Handshakes – How to bring the Met to the yard?


by SajiniW
23rd January, 2007 at 2:09 pm    

The Met’s latest dilemma is a female Muslim police officer refusing to shake hands with their very own head honcho.

The reason for this refusal? Faith. (She clearly hadn’t read this little gem before meeting him.)

The unnamed officer was granted the exemption at a passing-out ceremony where new recruits met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

Her refusal was based on her view that her faith prevented her touching a man other than her husband or a close relative. The call of duty, according to Sheikh Ibraham Mogra from the MCB and the recruit herself, is one where social courtesies give way to professional ones.

“If she has to resuscitate a dying person, Muslim law will then change and allow her all sorts of physical contact because a life is at risk and life is so precious. Muslim law isn’t set in concrete, after all”.

This is the third in a series of Muslim-related incidents for the Met, the former being an officer who refused to serve outside the Israeli embassy, the latter being a rather embarrassing report detailing how Muslim officers are more ‘culturally-inclined’ towards corruption in comparison to their white counterparts.

I’m of the opinion that Scotland Yard have more pressing matters to attend to such as the recently-introduced ‘quota’ system for recruits. Textual evidence reveals that nearly all the 7000 recruits requested for London’s targets will have to be from ethnic/sexual minorities.

Since recruitment is slow, and violent crime is on the rise, I’d like to know why the police have chosen to discourage white, straight males from applying when crime-prevention is supposed to be their number one priority?


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  1. Jagdeep — on 23rd January, 2007 at 2:14 pm  

    God, even I am starting to get a persecution complex, and I’m not Muslim. It’s relentless.

  2. They say a human being’s first responsibility is to shake hands with himself
    But you cannot shake hands with a clenched fist
    When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her
    And most importantly, don’t shake hands with someone that’s just pissed

  3. Anas — on 23rd January, 2007 at 2:21 pm  

    Textual evidence reveals that nearly all the 7000 recruits requested for London’s targets will have to be from ethnic/sexual minorities.

    Does that mean people into water sports and being tied up? I thought there were enough of them in the police force.

  4. Jagdeep — on 23rd January, 2007 at 2:22 pm  

    Does that mean people into water sports and being tied up? I thought there were enough of them in the police force

    hahaha Anas you made me laugh, you bastard

  5. SajiniW — on 23rd January, 2007 at 2:24 pm  

    In today’s Sun, a rather high-handed male columnist wrote that white heterosexual male applicants were told they’d have better luck if they were gay.

  6. Rik Mayall made a prat of himself not so long ago by saying you’d have better luck selling a script to telly if you were a black handicapped lesbian than if you were a straight, white guy

  7. SajiniW — on 23rd January, 2007 at 2:31 pm  

    Rick Mayall also called his former co-star who had a nervous breakdown a c*nt.

  8. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 2:36 pm  

    I’m not bothered by the handshake thing. But I aslo saw she refused to appear in the photocall after the parade as she “didn’t want it being used for propaganda purposes”. So on the whole I deduce that either her loyalty is a tad suspect, or that she despises the police and everything they stand for. Of course now if they sack her, they’ll create an even larger and more absurd scene – which begs the question why wasn’t she weeded out during training or ideally during recruiting?

    I honestly believe the Met is so desperate for female muslim officers that even the terminally useless or rabid Met-haters will be hand-held through training to get them in. Then, of course, they’ll be fast tracked for promotion.

    Should make for some entertaining policing in a few years time.

  9. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 2:39 pm  

    Oh, and I don’t care if Rik Mayall eats pies made from fluffy kittens and his neighbours babies. Because he’s brilliant.

  10. Rik Mayall, Vic Reeves, Ben Elton

    Who’s the odd one out?

    Two of them used to be funny, one was always a twat

  11. Jagdeep — on 23rd January, 2007 at 2:45 pm  

    Square, which one of those three was funny?

    As for Rik Mayall’s comment re: black handicapped lesbians, well it’s good to see that middle agd white luvvies are getting as big a chip on their shoulders as their black and asian counterparts!

  12. sonia — on 23rd January, 2007 at 3:39 pm  

    so she’s not going to be much use as a police officer then is she – ooh sorry can’t arrest you love – can’t touch your hands or anything.

    :-)

  13. mirax — on 23rd January, 2007 at 4:10 pm  

    I refer to both the schoolgirl niqab controversy and the female PC who won’t shake hands with blokes but graciously declares she will administer the kiss of life *if necessary* ;-)

    To me it looks like many of you progressives have not woken up to the fact that these ‘religious’ challenges will continue and in fact increase in number.

    Unlike the French and us, here in Singapore, you failed to learn from others’ experience and thus neglected to draw the line at the start of it all : the hijab. Well you’ve had the jilbab court challenge, now the niqab (heh, if the council/school can afford the legal challenge!), soon a schoolkid or teacher will also refuse to shake hands or work with or learn certain subjects with males. Have fun pussyfooting your way around these! Meanwhile, muslim girls in places like Singapore are just roaring ahead with their education/life in all their bareheaded glory – full kudos to them!

