Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christian Worker Sues London Airport After Unfair Dismissal and Harassment From Islamic Fundamentalist Colleagues

A woman who used to work at London’s busy Heathrow Airport is suing her former employers claiming that she and other Christian staff at the airport were victims of systematic harassment because of their religion. The Telegraph reports Sunday on Nohad Halawi who is suing for unfair dismissal from the airport she worked at for 13 years:
“She claims that she was told that she would go to Hell for her religion, that Jews were responsible for the September 11th terror attacks, and that a friend was reduced to tears having been bullied for wearing a cross.”

Christian Concern reports that Halawi was fired following ” unsubstantiated complaints by five Muslims about her conduct.” Halawi had persistently complained to management over personal religious abuse and harassment from the Islamic staff, who even mocked her about “shitty Jesus.“ Halawi claims that complaints against her were made by a small group of ”extremist” Muslims, and that there is now a great fear among employees that their jobs could be at risk if the small group turns on them.

“This is supposed to be a Christian country, but the law seems to be on the side of the Muslims,” Halawi told the Telegraph.

The Telegraph notes that the case comes as Christian groups in the country have continued to complain about their treatment in comparison to Muslims:
“Her case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, who say it raises important legal issues and also questions over whether Muslims and Christians are treated differently by employers.

It comes amid growing concern among some Christians that their faith is being marginalized and follows calls from Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, for Christians to be given greater legal protection in the wake of a series of cases where they have been disciplined or dismissed for practicing their faith.”

The paper points to recent examples of alleged discrimination at Heathrow, including a Jewish businessman who has complained about being repeatedly singled out by Muslim security staff for full-body scans. In addition to discrimination, Christian Concern notes that Halawi’s allegations, if true, raises questions about the influence of Islamic fundamentalism at Heathrow Airport and issues of national security.

Halawi, who came to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, emphasized to the Telegraph that she claims to have always got along well with Muslim colleagues, but the atmosphere has changed as a growing number of employees are espousing to “fundamentalist Islam.”

In May, five of her Muslim colleagues had complained to the trading manager at World Duty Free where she sold perfumes at a commission-based pay position, that Halawi was anti-islamic. She had described a Muslim colleague as an allawhi, which means ‘man of God’ in Arabic. A heated argument broke out when another worker overheard the remark and thought she said Alawi, which was his branch of Islam. Following the complaints Halawi was suspended and then told to withdraw her security pass in July.

A petition was signed by 28 of Halawi’s colleagues, some of them Muslims, arguing that she has been dismissed on the basis of “malicious lies.” Despite this, Halawi has not been reinstated.


British firms to be freed from elf 'n' safety red tape in bid to release us from nannying state

Ministers will today unveil plans to overhaul Britain’s ‘nannying’ health and safety culture which has held business back for decades. Employment Minister Chris Grayling will announce that one million self-employed people will be exempt from health and safety red tape – drastically reducing the amount of paperwork they have to complete.

There will be stringent curbs on local authority health and safety inspectors, to make sure they do not step beyond the law in imposing burdens on business.

Between a third and a half of all regulations relating to health and safety in the workplace will be scrapped, and the law which makes employers liable for almost any accident their staff may have will be axed.

The reforms are proposed in a report by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt of King’s College, London. Current rules are estimated to cost firms hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

Last night Mr Grayling said he would be using the findings to push the European Union to reduce the number of health and safety directives which affect Britain when they are reviewed in 2013.

He said: ‘I start from the principle that health and safety is about saving lives and stopping serious injury in the workplace. It is not about interfering in the running of decent businesses.

‘We want to put greater responsibility on the individual for their own conduct, rather than assuming that the employer has to nanny them in all circumstances.’

Mr Grayling said his reforms would lift the burden on the self-employed from health and safety red tape, giving them ‘substantial exemptions’ from rules if they run a business that does not put anyone at risk. At present, even a person running an online company from home has to fill in reams of paperwork, such as risk assessments.

Mr Grayling added: ‘We want to get back to the situation where health and safety isn’t seen as a laughing stock – and is seen for what it should be: an important part of the management of high-risk locations. ‘What you don’t need is silly rules that apply to charity shops, having to produce vast risk assessments. We want a balance of responsibility – if you do something stupid, you can’t just blame your employer.’

He blamed health and safety rules for putting pressure on police authorities not to let their officers take risks, for fear of prosecution. ‘The Metropolitan Police not being able to do something heroic because of health and safety rules makes no sense to me,’ he said. ‘This is about making Britain a much better place to do business in.’

A spokesman for the Institute of Directors said: ‘Health and safety regulation has gone too far. Our members tell us they feel forced into activity which doesn’t benefit them or their staff, out of fear of breaking rules that defy common sense.’


The Real Prison Industry

I've long thought the notion of a prison-industrial complex to be laughable left-wing nonsense peddled by Marxist goofballs and other passengers in the clown car of academic identity politics.

