Thursday, April 07, 2016

Air France: Female Crew Not Wanting to Comply With Islamic Dress Code Can Decline to Fly to Iran

Air France management agreed Monday that any female crew member not wanting to comply with Islamic dress code once the airline resumes long-suspended services to Iran this month may opt out of working on the route.

The decision came after an uproar over the airline’s directive that air hostesses wear long trousers with a long jacket – instead of knee-length skirts – on flights to Tehran, and that during stopovers in the country, “outside the bedroom, women must wear a scarf and a wide and long garment to conceal their shapes.”

Air France said all international airlines flying to Iran expect staff to comply with Iranian law regarding women covering their hair, but that in talks with staff unions it has agreed to allow dissenting female pilots or stewardesses to choose not to work the Paris-Tehran route.

Unions had called the directive an invasion of privacy and an attack on individual rights, and urged the French women’s rights minister Laurence Rossigno to intervene.

Rossigno did so – the French government owns 17.6 percent of Air France-KLM – and the matter was resolved on Monday.

“In Iran, the law stipulates that all women present in the country have to wear a headscarf covering their hair in public places,” the airline said in a statement. “This obligation does not apply during the flight and is respected by all international airlines serving the Republic of Iran.”

“Tolerance and respect for the cultures and customs in the countries served by the airline are part of the fundamental values of Air France and its staff.”

But in order to respect the “personal values” of every female staff member, it said, “when a stewardess or female pilot is assigned to a flight to Tehran, Air France will offer them the possibility to choose not to fly to Tehran and work on a different flight.”

“They will have to inform of their decision to refuse to wear the headscarf in line with a specific procedure beforehand.”

A staff union, Union des Navigants de l’Aviation (UNAC), welcomed the decision, but said it regretted that it required media coverage and the minister’s intervention to resolve concerns that had been raised for more than four months.

The three-times weekly service to Tehran will resume on April 17 for the first time since Air France suspended the route in 2008 in line with international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear activities.

In France, a liberal, secular state which along with Germany has the largest Muslim community in Europe, the subject of Islamic dress code has long stoked controversy.

The government banned headscarves and other religious accouterments in public schools and government offices in 2004, a decision which brought condemnation from mainstream Islamic organizations, but also from extremists, with al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden calling it part of “a Zionist-Crusader war” against Muslims.

In 2010, France passed a law banned the wearing in public of any full face-covering clothing.


Stacey Dash Backs Little Sisters and Religious Freedom Against Obama

In a recent blog post on Patheos, actress and Fox News contributor Stacey Dash condemned the Obama administration for targeting religious organizations through its HHS contraceptive-coverage mandate saying that protecting religious freedom “seems like a pretty simple and fundamental right to me.”

“You will never guess who the Obama Administration’s latest target is?” asked Ms. Dash in her blog. “The Little Sisters of the Poor.”

On March 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument over a group of cases collectively called Zubick v. Burwell concerning “[w]hether the HHS contraceptive-coverage mandate and its “accommodation” violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing religious nonprofits to act in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs, when the government has not proven that this compulsion is the least restrictive means of advancing any compelling interest.”

“Yes, really,” stated Ms. Dash. “The President and his bureaucratic allies have decided to challenge the religious freedom of a group of nuns who have devoted their entire lives to caring for impoverished elderly people around the world” and who “simply want to be able to live out their faith and not be forced to violate their consciences.”

Stacey Dash criticized Obama for implementing a rule that “force[s]” nonprofits like the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide “birth control that works similarly to abortion.”

“It seems like a pretty simple and fundamental right to me,” said Ms. Dash. “Is he [Obama] going to make the Muslims eat pork so the pig farmers don’t go out of business?”

Suggesting that Americans of all faiths should "want to protect the rights of the Little Sisters to live out their faith," Stacey Dash concluded by praising the Little Sisters of the Poor for taking a stand for the religious freedom rights of all Americans in the highest court of the land:

"One thing is for certain, though. The Little Sisters of the Poor are amazing women who are quite literally being the hands and feet of Christ. I am glad that they are standing for what they believe in and are demanding religious freedom for all Americans!"


Another Biblically Historic Find Provides Evidence of Mary Magdalene’s Existence

A real biblical site, a real woman, and a real faith, all rooted in history. That’s what we learn from the archaeological dig at Magdala.

If there were a prize for the least-understood yet incredibly-important person in the Bible, it would probably go to Mary Magdalene. I suspect that more people “know” that she was a prostitute—which is based on a misreading of Luke, chapters 7 and 8—than the fact that she was the first witness to the Lord’s resurrection.