    It is a funny little point how it is always the muslim female who suffers all these modesty/faith quandaries and controversies, isn’t it?

    Then there is this beauty of a quote :

    Sheikh Ibraham Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain, said people should not be alarmed by the officer’s beliefs and that Muslim law “was not set in concrete”. He added: “If the officer is called to a male victim who has been shot, the laws go out of the window. If she has to resuscitate that dying person, Muslim law will then change and allow her all sorts of physical contact because a life is at risk and life is so precious. Muslim law will say, ‘forget everything, save this life’.”

    Islamic law respects emergencies where the saving of life is the paramount consideration? Right! Those schoolgirls who were forced back into a raging inferno by the religious fuckwit police because they hadn’t their headscarves (in Mecca a few years ago) were all a figment of my imagination then. Carry on then, have a special niqab’d tactical squad while you are at it.

  14. sonia — on 23rd January, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    heh, since it would be down to interpretation at the moment of crisis, one would hope the officer would agree with mr. mogra’s point of view and act accordingly. so i guess some might think it was a bit hit and miss since you wouldn’t know till the moment of crisis…

  15. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    I didn’t know all we progressives supported the Hijab?

    BTW Singapore is a real racial paradise in schools and public life:

    http://www.interculturalrelations.com/v1i3Summer1998/sm98fuller.htm

    http://aaron-ng.info/blog/racism-in-singapore-the-sequel.html

    Yes you’ve certainly found the holy grail.

  16. Jagdeep — on 23rd January, 2007 at 4:35 pm  

    The thing I don’t get is that she objected to being photographed with her fellow police academy graduates because it could be used as ‘propaganda’ — what a curious word to use. I mean, surely that’s what every graduating class does. And even if it was to be used as PR, so what? Nothing wrong with pictures of happy smiley faces, brightens up the day, encourages people to apply. But when she says propaganda, it sounds paranoid, political, as if the police are a shameless entity brainwashing the masses, it makes it sound as if she is at war with them in the first place.

    Anyone else get what I mean?

  17. Jagdeep — on 23rd January, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    Unlike the French and us, here in Singapore, you failed to learn from others’ experience and thus neglected to draw the line at the start of it all : the hijab

    Believe me, the line is being drawn with the niqab and burqa, in fact a consensus is being reached across court and society that that is where the line is.

  18. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 4:44 pm  

    I get what you mean Jagdeep. Plus I do find this not touching strangers nonsense. Where are these edicts coming from. How is a woman supposed to participate in public life? Bizzare.

  19. Chairwoman — on 23rd January, 2007 at 4:53 pm  

    It appears to me that the lady may have had a political agenda to start with, and has now made her point.

    I have some concerns as to how she will apprehend, subdue, search and handcuff a male prisoner, as that does not usually come under the life saving heading.

  20. Anas — on 23rd January, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

    Unlike the French and us, here in Singapore, you failed to learn from others’ experience and thus neglected to draw the line at the start of it all : the hijab.

    Presumably you’d also support the accompanying ban on the turban in schools which would be a real factor given that the UK has a very substantial Sikh population? See, it wouldn’t just be the nasty, female-repressing, shariah law quoting Muslims that’d have their rights severely curtailed.

    Also, from what I’ve heard Singapore is an extremely authoritarian society — where potentially repressive legislation is far more likely to be implemented with fewer challenges — and you can’t exactly hold up the French attitude to race relations as exemplary. So some not very good examples there, Miraxx.

    And, Islamic law isn’t some monolithic set of doctrines and agreed interpretations. A lot of Muslims would see the Saudi interpretation of Shariah as just plain wrong.

  21. Anas — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:04 pm  

    Oh it says here that Sikhs are allowed to carry on wearing turbans to school in Singapore:
    http://www.prohijab.net/english/singapore-hijab-news.htm

    Still, I think there’d be more of an outcry here if the hijab ban were implemented without a more general ban on “prominent” religious symbols. This isn’t Singapore after all.

  22. Jagdeep — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:08 pm  

    Yeah, the Singapore example is just bollocks, THANK GOD we don’t live in a society that authoritarian.

    Most hijab wearing girls are not about to wear the niqab and they do very well at school in the UK, better than white girls (when their parents let them which is not always the case)

  23. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:19 pm  

    I agree with Chairwoman, this stinks to me. How could she possibly have done her training without interacting with male colleagues? I reminds of the story of the teacher:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/6050392.stm

  24. ZinZin — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:23 pm  

    She won’t be making the best use of those handcuffs.

  25. Jagdeep — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:23 pm  

    Very ideological.

  26. ZinZin — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:29 pm  

    How is she going to use those handcuffs?
    Does this mean she has to wear glove if an arrest has to be made?

  27. She would be allowed to sit on him. According to the holy book, a woman may sit, kneel and even lie flat, on a man if she mistakes him for a prayer mat

  28. Refresh — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:38 pm  

    Could it be the story is being hyped and a lot of the stuff is tagged onto it to shock?

