distraction; that it's possible to overcome the same old negative attacks that are always about scoring points and never about solving our problems."
The idea of "unity" has emerged as a potent talisman for Left. Much the same way a charge of racism bring things to a screeching halt, unity and divisiveness (its evil counterpart) are used with great effect to stifle inconvenient conversations across America. How reasonable are expectations of unity? Why should it be essential that we come together and work toward solutions? As often the case when we travel through the looking glass into left wing politics, almost everything on the topic is exactly opposite of what a rational person might assume.

Unreasonable Expectations of Unity

Morality: Calls for unity are frequently heard in the context of issues concerning religious morality. Opposition to abortion and non-traditional marriage are both often characterized by the Left as "wedge issues", as if religions dating back several millennia were specifically crafted to provide talking points in some 21st century political contest.

The term "wedge issue" is noteworthy. What exactly does this mean? The fact that there are two separate opinions on a subject and a politician is attempting to clearly distinguish his or her position on such is supposed to be a bad thing? Isn't that the point of politics? Isn't this the point of freedom of speech, debate, and assembly?

Another oft-heard complaint is that the opposition is inflexible and not open to compromise. The fallacy here is that every issue has a middle ground in which the Left and right can meet without surrendering their principles. In our own checkered past of slavery and Jim Crow is it not a blessing that the abolitionists and civil rights protesters were unwilling to seek that "middle ground"? Does anyone, in hindsight, look back fondly on the Missouri Compromise?

More often than not, when religious citizens have agreed to compromise the "end-point" of negotiations becomes nothing more than a way-station from which to launch further demands after a brief intermission in the debate. This dynamic is clearly evidenced by the evolution of California's Domestic Partnership laws into a, previously unknown, constitutional right to marriage.

Ideological Unity: As well as demanding unity on issues of faith, liberals are also often outraged at divisions of an ideological nature. This statement on Illegal Immigration policy from Barack Obama's website illustrates the point :
"Barack Obama has played a leading role in crafting comprehensive immigration reform. Obama believes the immigration issue has been exploited by politicians to divide the nation rather than find real solutions."
Note the use of language. People who do not agree with Mr. Obama's immigration policies are "exploiting" the issue to "divide" the nation -- as opposed to Barack Obama who is interested in finding "real solutions". To disagree with him is to "exploit" and "divide," which is nothing more than respectable code for hurling the r-word.

Scientific Consensus: Al Gore has a lot to say on this subject. The following screed aimed at the so-called "global warming denier" sums it up nicely:
"The debate is over! There's no longer any debate in the scientific community about this. But the political systems around the world have held this at arm's length because it's an inconvenient truth, because they don't want to accept that it's a moral imperative."
By definition, expecting unity in matters of science violates the core principles of the scientific method. Although theories can be generally accepted, they are only as strong as their ability to refute alternative hypothesis. There was once a strong "scientific consensus" for the idea that the Earth was the center of the universe. The preposterous notion that the planets revolved around the Sun was as far from the mainstream as you could get, and divisive. Too ancient an example? How about the scientific consensus surrounding racial classifications and eugenics which were popular in Europe and America in the 20's and 30's? Seems unthinkable today but these were mainstream opinions, backed by a healthy majority of biological and social scientists.

The idea that skeptics to all, or part, of the theory of anthropogenic global warming should just fall in with the rest of the crowd is a great disservice to renegades like Copernicus and Galileo who rejected the prevailing consensus to advance what - at the time - were very radical ideas.

Reasonable Expectations of Unity

There are at least two areas where an expectation of some degree of political unity is appropriate: solidarity in times of war and standards for citizenship and national identity. In both cases the Left's previous demands for unity fall away to leave nothing but the rustling of grass and the sound of crickets. In these cases we are told that not only is it an unreasonable expectation, it is indeed their duty to speak out. Presto chango -- a wedge issue becomes "the highest form of patriotism".

Unity in a Time of War: It is not fair to ask citizens living in a free country to keep their opinions to themselves in the run up to a war. This is usually a period of great debate with legitimate differences of opinion, tactics, and ideology on all sides. Clearly this is no time to call for unity.

The same cannot be said of a country which is currently engaged in a conflict. Unless the war in question is thoroughly barbaric and wrong, (think Hitler in Poland or the Japanese in Nanking), the reasonable expectation is to present a united front. This does not mean that all citizens agree with every tactic, or even the majority decision to fight. It means that once you've committed to the course of action you do your best to pull together and win.

Obviously there is always a role for reasonable criticism and self-examination, (i.e., Abu Ghraib, or rethinking tactics prior to the surge), but it should be done within the context of a country that is united in winning the conflict. This license has been radically expanded, reaching points -- as in the case of the New York Times publishing sensitive details of previously effective anti-terror programs -- arguably just short of treason.

Unity of Identity as Americans: The motto on our coins -- E Pluribus Unum -- says it all. Roughly translated as "Out of Many - One," it is a sentiment which has served us practically as well as poetically. For almost 200 years, it was unquestioned that immigrants would cede allegiance to their country of origin and adopt the language, customs and culture of America. No one expected them to forget where they'd come from, but clearly it was well understood that assimilation was the desired end point. Immigrants chose to come here and were allowed in with varying numbers. Americans generally welcomed them, providing they too loved and appreciated the country that had offered them shelter and opportunity in their time of need.

Somewhere around 1965 Liberals began attacking this social contract. The rise of multiculturalism with its emphasis on the left side of the hyphen, (i.e., Mexican-American), and its relentless balkanization of the country into hostile competing camps has recast one of our great societal assets as an oppressive form of subjugation.