Recent archaeological discoveries are shedding a much-needed light on the life and times of this vital biblical character.

Ten years ago, the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame Jerusalem Center decided to build some guest houses in the Galilee region. The site they choose was near the Israeli town of Migdal and the former site of an Arab town called Al-Majdal.

As the names suggest, the area was associated with the ancient city of Magdala, from which Mary Magdalene got her biblical epithet. Still, no one expected to find the actual Magdala, much less the kind of evidence that told us anything substantial about the biblical heroine.

But that’s exactly what they got.

During a mandatory, albeit cursory, examination of the site by the Israel Antiquities Authority, diggers struck something hard, which they thought was a bench. It was not a bench. Instead, it was part of a first century synagogue, one of only seven such remains ever to be found in Israel.

What’s more, they found a coin dating from 29 A.D., during the reign of the emperor Tiberius. Sound familiar? This is the time of Jesus’ public ministry, and since Jesus was active in the area—Capernaum was only five miles away—we are talking about ruins and artifacts that may have been associated with Jesus himself. Dina Gorni-Avshalom of the Authority told the New York Times that there was “circumstantial evidence” of Jesus having been there.

Judging by the evidence, Magdala was a prosperous town. It was the center of the fishing industry in the region, with an infrastructure to match, and it exported fish to as far away as Rome itself. The synagogue reflected this prosperity. It was, in the words of Smithsonian Magazine, “opulent” for its time and place.

It contained murals and frescoes, and “an ornately-carved stone block” that was probably used for reading from the Torah. In fact, the stone appears to be a miniature version of the temple in Jerusalem.

The prosperity of her hometown, and presumably Mary herself, sheds light on Luke 8, where Mary Magdalene and several other Galilean women are said to have provided for Jesus and His disciples “out of their resources.”

Father Eamon Kelly of the Jerusalem Center, who recently appeared with me on the “Eric Metaxas Show,” has suggested that after the first Easter, this synagogue may have become the home to a congregation of Jewish Christians. He cites, among other things, the fact that it is located on the outskirts of Magdala rather than in the center of town.

The find at Magdala is yet another reminder of the historical nature of Christian faith. The Christian story of the Word made flesh, who lived and died as one of us and rose on the third day, may sound “mythic,” but it happened in actual history.

And, as the evidence from places like Magdala attest, the Gospel accounts faithfully reflect this history. Magdala was a real place that produced a real woman named Mary who probably had the wherewithal to support Jesus in his ministry and follow him all the way to Calvary.

That being the case, it’s reasonable to believe the Bible when it tells us that the story didn’t end there


Australia: 'It's offensive': Men and women forced to sit SEPARATELY at Sydney Muslim conference - and attendees must buy tickets stamped 'male' or 'female'

An influential Muslim group is selling sex-segregated seating for a major conference next month, with male and female tickets being sold separately for the event.

Channel 7 reports that the United Muslims of Australia (UMA) has organised the Quest for Success conference in Sydney and they confirmed that those attending it will be separated by their gender.

This comes after radical Muslim political party, Hizb ut-Tahrir, were found guilty of discriminating against women after making them sit at the back of public meetings last month.

The issue came to a head during a public meeting in Western Sydney, where men were seated at the front, but women were made to sit at the back of the room.

Anti-discrimination campaigner Alison Bevege believed that the decision to separate men and women in this way at the Sydney conference next month was ‘offensive’.

‘It’s just as offensive to split women from men side to side as it is to split black people from white people from side to side,’ Ms Beverage said.  ‘It's appalling, it's a step back for women's inalienable right to equality.’

The price range for tickets makes no attempt to hide the segregation with an early bird male ticket costing $50, non-discount male ticket $70, and male student $35. Separate female tickets are available in the same price range.

On the Quest For Success website it states that the UMA is one of the largest Islamic youth and community based organisations in Australia, which has been running for more than 15 years.

It said the foundation was founded on traditional Islamic principles and focused on providing quality spiritual, social, educational and recreational programs and activities for the continued development of the Muslim Community within Australia.

‘We are excited to announce that the 2016 UMA Conference - Quest for Success - will focus on the journey of seeking success in this life and the hereafter,’ the website said.

‘The event will feature inspirational international and local guest speakers to share their vast range of insights, experiences and advice on how this goal can be attained by developing a blueprint for Muslims individually, within the family environment and the wider community.’



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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