    There is more to this than meets the eye. As there have been with so many before. Anyone investigating this?

    The class photo being used for ‘propaganda’ gives the game away a little.

    Don’t believe all you read and only half of what you see. (Neil Young I think).

  29. mirax — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:39 pm  

    Wow, so much ignorance and arrogant kneejerk responses at the single mention of S’pore setting an excellent example in the area of banning hijabs in schools! Note please that an so so inferior authoritarian state can get some things right : a pretty good education system and doing right by its female citizens. That doesn’t make me a cheerleader of the death penalty or signify my approval of other political shenanigans but I realise that some of you simply have no other argument.

    Anas, there is religious accomodation with Sikhs and muslims on a number of issues – due to colonial practice mainly. So sikh boys wear turbans and bangles, muslim boys/men knock off early from school/work for Friday prayers, schools all provide halal food (but no prayer rooms), muslim girls can wear track pants for phy ed classes instead of shorts but that’s pretty much it. There are a few madrassas (privately run, with some government funds) where girls can wear the hijab but i seriously think that even those don’t allow the niqab, or at least i have never seen a single such instance.

    Oh the muslim population is over-representated , compared to its population, in the police force and a female pc who refused to shake hands with the head honcho or pose for a photo would be unthinkable. Makes you think doesn’t it? Do you reckon it is so because there are sensible muslims around or tis all them being cowed by the evil repressive singaporean government?

  30. Jagdeep — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:44 pm  

    LoL @ Kismet

    Refresh, not all of these things are pure hype. Seems to me that some ideologically minded people are deliberately pushing things.

  31. El Cid — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:50 pm  

    I’m against the niqab and burka, but then you know that.
    What I don’t know anymore is what a progressive is supposed to be.

  32. Refresh — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:54 pm  

    Jagdeep, I agree not all is pure hype. But doesn’t it strike you as odd that the phrase ‘propaganda’ should come into it?

    If its ideological then they would and should not be in the Police.

    If she is willing to salute and not so shaking hands – presumably that’s ok. I note from the header she had some sort of dispensation. That request, granted, must have alerted whoever it was to leak the info.

    So someone else must have a reason for the leak.

    Correct me if I am wrong, even the story of the PC protecting the Israeli embassy was hyped. (I think I picked that up on PP somewhere in the last few days).

    Another one, The Sun has RETRACTED its story of the 4 soldiers who were scared off by muslims from renting a house somewhere down south.

  33. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 5:55 pm  

    MIRAX: Have you ever wondered that that the belief structure of malay Islam is very different than that of the ones represented in EU. Actually its a form of Islam that is a lot more tolerant, and that’s primarily due to Malay culture. You seem to be also be forgetting that Singapore and France hide much cultural and racial strife in their countries by ignoring the problems. If there are any problems in Singapore, you can bet the Strait Times won’t print it! UK is dealing with its issues in the open and in front of a tabloid feeding frenzy and debate, something that does not exist in Singapore. Plus whilst I completely disagree with the girl, let her present her case, and let the courts decide. The depth of the problems seem larger here because of the intense scrutiny. If France’s flash mobs (to do with hidden unemployment and resentment) last year are anything to go by, maybe I prefer the British way.

  34. mirax — on 23rd January, 2007 at 6:36 pm  

    >>MIRAX: Have you ever wondered that that the belief structure of malay Islam is very different than that of the ones represented in EU. Actually its a form of Islam that is a lot more tolerant, and that’s primarily due to Malay culture.

    Malay culture built on a substratum of a millenium- long buddhist, hindu and animist history and strong matriachal society.

    Bit rich asking me if I have ever ‘wondered’ about Malay Islam’s tolerance you berk! I bemoan its disappearance over the last two decades, along with its artforms, graceful, sexy femine dress(you only really realise how ugly and soul destroying the hijab and niqab are if you’ve actually seen what they replaced!), matriachal customs and laid back attitude. Arabised, fundamentalist bullshit so amply demonstrated by the two stories today is what is killing the traditional tolerant islam in SE Asia.

    >> You seem to be also be forgetting that Singapore and France hide much cultural and racial strife in their countries by ignoring the problems.

    There isn’t cultural, racial strife in Singapore to the extent you presume (after your quick google research). There is racism and some cultural tension as in all places but seriously it has not left people like me psychically debilitated or defensive like so many of you Brit Asians. So just what was the big brother brouhaha last week all about?

    >> If there are any problems in Singapore, you can bet the Strait Times won’t print it!

    If there are problems in Singapore critical of the ruling party, the ST, nor any other paper, won’t print it of course. We have no free press and a compliant judiaciary, so we are pretty fucked up in many important respects, so we are at a disadvantage. But there are informal, less organised channels of information and discussion and free accesss to international media and travel , so don’t start feeling so sorry for us yet.

