The annual Leftist attack on Christmas has begun
British city dumps Christmas in favour of "WinterLight festival"
There will be something missing from Oxford's Christmas lights display this year - any mention of Christmas. Traditional themes are also being dumped in favour of a 25-metre high mobile of lanterns in the shape of the solar system. Organisers say the new two-month WinterLight festival will include events marking the Hindu Diwali and Jewish Hannukah festivals as well as Christmas. It also coincides with the start of International Year of Astronomy 2009.
But religious leaders in the city condemned the change. Sabir Hussain Mirza, chairman of the Muslim Council of Oxford, said: 'I'm really upset. Christians, Muslims and other religions all look forward to Christmas.'
Rabbi Eli Bracknell of the Jewish Educational Centre said: ' Anything that waters down traditional culture and Christianity is not positive for the British identity. WinterLight includes all festivals but it also conceals them.'
Reverend James Grote, of the John Bunyan Baptist Church, said: 'People are not offended by hearing each other's faiths.' But Ed Turner, deputy leader of Oxford council, said: 'We are not Christmas killers. There's no desire to downgrade its importance or prominence - there's still going to be a Christmas tree.'
Muslim chef sues London police after being asked to cook sausages and bacon for breakfasts
Sounds like he needs a job in a curry restaurant
A Muslim chef employed by the Metropolitan Police is suing for religious discrimination after he was asked to cook sausages and bacon for '999 breakfasts'. Hasanali Khoja accuses Scotland Yard of refusing to guarantee that he would not have to handle pork, which is forbidden in Islam. He said it was suggested he wear gloves when cooking pork products.
The 60-year-old claims the problem began when he was asked to move from his position as senior catering manager at Hendon Police College in North London, where he had been excused from touching pork. In his new role at the Empress State Building in West London, which is occupied by Metropolitan Police staff, he was expected to make '999 breakfasts' consisting of sausage, bacon and black pudding. The meal got its nickname because it is traditional for officers to insist on hearty fry-ups before starting their shift.
Mr Khoja, who joined the Met in 2005, said he was placed on special unpaid leave for a year after refusing to work without the guarantee he would not have to handle pork. He is now back at work at another Met building where he does not have to handle pork but has been downgraded to higher catering manager.
Mr Khoja, from Edgware, North London, said yesterday: 'I felt very unhappy about it. I was very upset and angry because it is not permissible in my religion. I was threatened that management would sack me if I did not follow instructions. But I never enrolled to cook pork. I refused to do it. I never did it and I never would.
'I had a letter from the human resources department saying that I would not be required to cook any pork. But this was not exactly what I wanted as a guarantee. The Met has shown no sensitivity towards my religion. Their response has been illthought and discriminatory.'
He added: 'My original contract did not include any kind of cooking. I was hired as a senior catering manager. 'I protested at the move and at having to cook pork. I was placed on paid special leave for a year. No Muslim in my position should have to face such harassment.'
Mr Khoja, who also sits on a Foods Standards Agency advisory committee on Muslim issues, is taking the Met to an employment tribunal which is expected to be heard next May. An informal agreement was reached in June excusing him from handling pork but Mr Khoja, who began his claim last year, wants it to be formalised.
His case is the latest in a string of race discrimination rows to engulf the Met in recent months, which contributed to the resignation of Sir Ian Blair. Britain's most senior Muslim officer, Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, has accused the force of racial discrimination and the National Black Police Association has urged people from ethnic minorities not to join.
Mr Khoja was originally represented by Dr Shahrokh Mireskandari, the controversial lawyer at the centre of the race war, but changed solicitors in August. His current lawyer Khalid Sofi said there was an 'important issue of principle at stake in Mr Khoja's case'. 'He has genuine and strong religious beliefs and expects that they will be accommodated,' he added. 'The Met is a very large organisation and could easily have met his demands. 'Mr Khoja's case raises the general question of the Met accommodating the needs of the Muslim community at a time when there is a lack of confidence in the police among Muslims.'
