Thursday, March 16, 2006


A police force that broke sex and race discrimination laws with its recruitment policy has paid an undisclosed sum to a disappointed job applicant who was rejected solely because he was a white man. Avon and Somerset police discarded nearly 200 applications from young white men after a recruitment drive last year to give greater opportunity to women and ethnic minority candidates. It claimed that white males were “over- represented” on the force. Colin Port, the Chief Constable, admitted last week that it had been unlawful for the force to select applicants solely on the grounds of race and sex.

Yesterday the force confirmed that it had reached an out-of-court settlement with a rejected candidate who had taken his case to an employment tribunal. The settlement could now open the way to claims by the other 185 who were turned down. The payment was made last week to Ralph Welsman, of Bristol. Mr Welsman’s solicitor, Jennifer Andrews, said: “We are pleased that Avon and Somerset police has admitted that they discriminated against Mr Welsman. The law is there to protect everyone from being subjected to discrimination. “There are instances where organisations want to ensure that their workforce is representative of the local community to meet the needs of the public. “If this need is justified there are ways of doing this within the law. Avon and Somerset police acted outside these legal boundaries.”

In a statement, Mr Welsman said: “I am happy that the police have admitted that they were wrong to discriminate against me on the grounds of race and sex.” Avon and Somerset police rejected suggestions that Mr Welsman had received as much as £25,000 but refused to disclose the figure.

Nearly 800 people applied for 180 vacancies at Avon and Somerset police but 186 of those from white men were rejected at the first stage on the grounds of their race and sex. White women subsequently filled 49 per cent of the 180 posts, black and ethnic- minority males 4 per cent and ethnic-minority women 1 per cent.

The Police Federation and the Commission for Racial Equality condemned the force’s employment policy. Mr Port said last week: “It was not, and has never been, our intention to discriminate against anyone who applies for a position with Avon and Somerset Constabulary. At the time we considered that this represented an untried and untested area.” The policy has since been scrapped


Verbal Sidearm

By Katrine Winkel Holm in Denmark -- making the point that it is the LEFT who are the "Islamophobes"

ISLAMOPHOBIA. A new, often used word. An effective verbal sidearm: That's Islamophobia, they say, and the attacker is checkmate, for a while at least. Maybe it's time to turn that weapon against those who use it. That is what this article intends to do.

But first: What does it really mean? Literally, it simply means fear of Islam. In my opinion there may be good reasons for such a fear. Just ask Salman Rushdie or Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But in the context in which the self-proclaimed euro-islamist Tariq Ramadan uses it, it means a clinical fear of Islam. A delusion, in other words, because the implicit contention of Mr. Ramadan is that it is not reasonable to fear Islam. Islam can easily be reconciled with Democracy and Freedom of Speech. Islam is a religion of peace, not a religion of violence. If we assume that that is true, the mystery seems to be why lately there have been so many who advocate limiting the Freedom of Speech on account of Moslems' feelings. Why do members of PEN want to make a law to protect religious minorities - Moslems - "against defamation due to their religion."

Why does EU-Commissioner Franco Frattini want to introduce a self-regulating set of rules to European media to hinder Freedom of Speech from being abused?

Why does Javier Solana state that he will do his utmost to prevent publication of further cartoons of Muhammed? Why do grey-haired law professors suddenly become advocates of strengthening the moldering blasphemy law? Why do leftist intellectuals take special care not to offend Islam, when they have so far not shown such consideration to Christianity? My guess is this: because they are afraid. Because the embassy burnings, the boycott, and the frothing curses which have hailed down upon our country have filled them with fear. Fear of Islam. They have met a steely determination - and yielded. THEY are the true Islamophobes.

Christianity, whose founder was a peaceful king of donkeys who rejected all secular power, he has not enjoyed the same respect in leftist intellectual circles. Georg Brandes said that he was filled with the most livid hatred of Christianity and since his time it has been considered good manners to criticise and scoff at holy men. As long as they were Christians. As long as they were harmless and easy to laugh at.

Now another kind of holy men have arrived in Europe, a kind that doesn't accept that their prophet is ridiculed. "All who accuse Islam of being a violent religion shall be decapitated." So said a placard at a Muhammed-demonstration in London. And in spite of the inherent humor of such a statement, the meaning of it can easily make Europeans who value their life reconsider their priorities.

Isn't it, on further reflection, better to respect than to criticise Islam? And the uncountable - in their own opinion fearless - members of the R‚publique de Lettres join in this Islamophobic childrens' logic. Their bile is, at no cost to themselves, poured upon Fogh and his coalition, whom they know have neither the will nor the opportunity to harm them. But in dealing with Islamism they walk softly indeed. They're screaming at mice and grinning at wolves.