    But I made a simple point about the hijab ban in schools, is that one issue so really inextricably tied to EVERYTHING ELSE THATS WRONG WITH SINGAPORE? A mite defensive aren’t you?

    >>UK is dealing with its issues in the open and in front of a tabloid feeding frenzy and debate, something that does not exist in Singapore.

    Oh so now you think a tabloid frenzy is a positive thing afterall? Good for you. I must have been misled by refresh’s and anas’ posts.

    >> Plus whilst I completely disagree with the girl, let her present her case,

    at taxpayers’ expense, but I think that a worthy expense IF there was going to be an end to it with a definitive ruling to help all schools instead of a cop out and hence the interminable attrition of further cases.

    >> The depth of the problems seem larger here because of the intense scrutiny. If France’s flash mobs (to do with hidden unemployment and resentment) last year are anything to go by, maybe I prefer the British way.

    Ah but you do have rioters, underachievement and unemployment and extremists too. Maybe France is rejoicing that its citizens have not carried out a suicide bombing in central Paris.

  35. Jagdeep — on 23rd January, 2007 at 6:39 pm  

    Miraxx, you really have a way with words.

  36. raz — on 23rd January, 2007 at 7:43 pm  

    jagdeep,

    “Believe me, the line is being drawn with the niqab and burqa, in fact a consensus is being reached across court and society that that is where the line is”

    Yes I would agree with this. In my experience, most people in the UK have no problem with hijabs, but have serious problems with burkas. There is a real difference in attitude towards the two different garments. I don’t agree with either hijab or burka, but I am willing to tolerate a woman’s right to wear the former, but the latter is unacceptable in my opinion.
    mirax,

    “It is a funny little point how it is always the muslim female who suffers all these modesty/faith quandaries and controversies, isn’t it?”

    Well I would agree, but I have to say, regrettably, that increasingly it is Muslim women themselves who are causing trouble by making these kind of foolish demands (e.g teacher who wants to wear a burka, or this police woman). Sad but true.

    BTW, do you have any pictures of this “graceful, sexy feminine dress”? Maybe modeled by you? ;)

  37. mirax — on 23rd January, 2007 at 8:13 pm  

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/staffordshire/6290281.stm

    Rather refreshing to know that there are some kids who care about getting a good education!

    Hi Raz! Going to bed now, will try to rustle up some pics t’morrow.

    #34 Jag, being snide? I am such a lazy writer.

  38. Don — on 23rd January, 2007 at 8:22 pm  

    ‘…there had been complaints over school uniforms and body piercing.’

    Blazer, tie and Price Albert was good enough for me; kids today will make a fuss about anything.

  39. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 9:03 pm  

    “There isn’t cultural, racial strife in Singapore to the extent you presume (after your quick google research).”

    HAHAHA I’ve lived in Singapore for 7 years, so suprisingly I know the various cultures pretty well. I used to live in Clemente, so I’m well aware of the racial tension in Singapore and how the police will shut anyone up by just slaming you in jail if you stand with outside with your friends if they don’t like the look of you. So don’t patronise me with your crap, about how there is no tensions, as there is serious deiscussion at all! After all there is shopping to be done.

    You constantly bang on about the evil ‘muslim’ and you’t can even differentiate between the various opinions within Singapore itself. As you beamoaning its demise, well surprisingly I actually share your opinion, if you actually read anyone’s posts here you’d see NO ONE agrees with Wahabbi fundamentalism! This argument is being fought out right now, and that doesn’t mean have to drop Islam or just become suicide bombers. There is a little gray patch, and top-down authoritarian approaches may be popular in Singapore, and you may approve the many over here don’t!

    And yes there should be a precendent set, I was surprised that there was not one set. Nonetheless hopefully with close scrutiny and bottom-up consultation, maybe a resolution will be set.

  40. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 23rd January, 2007 at 9:04 pm  

    Believe me, the line is being drawn with the niqab and burqa, in fact a consensus is being reached across court and society that that is where the line is.

    How very true. I Noted that Jack Straw had glowing referred to an Imam that said something like “The nijab is optional but the Hijab is complusury”. Cheers Jack! Does his mean that any Muslim women not wearing a Hijab not call herself Muslim then? Thanks for helping us draw the line on where it should be acording to opinons sactioned by the UK Government.

    TFI

  41. El Cid — on 23rd January, 2007 at 9:20 pm  

    TFI,
    Surely you can tolerate the hijab and the immam’s right to say that it is compulsory? It’s not for non-moslems to comment is it — unless, as in the case of the b & n, it is socialy divisive and impinges on other people’s rights. And if moslems have a problem with his comments, surely that’s their battle to fight.
    Jack is trying create a middle ground that includes conservative/traditional moslems — wassa problem?

  42. Don — on 23rd January, 2007 at 11:08 pm  

    Bit harsh on the hijab, TFI. It can be quite a fetching garment (especially when worn over tight jeans – can’t just be me). But I think that the term can be properly applied to modesty in dress rather than a specific garment, in which case there could be a sense in which the immam is right – the religion does enjoin modesty of dress.

