Monday, July 30, 2007

Muslim Workers at Nebraska Meatpacking Plant Complain of Religious Harassment

Supervisors at a meatpacking plant have fired or harassed dozens of Somali Muslim employees for trying to pray at sunset, violating civil rights laws, the workers and their advocates say. The five- to 10-minute prayer, known as the maghrib, must be done within a 45-minute window around sunset, according to Muslim rules. The workers at the Swift & Co. plant in Grand Island say they quit, were fired or were verbally and physically harassed over the issue.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has drafted a complaint to be filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The petition compiles testimony from at least 44 workers who had planned to sign the complaint during a meeting Sunday. The signing was changed to a later date because of a logistical problem.

Jama Mohamed, 28, said he was fired in June for leaving a production line to pray. Supervisors would not allow him a break, he said. "Some of them took the (prayer) mat from me; they started shouting, they started telling me to stop it, and one of them grabbed me by the collar of my shirt," Mohamed said through an interpreter. "I was crying at the time this was happening to me, and when I finished I told them while they were doing that I was in the middle of a prayer." Mohamed said he was then called to an office, where a supervisor fired him. Mohamed Rage, chairman of the Omaha Somali-American Community Organization, said Swift had fired at least two dozen workers for praying since May.

Donald Selzer, an attorney for Greeley, Colo.-based Swift, said only three Somali workers were fired for reasons relating to the issue, and that it was for walking off the line without permission, not for praying. Unscheduled breaks can force unplanned shutdowns of lines, Selzer said. "That is a significant number of employees, and there is not much of a way to accommodate that consistent with keeping the production online," he said.

The complaint reprises issues that boiled over in May, when 120 Somali workers abruptly quit for similar reasons. About 70 returned a week later, but union officials worried the issue would resurface through the late spring as sunset came later in the evening shift.



"Mein Kampf" is one of the dozen or so books I keep in front of me on my table where I do my writing. I even read it sometimes. It is a very important document for conservatives to read -- showing as it does how close in thinking Hitler was to modern Leftists -- including the antisemitism, of course

Horst Moeller, a leading German historian, has called for the book to be published openly for the first time since 1945. The Bavarian state authorities own the copyright to Hitler's writings, but maintain an effective ban by refusing all requests to print it. Officially, the book cannot be bought in Germany, Israel, Norway or Switzerland. It is illegal to own it in Austria and to sell it in the Netherlands. But the book is available for sale in the US and Britain, as well as through internet bookshops. About 3,000 copies are sold every year in the UK.

Mein Kampf is the central defining text of racial hatred, a lurid, paranoid diatribe founded on the lie of Aryan supremacy. It is not only evil but amazingly badly written, being repetitious, anti-factual, rambling and turgid, the testimony of a furious, self-pitying failure with a slender grasp on reality and none whatever on grammar. It was a huge bestseller: each newly married couple, graduating student, and soldier at the front was presented with a copy by the Third Reich; Hitler earned more than $1 million a year in royalties. It is wicked rubbish, at once stomach-turning and soporific; everyone should read it, once.

Holocaust survivors are understandably unhappy at the prospect of a book that caused such bloodshed becoming freely available once more in the country that gave birth to Nazism. Yet whatever sympathy one may feel for those who suffered, no book should be banned, however pernicious. Allowed to fester in the dark corners of neo-Nazism, Hitler's ideas continue to hold a spurious glamour for the twisted few: held up to the light, they shrivel. In treating this disease, exposure to fresh air is always more effective than quarantine.

Some argued as much from the beginning. William L. Shirer, the American journalist and historian who covered the rise of the Third Reich, suggested that if Hitler's ideas had been more widely disseminated and understood outside Germany in the 1930s, then the world might have taken action in time to stop him.

The Times was right to publish extracts from Mein Kampf in 1933; the publisher Hutchinson was brave and right to issue a cheap wartime edition in order that British people might better understand what we were fighting for, and against. And Mr Moeller is surely right to argue that Germany has now left the spectre of Nazism so far behind, that it can trust itself to read Hitler's creed without fear of reinfection.

Quite apart from the issue of free speech, there is the practical consideration that book-banning is virtually impossible in the internet age. The Nazis themselves tried, and failed, to ban and burn the "degenerate" books they feared, and in the process lent those works underground status. Today any neo-Nazi with half a brain (rather more than the usual complement), can download Mein Kampf and feel aggrieved and special for having to do so in secret.