Take, for instance, the Historian of Religion Tim Jensen, who after the embassy burnings proclaimed on the TV2/Nyhederne news programme that in the future he would be more delicate in dealing with the Quran than he had been in the past - now that he knew how offended Moslems can get. Tim Jensen is a true Islamophobe. What is more: The reactions from Jensen, Solana, Frattini and the members of the PEN club are proof in themselves that there is reason to fear Islam. Theirs IS a reaction of fear. What they are really saying is that Islam is not dangerous - if you're careful. Special consideration must be shown, special restriction must be put in place, especially respectless individuals must be silenced, because if the Europeans aren't careful, the Islamists of Europe might become dangerous.

Such a reaction to the growing Islamist threat can only be called this: Cowardly lack of civil courage. Defeatist Islamophobia. But, am I not an Islamophobe, then? If Islamophobia equals fear of totalitarian Islam, I will wear that badge proudly. But I am not so scared that I can't admit to being scared. And I am not so scared that I dare not criticise the intellectual terror of Islamism - to borrow a phrase from Fay Weldon.

When one is faced with a threat as dangerous as Islamism, there are two basic ways in which one may react. One can try to resist it and refuse to be subdued. Or one may try to accomodate it, make concessions to it in the hope of dampening its wrath and its dangerousness. The former reaction can be called the Churchillian reaction, the other the Chamberlain reaction.

Our Prime Minister has - thank God - chosen the Churchillian reaction, the Islamophobes have chosen the Chamberlain reaction. Islamist-appeasement is what is practiced in the modern environs of Brussels. It's lack of energy and fear that is the mark of the leftist intellectuals who daren't unanimously stand firm in defense of the our liberties. Islamophobia and then some, a reaction which, considering the circumstances, brings with it mortal peril.

That is why it is time to say to leftist intellectuals; Niels Barfoed, Mette Winge and Tim Jensen: Be Men, stop this defeatist Islamophobia and show will to resist the Islamist threat.

When is Free Speech Too Free?

By Jim Paine

The point has been made before, but bears frequent repeating: If radicals are proud enough of their opinions to share those opinions with a public group, why are so many radicals outraged when those opinions are broadcast to a wider audience?

The first thing to happen, for example, when 'geography teacher' Jay Bennish's anti-American rant was made public was an attack from Bennish's attorney on Sean Allen, the high school student who recorded and then publicized Bennish's 20-minute in-class diatribe. If Bennish were courageously Speaking Truth To Power, why then was he so eager to condemn the agent of that Truth's broad dissemination? And parenthetically, is anyone besides me just a tad tired of the phrase "speaking truth to power"? The phrase implies brave speech in the face of terrible retribution, but what retribution has Bennish faced? He's back teaching classes, albeit with the apparent promise to present both sides of whatever argument he's discussing (what a huge concession; I had always assumed-wrongly, it turns out-that that was the responsibility of every educator).

Ward Churchill has often made the same complaint, claiming repeatedly that he was speaking to a specific group of people (as if Truth is different to different subsets of humans-truth is truth, despite Pilot's rhetoric, Bennish's malice, or Churchill's demagoguery), or claiming that he was misquoted out of context, or simply claiming that whatever he "performs" in public is his property and cannot be re-broadcast without his permission (it's as if Elijah-or if you prefer, Cassandra-put a copyright notice on each of their prophesies to prevent unauthorized repetition; of course, in Cassandra's case, that might not have been bad advice).

Even the most unobservant observer can see that in both of these cases, with both of these demagogues, they wish to prevent the broad dissemination of their rants for the very simple reason that their reasoning as well as their conclusions, when exposed to the "critical thinking" they claim to value so highly, falls apart like the philosophical house of cards it is. It's one thing to assert that the US is the most violent nation on earth in the history of mankind to a group of tenth-graders (in Bennish's case) or a group of wannabe-anarchists (in Churchill's case); it's quite another to see that assertion published on the front pages of the nation's newspapers where it can be torn apart quite vigorously by people who aren't looking for a good grade (in the case of Bennish's students) and who aren't looking for a rationalization for their self-hatred (as in the case of Churchill's anarchists).

Educators of the Bennish/Churchill ilk should welcome the free press given to their beliefs. If their conclusions are valid, then a much larger group of people will be exposed to that truth, and they'll be that much closer to the goal of their Just Cause.

Of course, they might also be ridiculed and shunned as lying, manipulative little goebbels. But that's the risk they take in the "free exchange of ideas" they would have us believe they worship.

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