    So a muslim woman dressed revealingly would be breaking a fairly basic rule, as would a christian who covetted his neighbour’s ass.

    But the word ‘compulsory’ has implications, doesn’t it? It implies sanctions and someone to apply them. I suppose if all it means is being told you’re a bad follower and you aren’t welcome in the place of worship until you mend your ways, fair enough. Not much point in belonging to a religion if you don’t follow the rules, Islam in particular.

    But is that all he means? How much compulsion is involved here (I mean beyond the compulsion applied by any parent of a teenage girl over what is reasonably acceptable)? It’s all very well you or I deciding how we feel about the hijab, the point is how do the wearers feel about it?

    But back to the point. The copper. Who won’t shake hands with her boss, won’t have her photo taken with her colleagues and speaks darkly of propaganda. And that’s her first day. If it really is as simple as the newspapers make it sound, which is unlikely, then the Met are seriously messing up as they scramble after arbitrary targets upon which budgets depend. Like many of us.

    But even if only the central point – the handshake refusal – is true, being a copper is a getting-your-hands-dirty job; physically, emotionally, morally. I don’t want to pay someone to police my streets who has esoteric dilemmas over physical contact. I’m not saying they should be enthusiasts for it, but it is a large part of what you sign up for.

  43. Sunny — on 23rd January, 2007 at 11:51 pm  

    I think I’m with Refresh on this. Any story hyped up by the Sun and Mail, based on scant evidence, is suspect. The whole ‘PC refused to guard Israeli embassy’ also turned out to be a sham.

  44. Anas — on 24th January, 2007 at 12:40 am  

    Mirax my point above was that the kinds of measures that can be passed in a country like Singapore that is ruled in an authoritarian fashion, and where the individual is used to having his/her freedoms curtailed, would have a very hard time here, in a country that puts far greater emphasis on the rights of the individual — at least I hope so. Anyway, sometimes living in a (relatively) free society means that the tax payer has to stump up every so often so that every one gets a fair chance.

    BTW, I think the suicide bombings had more to do with the UK’s foreign policy than internal issues around race relations, but that’s another argument altogether.

  45. sonia — on 24th January, 2007 at 12:35 pm  

    don’s got good points in his post. and yep, there’s definitely a lot of hyped up crap in all these media stories, that’s for sure.

  46. Anas — on 24th January, 2007 at 12:54 pm  

    post #43, re: the point about this country’s greater emphasis on rights and liberties, well maybe that’s changing:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6290867.stm

  47. Jagdeep — on 24th January, 2007 at 1:33 pm  

    BTW, I think the suicide bombings had more to do with the UK’s foreign policy than internal issues around race relations, but that’s another argument altogether

    Less to do with foreign policy versus race relations than foreign policy and the kind of ideology and hate mongering extremism independently inside modern Islam promoted by the kinds of dickwads featured in last weeks Despatches programme and that lots of people are in denial of with their heads in concrete. But that’s another argument altogether lets not go down that road.

  48. I think it’s all to do with what’s going in what I like to refer as ‘the middle east conflict’

  49. mirax — on 25th January, 2007 at 7:40 am  

    Sahil , I’d have greater respect for your opinions if you’d not indulge in these childish kneejerk responses. You lived in Clementi for 7 years but can’t quite spell it right? You claim the coppers shut you up in jail if you are just loitering around and are presumably of the wrong look ie wrong skin colour? Yeah right.

    Singapore has a fearsome reputation amongst a certain gullible sort of westerner. If only i had a dollar for the number of westerners who’ve told me that you get thrown in jail for jaywalking or littering or chewing gum or not flushing the toilet! I still laugh when I think about a couple of old friends from Quebec who fearfully and scrupously made sure that no ‘contraband’ items were in their luggage when they moved here a few years back only to be gobsmacked by open sale of such items on the streets. We have some very nasty laws – unlike you I am not in denial mode- but not of the petty, make your life living hell sort.

    If you want institutionally racist laws, you’d have done better citing our dear neighbour Malaysia. Truthfully, I don’t know of any other than, oh wait, a few that give prefential , special treatment to Malays who are overwhelmingly muslim! Go on check out our constitution or this link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_Singaporean

    >> So don’t patronise me with your crap, about how there is no tensions, as there is serious deiscussion at all! After all there is shopping to be done.

    I’d leave it to you to dish out the patronising crap but I’ve never claimed that there is no tensiion at all but you made the serious charge of major clashes, so you’d better start delivering on it. A couple of blog discussions about SAP school grads is a laughable start.

    >>You constantly bang on about the evil ‘muslim’ and you’t can even differentiate between the various opinions within Singapore itself.

    See, it is just the same old insecure blokes on PP who who start with the “Mirax eats muslim babies for brunch” misrepresentation when they are lost for an argument. I never have used the word evil in relation to muslims but that’s really irrelevant when you want to foam at the mouth aint it?

