Friday, 3 April 2009

Mail hypocrisy on religious symbols

So a school bans someone from wearing a symbol of their religion for health and safety reasons and it is brilliant.

Another school bans someone from wearing a symbol of their religion for health and safety reasons and it is an outrage.

Can you guess where this is going?

Well the Daily Mail website is at time of writing leading with a story of a Muslim woman who was banned from parents' evening at her son's school because she was wearing a veil. The story says:

The 34 year old was refused entry on health, safety and security grounds with the headteacher stating visitors' faces should be visible at all times.

The headteacher is quoted saying: 'the difficulty would be if a number of ladies wearing veils were free to wander the corridors or rooms', thus re-inforcing the views of Mail readers that all Muslims are up to no good.

And the comments are exactly as you expect, repeatedly saying 'good' and 'about time' and 'when in Rome...'

Now step back a couple of years. 12 January 2007. And a Daily Mail story that begins:

A Catholic schoolgirl was asked not to wear a crucifix on a chain because it breached health and safety rules, her father said today....Her father, Danny Devine, 30, of Canterbury Street, Gillingham, told the Medway Messenger: "It's just political correctness gone absolutely mad. It's a harmless crucifix and she wears it as a symbol of her religion.

The comments are indignant stating: 'Claiming the issue is about Health and Safety just makes the School look silly' and 'Another load of PC gone mad'.

Of course there have been plenty of other stories like this - such as this 12 year old banned from wearing a chastity ring, which isn't even a proper religious symbol, just a faddish fashion item made popular for schoolgirls by the Jonas Brothers. Or this story which includes in the headline the direct comparison between a chastity ring and 'Muslim and Sikh symbols' despite the clear difference between them.

But the Mail loves running stories like this because, for their twisted agenda, it is further 'evidence' that Christianity is under attack.

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