For those who don't know, the phrase "prison-industrial complex," or PIC, is a play on the military-industrial complex. The theory behind PIC is that there are powerful forces -- capitalist, racist, etc. -- pushing to lock up as many black and brown men as they can to maintain white supremacy and line the pockets of big-prison CEOs and shareholders with profits earned not just from the taxpayer but from the toil of prison-slave labor.

Self-described "abolitionists" in the anti-PIC cause seek to get rid of prisons altogether. Indeed, they want to abolish punishment itself. That goes for murderers, rapists and pedophiles.

"People who have seriously harmed another need appropriate forms of support, supervision and social and economic resources," explains the website for Critical Resistance, the leading outfit in the "abolitionist" cause. In other words, if Penn State's Jerry Sandusky is found guilty on all counts, he doesn't deserve prison; he deserves "support, supervision and social and economic resources."

Personally, I think that is just bat-guano crazy. Still, the state of our prisons has become something of a scandal. We have more prisoners today than we have soldiers, and more prison guards than Marines.

Our prisons have become boot camps for criminals. That's one reason why I'm sympathetic to Peter Moskos' idea to bring back flogging. A professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Moskos argues in his book, "In Defense of Flogging," that flogging -- aka the lash -- is more humane than prison and much, much cheaper. He suggests that perpetrators of certain crimes -- petty theft, burglary, drug dealing -- be given the option of receiving one lash instead of six months in prison.

Before you shrink from the cruelty of the proposal, ask yourself which you would prefer: six lashes or three years in jail?

Moskos' motive is to reduce the size, scope and influence of prisons while keeping them around for the people who truly must be locked up: murderers, rapists, terrorists, pedophiles, etc. I might disagree with where he would set the ideal size of our prison population (I think incarceration rates have reduced crime more than he does), or how many lashes criminals should get, but he makes a compelling case, and his objective is reasonable.

But it's not an objective shared by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA). This was the outfit that essentially destroyed then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempt to fix the state budget.

In a state where more than two-thirds of crime is attributable to recidivism, CCPOA has spent millions of dollars lobbying against rehabilitation programs, favoring instead policies that will grow the inmate population and the ranks of prison guard unions. In 1999, it successfully killed a pilot program for alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders. In 2005, it helped kill Schwarzenegger's plan to reduce overcrowding by putting up to 20,000 inmates in a rehabilitation program. It opposes any tinkering with the "three strikes law" that might thin the prison rolls.

According to UCLA economist Lee E. Ohanian in a illuminating paper for The American, "America's Public Sector Union Dilemma," California's corrections officers have exploited their monopoly labor power to push policies that will expand the prison population and, as a result, the demand for more guards who just happen to be the best-paid corrections officers in the country. That's why, contrary to what the Marxist sages would expect, they've successfully kept privately run prisons out of the state.

Meanwhile, incarceration costs in the essentially bankrupt state are exploding. California spends $44,000 per inmate, compared with the national average of $28,000. A state prison nurse exploited overtime rules to earn $269,810 in one year.

Also contrary to left-wing expectations, these policies have been implemented not so much by the hard-hearted captains of industry and their Republican lackeys, but by a Democrat-controlled state legislature lubricated with donations from a powerful public-sector union.

The system is now up for much-needed reform thanks to a court order mandating that California fix the prison mess. Gov. Jerry Brown, whose 2010 gubernatorial campaign received more than $2 million from CCPOA, has been forced to figure something out.

Still, I suppose I owe the folks in the clown car at least a small apology. They're still nuts, but they're right about the existence of a prison-industrial complex. They were just looking in the wrong direction.


EU could ban orchestras from using cow gut for violin strings

They are lauded as some of the greatest works of European culture. But even compositions by the likes of Bach, Vivaldi and Purcell aren’t safe from the Brussels busybodies.

Performers warn it may soon be impossible to play such music as the composers intended it to be heard because of EU rules restricting the manufacture of traditional cow gut instrument strings. Brussels has got involved over fears that musicians could catch ‘mad cow disease’ from the strings.

Specialist musicians play violins and cellos with such strings to replicate the musical sounds of 1650 to 1750. However, strict controls on raw materials from cows are threatening the centuries-old technique of making their instruments.

Campaigners say that to catch mad cow disease, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, from strings from an infected animal, you would need to swallow several yards of them.

Carolyn Clarke, of manufacturer Bow Brand, of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, said: ‘The gut is bleached and varnished in string making so it poses no risk to humans. ‘And why would anyone chew on a harp string?’

Violinist Viktoria Mullova, who has a 1750 Guadagnini violin with gut strings, said banning such strings ‘would be like telling pop stars they couldn’t use microphones’.

Among those potentially affected is the British-based European Union Baroque Orchestra. A spokesman said: ‘It would be catastrophic if gut string production ceased. We would have to close. Gut strings are essential to our music.’

The gut string craft is regulated by controls brought in a decade ago. Some makers were granted EU dispensations allowing them to continue but the rules were toughened again in 2009 and fears for the industry were sparked earlier this month when leading Italian manufacturer, Aquila Corde, was told its dispensation had ended and had not been renewed.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or 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.


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