    >>As you beamoaning its demise, well surprisingly I actually share your opinion, if you actually read anyone’s posts here you’d see NO ONE agrees with Wahabbi fundamentalism!

    I beleive that. I also believe that not every dispute is due solely to recently influential wahhabi nutjobs but deobandi strains found in north indian muslim traditions are not exactly blameless. But it is the extreme defensiveness of people like yourself on PP that is telling.

    >>And yes there should be a precendent set, I was surprised that there was not one set. Nonetheless hopefully with close scrutiny and bottom-up consultation, maybe a resolution will be set.

    The sooner this happens, the better it is for the majority of muslims and there’d really much less room for wholesale demonisation of muslims. Tis a pity that some of you don’t seem to want to look that far ahead.

  50. mirax — on 25th January, 2007 at 7:57 am  

    Mirax my point above was that the kinds of measures that can be passed in a country like Singapore that is ruled in an authoritarian fashion, and where the individual is used to having his/her freedoms curtailed, would have a very hard time here, in a country that puts far greater emphasis on the rights of the individual — at least I hope so

    Anas I appreciate the point you make above . It is generally true of most situations in Singapore but the hijab ban was actually a pretty tricky one for the S’pore government due to regional sensitivities with Malysia (their islamist politicians were directly involved in the ‘challenges’ here) and Indonesia. It helps to take a look at the map and know some local history!

  51. Sahil — on 25th January, 2007 at 10:29 am  

    Mirax, let me try again: I lived in Singapore for 7 years, if you think me spelling clementi is your reason for not believing me, that’s fine. I also lived in Jalan Mat Jambol of PSA Gate 5. I went to ISS, and had friends from Raffles, NJC, UWC, etc. As for me being arrested without charge that is TRUE. I was in the station for an hour, and the guys just seemed to enjoy having a laugh by feeding me Bandung juice to see whether I’d get diarrhea or not.

    If you also knew anything about the police, you’d probably know this: I suggest that you visit any building site, where South Asian workers are regularly beaten by immigration police, to make sure that they are too fightened to ever leave their compounds. How do I know? The police uses local gangs e.g. Sada Kow, to implement many of the actions, the going rate is about 100 singapore $s an hour. Plus if you also don’t believe me about living in Singapore, I suggest you visit Hakeems hawker stand off Pasir Panjang Rd at 5 in the morning, where the police offices usually meet for breakfast and the change of shift. I usually headed there after a night out, and would end up talking to many of them about many of the stories NEVER discussed in the media. Some of the stories really are shocking, and blantantly racist and corrupt.

    You say that I never provided you with any evidence, well that survey was one, if you have any sources to counter please link them. I certainly don’t think that one study done in 1998 is the whole story, but information is not exactly free. Indeed Warwick Uni was going to set base in Singapore, but decided to opt out, as the govt demanded any academic work to be screened if they did not toe the govt line. As for there being not riots in Singapore. Of course not, any protestor would be arrested, maybe you should talk to Singaporeans who were around in the 60s when the police was not so strong and many gang fights, and riots were frequent due to ethnic tension. The reason why I was really wound up by your first post was your tone that the UK is turning into a Londistan and the Muzzies are taking over. The UK media is focusing on this issue intently, indeed most of these stories have been made up, right now it is an obession. Hence the supposed conclusion that muslims are ruining society for everyone. Again if France is anything to go by, I prefer to go down the UK route. A simple point, in France there are no labour statistics concerning employment i.e. sex, age, race etc, by law. This society assumes it is automatically fair, yet surprisingly, areas of high immigrant communities have umemployment rates of 20-40%. Indeed refer to the Loreal case where one only need apply for the position if they are BBR!

    As for my defensiveness. Let me state clearly so you can understand, I AM NOT A MUSLIM!! I do not follow any faith for a variety of reasons. My position is agnostic and it will in the foreseeable future remain that way. But I have many relatives who are muslim and my muslim father is so fanatical that he allowed me to figure religion out by myself, and never forced me to attend a prayer, if I didn’t want to, even during Eid. I resent the way you characterise Muzzies as a homogenous group, who are hell bent on taking over the world and for leisure beat their wives. I never ever denied that it occurs, more, than in other cultures, but certainly it is not the clash of civilisations that you make out in a variety of your posts.

    As for your patronising posts that progressives do not understand the threat, well guess what I am a bleeding heart liberal and well aware of the radical strains of Islam, but I view this as a soft war, that if going to take decades to fix, from bottom-up, not top-down. This is usually the progressive line. Approaching the problem by muscle has led to Iraq, Iran being more belligerent, and a renewed Lezbullah.

    For Mulims not to be demonised, just don’t demonise! You facile argments reminded me of what the Catholic church representative was saying about gay couple adoption: They should not be able to adopt, because other children would make fun of the adopted child, and thus reduce their welfare. Therefore adoption should not take place. Well maybe people just should stop being bigoted and take care of their own business, and take responsibility of how they treat other people.