Mr Khoja is being supported by the Association of Muslim Police. The Met denies Mr Khoja's claim of religious discrimination. [Sounds like he WANTS them to discriminate -- in his favour]
British local council bans common expressions of Latin origin because they are 'elitist and discriminatory' and confuse immigrants
Bournemouth Council, which has the motto Pulchritudo et Salubritas - meaning beauty and health - has banned staff from using 19 Latin words Classics scholars have accused councils of 'ethnic cleansing' after they banned staff from using Latin words. The local authorities claim the terms are elitist and discriminatory, and have ordered employees to use often-wordier alternatives in documents or when speaking to the public.
Bournemouth Council, which has the Latin motto Pulchritudo et Salubritas - beauty and health - has listed 19 terms it no longer considers acceptable for use. They include ad hoc, bona fide, status quo, vice versa and even via. Its list of alternatives includes 'for this special purpose', in place of ad hoc and 'existing condition' or 'state of things', instead of status quo.
Mary Beard, a Cambridge professor of classics, said: 'This is absolutely bonkers and the linguistic equivalent of ethnic cleansing. 'English is and always has been a language full of foreign words. It has never been an ethnically pure language.'
Dr Peter Jones, co-founder of the charity Friends of Classics, said: 'This sort of thing sends out the message that language is about nothing more than the communication of very basic information in the manner of a railway timetable. 'But it is about much more than that. The great strength of English is that it has a massive infusion of Latin. 'We have a very rich lexicon with almost two sets of words for everything. To try to wipe out the richness does a great disservice to the language. It demeans it. 'I am all for immigrants raising their sights not lowering them. Plain English and Latin phrasing are not diametrically opposed concepts.'
Harry Mount, author of the best-selling book Amo, Amos, Amat and All That, a light-hearted guide to the language, said: 'Latin words and phrases can often sum up thoughts and ideas more often than the alternatives which are put forward. 'They are tremendously useful, quicker and nicer sounding. They are also English words. You will find etc or et cetera in an English dictionary.'
However, the Plain English Campaign congratulated the councils for introducing the bans. Marie Clair, its spokesman, said: 'If you look at the diversity of all our communities you have got people for whom English is a second language. 'They might mistake eg for egg and little things like that can confuse people. 'At the same time it is important to remember that the national literacy level is about 12 years old and the vast majority of people hardly ever use these terms. It is far better to use words people understand.'
Of other local authorities to prohibit the use of Latin, Salisbury has asked staff to avoid the phrases ad hoc, ergo and QED (quod erat demonstrandum), while Fife has banned ad hoc as well as ex officio.
Orthodox Jews fined and insulted for jaywalking in Melbourne, Australia
If they had been Muslims, all would have been fine, of course. You can't even laugh at Muslims, let alone be rude to them
Police are investigating allegations officers made "rude and inappropriate" remarks to Jewish women who flouted pedestrian crossing rules. Orthodox Jews are forbidden to touch anything electrical on holy days. Last month, two women were fined $57 each for crossing on a "red man" because their religion prevented them from touching the button at the crossings.
A Caulfield North woman was fined after crossing the intersection of Glen Eira and Hawthorn roads on the morning of Yom Kippur on October 9. Her $57 ticket has since been revoked. Nine days later a St Kilda East woman was fined for crossing at Hotham St and Alma Rd on October 18.
Police are now investigating the behaviour of officers who allegedly made rude and inappropriate comments to the women, and met several Jewish community leaders on October 28 to discuss the issue. Caulfield Insp Margaret Lewis expressed regret and concern over the incidents. She said the police investigation would take about a month.
Jewish Community Council of Victoria executive director Geoffrey Zygier said all Melbourne synagogues would be consulted to find out which intersections should have an automatic function on the Sabbath and Jewish festivals. State government, local government or the synagogues themselves would pay, he said.
Mr Zygier said he accepts police have a duty to look after public safety. "At the same time the Jewish community has religious obligations," Mr Zygier said. "We live in a multi-cultural society. "If we can make changes without inconveniencing others, I think that's fair enough."
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, OBAMA WATCH (2), 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 readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.