The copyright of Mein Kampf in Germany will expire in 2015, and then German publishers will be free to publish it. How much better, then, to produce a cheap, scholarly, annotated version in German now, with a commentary comprehensively debunking it. That would be a mark of moral courage, a demonstration that Germany has come to terms with its past and can look on the evil of Nazism with confident disdain instead of a lingering fear.

Mein Kampf is a historical relic that has retained its power to horrify: it should be preserved and exhibited in the same way as Auschwitz, the killing fields of Cambodia and Holocaust museums everywhere. Germany has struggled to explore and understand its own history with an honesty that stands as a beacon to other traumatised nations, from South Africa to Iraq to Northern Ireland. Hitler's apologia for mass murder is a painful but necessary part of that story. It should be published, and damned.


UK Catholic Church Agency to Cease Adoption Work As Government Forces Homosexual Adoption

Catholic Care, a leading British Catholic adoption agency announced this week that it will cease operations in light of the recently imposed requirement that they must allow children to be adopted by homosexual partners. Catholic Care is the first of the religious social agencies to announce that it can no longer operate under the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SOR's) that proponents claimed would put an end to "discrimination" in the UK.

According to the Daily Mail, the agency, in operation for a century, announced that a vote of its trustees decided to end its services that had placed about 20 children a year into new families. The decision from Catholic Care came a week after the Catholic bishop of Lancaster, Patrick O'Donoghue wrote a letter to Catholic Caring Services, an adoption charity in his diocese, saying that the needs of the child must come before the desire for parenthood. The Daily Mail quotes him saying, "I favour rejection, thus withdrawal from adoption and fostering from December 2008 if all else fails." "We know that what is best for children is to live with married couples. Dilution of that harms children. Children who stay with married parents do by far the best, whilst those with same-sex couples often fare badly, and certainly never as well as a child with a married couple."

In April, when the Labour government passed the SOR's, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims and other religious and ethics groups were united in condemning the move, calling it a means of imposing state-sanctioned secularist doctrine on religious groups orchestrated by the gay lobby. In the weeks leading up to the passage of the secondary legislation, the media was in an uproar over the possibility that adoption agencies run by the Catholic Church might or might not be granted an exception to the law on religious conscience grounds.

Cormac Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales warned that the Church would be forced to end its involvement in adopting children rather than comply with what he saw as a law that suppressed religious freedom. A similar decision was taken earlier by Boston Catholic Charities that ended its adoption services in March 2006 when the state of Massachusetts tried to force them to adopt children to homosexual partners.

In the end, Tony Blair, who was said to have been waffling on the issue, decreed that the Church, or any other group, would not be granted any exemptions but that an "adjustment period" would be granted for such bodies to come to terms with the new order.

Homosexual partners have been eligible to adopt children in Britain since 2002 and most non-religious agencies allow it. But the SOR's took the issue to the next phase in forcing religious agencies to allow it against their stated religious principles. Catholic Care served both Catholic and non-Catholic couples.

In comments to the BBC in the spring, Murphy O'Connor said the SOR's were part of a movement to force Christians out of public life in Britain. "Here the Catholic Church and its adoption services are wishing to act according to its principles and conscience and the government is saying: 'No, we won't allow you to ... you have no space, you have no place in the public life of this country.'"


Milestone in Reaching a Colorblind America

Black Group Hails Prohibition of Race and Sex Preferences in Transportation Funding Bill

Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie is hailing a historic congressional vote that prohibits federal funds from being used by the Department of Transportation to create "regulations based on race, ethnicity or sex." Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) introduced the amendment to H.R. 3074 on July 24. The bill appropriates funds for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development for the coming fiscal year. The amendment was almost immediately passed by a voice vote.

"Representative Walberg has displayed the character and leadership long sought from our elected leaders, said Massie. "The task for the citizenry must now be to watch closely that the race-obsessed in Congress do not mitigate the will of the people."

In presenting his amendment, Representative Walberg asked: "Do we really need affirmative action for roads?... The federal government should never view any American as part of a group, rather than as an individual. By granting the Department of Transportation the ability to discriminate based on race or sex, this House would essentially create affirmative action for our nation's highways."

Project 21's Massie added: "Like Neil Armstrong making his first moonwalk, this is a small step for Congress but a giant leap toward creating a truly equal and colorblind nation. It would be shameful for Speaker Pelosi and her cohorts to try to defy the will of the House of Representatives and strip out this amendment behind the scenes."



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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