    I despise the Niqab, and I’d prefer to see all girls in bikinis, but it is also their right to wear what they want. The issue about the school is however different. It is a uniform and thus under the laws of the school where everyone is treated equally, however they law are subject to change, and thus let the judges examine the potential issues and come to a rational conclusion. i hope it does outlaw the niqab in school, but I certainly prefer this approach than the Singaporean line, of supposed confucian harmony.

    As for Malaysia’s turn to fascism, I agree its a significant turn for the worse, I have Indian (hindu) friends living in KL who i met recently describing the situation. Its bad, and I hope it reverts quickly. Nonetheless I see this as a typical cycle in Malaysian politics, Indonesia is far more troubling as it is poorer and less stable. It has still not recovered from the 1997/1998 financial contagion crisis. I would also say to you: the fact that these regimes all over SE Asia are so top-down allows fascist policies to be implemented without any recourse! If you could take your government to trial, shitty policies such as these would have a very hard time getting through, that is what is interesting about this Niquab case. And that is why I prefer it heads to trial.

  52. mirax — on 25th January, 2007 at 12:54 pm  

    Sahil,

    I believe you lived here for a short time. If you lived off Jln Mat Jambol and went to the ISS, well you lived a pretty typical elitist expat life, your coffee shop fraternising with the boys in blue notwithstanding. As an expat teen you were ‘arrested’ and spent an entire hour in the police station and maybe were ‘tortured’ with a bandung drink? Your parents/you had no access to the phone or a lawyer?
    Call me sceptic on this one. Here’s why: I’ve lived in the HDB heartlands all my life with friends, relatives and acquaintances drawn from all walks of life including police and prison officers, juvenile delinquents (I know the inside of the family court pretty well) as well as ex-cons, drug addicts etc. Half my school friends, from NJC, are lawyers. Your story doesn’t ring as typical of police behaviour from what i ‘ve heard and experienced and i speak as someone who has been stopped by the police late at night and mouthily told them off with no adverse consequences.

    Expat teens – anyone heard of Michael Fay? – quite often are noisier and have a look at me attitude when swaggering in a pack down Orchard Road. If all of these lot are frequently dragged off to the police station, it is a wonder that the parents have not raised hell thus far. Believe me, you don’t belong to a demographic that is treated badly at all, in fact the converse is true.

    >> South Asian workers are regularly beaten by immigration police, to make sure that they are too fightened to ever leave their compounds.

    Now I do know that you are lying. A casual visit to little india on sundays will show tens of thousands of south indian workers shopping and freely socialising. I know some of these workers quite well as they come from the same part of India as my parents and have had quite a few of them eating a meal in my home. Not one story of police or paid gangs beating them up. But you know what there is a law – told you we have some nasty ones remember- that allows for the caning of illegal workers followed by deportation but that is a far cry from what you are describing and so let me just tell you that those policemen spun a few scary stories for a gullible expat teen.

    But you are not a teen now, are you Sahil? You really believe that the local govt goes through all academic research, banning the unflattering ones willy nilly? There’s whole host of foreign unis, all FAR more prestigious than Warwick U, with their asian campus in S’pore or offering joint degrees with local unis.

    http://www.singaporeedu.gov.sg/htm/stu/stu0107.htm

    You believe that every single of them has compromised their academic integrity?

    >>As for there being not riots in Singapore. Of course not, any protestor would be arrested,

    Undoubtedly, if they hadn’t a police permit. See, I don’t deny valid criticism. Problem is that you state something quite true and then run off with a wild extrapolation that’s very hard for someone actually intimately knows the society to accept.

    >>maybe you should talk to Singaporeans who were around in the 60s when the police was not so strong and many gang fights, and riots were frequent due to ethnic tension.

    Ah, the race riots of ’68 is what you pull up to validate your sweeping statements about singapore. No political context offered for the troubles back then, nothing about the massive effort put into ethnic relations, education over the last 40 years to preempt the re-occurrence of that tragedy, no acknowledgement that we may have changed very substantially as a society in the interim period. And you have the cheek to ask ME to talk to some older Singaporeans!

    >> The reason why I was really wound up by your first post was your tone that the UK is turning into a Londistan and the Muzzies are taking over.

    >>I resent the way you characterise Muzzies as a homogenous group, who are hell bent on taking over the world and for leisure beat their wives. I never ever denied that it occurs, more, than in other cultures, but certainly it is not the clash of civilisations that you make out in a variety of your posts.

    You got all that – not a single word like that or similar to that has ever been typed by me on PP or elsewhere- from my ‘tone’? You’ve some serious comprehension and self-image problems, dear boy.

    I do know that you are not muslim ; remember the ‘crime’ I accused you of was defensiveness (and maybe I’ll add hysteria to the list now), not being a muslim per se . I am not bigotted enough to inextricably link the two.

    For the record, as much as I despise the IDEAS behind the hijab, niqab etc rather than the piece of cloth itself, I’d be solidly against banning any ADULT from wearing it; much like my overall opinion on religion -everyone has the (uniquely god-given) right to be stupid.