Despite their uninterrupted calls for the rest of us to forgo our inherent racism, in the end it is the Left which is incapable of seeing the world through any other lens. Their 21st century tribalism is about as far as you can get from unity, and it's a great loss for all of us, because this unity -- unity as Americans -- is much more than an empty campaign slogan. E Pluribus Unum is the promise of America, a country, which for all its flaws and shortcomings, is still more a shared ideal than any geographic location or common ancestry.

For all their talk of unity as a value, liberals employ it selectively and strategically to advance positions which are far from inclusive. On issues of faith and policy the left-wing hand wringing around "divisiveness" often amounts to nothing more than a gag order for those they don't agree with. In the intersection of science and public policy the term "scientific consensus" is used with similar designs to stifle minority opinion, (which if unfounded would ultimately be discredited through the rigors of the scientific method anyway).

Conversely, when we consider the cases where political and social unity is a reasonable expectation in our society, liberals will have none of it. Patriotic support in a time of war is routinely mocked and derided, with those choosing to do so referred to as ignorant or brainwashed. The same is true of calls for assimilation and shared culture which are characterized as nativist or xenophobic. There's no unity on the question of unity in politics and society.


Leading Jewish Rabbi on a Mission to Stop Jerusalem "Gay Pride" Parade

Rabbi Levin believes that the key to success is for the Vatican to speak out strongly in opposition to the homosexual parade and "for all the religions to unite in defense against the attacks from the homosexual network."

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, Special Emissary of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, who represents over 1,000 Orthodox Rabbis in the United States, has informed LifeSiteNews that he is in Jerusalem on a special mission - to "stop the desecration of the Holy City by homosexual activists, who insist on having a public parade to celebrate depravity through the city streets."

Rabbi Levin says he believes that the key to the success of his mission is for the Vatican to speak out strongly in opposition to the homosexual parade and "for all the religions to unite in defense against the attacks from the homosexual network." Rabbi Levin has been one of the Culture of Life's greatest advocates and has been named one of the ten most influential personalities by the magazine Inside the Vatican.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Rabbi Levin explained what should be done to "stop the homosexualization of the Holy Land." He first pointed to a 2006 international and interreligious conference, during which Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the then-Apostolic Nuncio to Israel, signed an agreement with the Chief Rabbinate's office stating they would work together to prevent any distasteful public displays and parades that would deeply offend people of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths, who revere Jerusalem as a Holy City.

The new Apostolic Nuncio of Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, again honored this agreement later in 2006, after Rabbi Levin had a meeting with him to discuss the agreement. "He was extremely warm and very interested in helping with the issue," explained Rabbi Levin.

Archbishop Franco wasted little time demonstrating his opposition to the homosexual parade in Jerusalem. Not only did he speak out against the parade, Franco visited the mayor of Jerusalem to request the parade be cancelled. He didn't stop there, however. A few days later he sat in on a sub-committee hearing of the Israeli parliament and voiced his opposition to the parade.

Despite these efforts, which Rabbi Levin says he was very impressed by, the Rabbi believes more needs to be done. "The problem is that support for the parade is getting stronger and it is coming from more places. One year ago the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that homosexuals have the right to march in Jerusalem no matter how offensive this is to religious people of all faiths," explained the rabbi.

Rabbi Levin is now invoking the Vatican to speak out strongly against the homosexual parade. "We request that the Vatican not only honor the letter of the agreement, but also, and more importantly, the spirit of the agreement, in order to do the right thing for the Holy Land," said Rabbi Levin.

He also expressed the importance of doing so with "strong, undiplomatic" language. "Speak out not in politically diplomatic terms but in strong undiplomatic terms, and speak out how negative this parade is in the Holy Land and how it is negative to all believers, whether Christian, Muslim or Jewish. Condemn the parade in the strongest possible language," exclaimed Rabbi Levin. The rabbi is also requesting the Vatican to "go to the President of Israel, who would be quite impressed given a request by the Vatican to do something about this parade and show how offensive it is."

The rabbi explained that during his political campaign, President Shimon Peres, needing the support of a religious party, had signed a petition with the Shas religious party, pledging his opposition to the homosexual parade. Rabbi Levin has contacted two prominent members of the Catholic Church in an attempt to have these requests met. "I am reaching out to the Vatican and, specifically, to Father Peter Gumpel, to assist in the effort to ban these Gay desecrations of the Holy City of Jerusalem." Fr. Grumpel, a Jesuit, is considered one of the Vatican's leading intellectuals. The rabbi also contacted Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who is now the Apostolic Nuncio of the U.S., to request he honor the agreement he signed. Rabbi Levin concluded by expressing the need for all faiths to combat not only the homosexualization of Jerusalem, but of the world.

The rabbi explained that after a meeting with the Pope, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia spoke on the importance of "interreligious dialogue" between the three states: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Rabbi Levin said, "This indicates the possibility of finding commonality of values between faiths." "This is a win-win situation. The Muslim world is strongly against the homosexualization of the Holy Land and the Middle East, and this view is, and should be shared with Christians and Jews."

In closing, Rabbi Levin reiterated this request: "I represent the Rabbinical Alliance of America, which includes over 1000 orthodox rabbis. We are requesting the Vatican to come out with a strong statement to specifically address and advance the dialogue that the King of Saudi Arabia is suggesting in the aftermath of a meeting with the Pope."

"This is a natural progression and we [the three states] need to reach this issue now and all stick together against the homosexualization of the Holy Land, and say this must be stopped. The major religions and the faithful around the world can advance this dialogue in a prominent and positive way and create a buzz here," he concluded.



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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