  53. Sahil — on 25th January, 2007 at 1:19 pm  

    Mirax do explain to me how INSEAD or even IIM (later this year I think it sets up shop) is a leading research uni in social attitudes, and public policy? Its a great B-School, I have many friends who’ve gone there, but it does not look at the specific research required.

    Good for you, you’ve lived in a HDB, so have many of my friends all their lives. As for me living a short time, again i iterate i lived there for 7 years.

    If you choose to turn a blind eye to the abuse of South Asian laboureres, go ahead, it occurs, just as beating filipino maids is common place.

    BTW Mirax, explain to me how one would go about obtaining a permit for a protest against government policy, or even more generally?

    Yes I remember Michael Fay, 1994 right, some of the other idiots who also got caught were in my school. As for rude noisy expats kids, I agree most are bratty twats. Hence I didn’t spend much time with them.

    As for Singaporean society being changed, its still there, but the police and state will not allow people to act out. Furthermore NO discussion takes place. Plus can you hook me up to a link that refutes the suvery I had provided above? Until then I’ll stick to that.

    DO explain to me the last time, a different government was in charge?

    http://www.sfdonline.org/chee/tcentre.html

  54. Matt — on 25th January, 2007 at 6:20 pm  

    El Cid

    >It’s not for non-moslems to comment is it — unless, as in the case of the b & n, it is socialy divisive and impinges on other people’s rights.

    Disagree on that point. It’s for anyone to comment on anything they wish to comment on – any other principle will (in my view) contribute to the creation of little Balkanised worlds within society.

  55. mirax — on 25th January, 2007 at 8:23 pm  

    Sahil you are an anal retentive prat if you fucking presume to lecture me on what I care for or don’t! You are the ignorantly malicious fool who posted a fake story about foreignworker abuse instead of focussing the many real issues that affect them here like our screwed up labour laws (blue collar singaporeans get shafted by such too, but why would you care?). To make a real point would involve actually knowing something about this place and people and that’s just too troublesome and unsexy for lazy ilk like you, hmmn?

    Do some maids get abused by their employers? fuck yes! and know what, it is taken damn seriously by the police – those employers get jailed and banned from employing maids. My next door neighbour’s maid came to my aprtment crying for help a few years back, as the psycho had slapped her ONCE. I called the police, 3 squad cars arrived and the police stayed and interviewed all in the vicinity from 2 pm to 7 pm and insisted on making a case of it despite the maid having second thoughts about getting her employer in trouble. well that employer, a new mum, served a 3 week jail sentence for that single slap and I have a police commendation thanking me for my part in it.

    There’s an awful lot wrong with Singapore but you havent the faintest notion and dont seem to particularly care what those issues might be. I am done because I can’t be arsed to waste any more time on you.

  56. Sahil — on 25th January, 2007 at 8:54 pm  

    Wow, you really are stable. Sorry to soil the fatherland’s reputation, I know it must be tough. Maybe you should also stop acting like you know so much about muslims, and stating how the UK’s “‘religious’ challenges will continue and in fact increase in number.” Indeed you say that “you failed to learn from others’ experience and thus neglected to draw the line at the start of it all”.

    Don’t mouth off about others if you can’t accept criticism, BTW I’m still waiting for you links if you have any.

    Oh actually, being the egotistical bastard (being born to a muzzy after all) that I am, I believe I’m quite sexy ;)

  57. mirax — on 25th January, 2007 at 9:23 pm  

    >>Maybe you should also stop acting like you know so much about muslims

    See this is where it all started and what it is really about for you: uppity non-muslim needs to be shut up. I will not deign to post links for cretin like you. Nice little nazi jibe, btw. You are such a pleasant little fellow.

  58. El Cid — on 25th January, 2007 at 9:52 pm  

    Matt,
    Maybe I didn’t express myself as well as I would have wished.
    By all means comment — it is not as if I want a law against it. Freedom to comment, or should that be freedom to bitch.
    After all, what business is it of mine or yours or anyones what people wear, unless, as I said, it is socially divisive or impinges on other people’s rights?

  59. Sahil — on 25th January, 2007 at 10:39 pm  

    So why can’t I comment on Singapore, hell I even lived there for 7 years. You said the Singapore government had figured it all out, so back it up! Its pretty simple. Provide me with any study that race relations are so good, even one commissioned by the fab government that you have. Anything. Oh sorry you’re not even allowed to examine the topic in Singapore.

  60. Matt — on 26th January, 2007 at 7:07 am  

    El Cid:

    >By all means comment — it is not as if I want a law against it. Freedom to comment, or should that be freedom to bitch.

    Freedom to do both.

    >After all, what business is it of mine or yours or anyones what people wear, unless, as I said, it is socially divisive or impinges on other people’s rights?

    It is your or my business in so far as we are affected.

    In the case of the current questions wrt Islam in the UK, one concern is that we seem to hear from the noisy fringe groups that do not represent anything like the majority.

    I hear statements along the lines of “go away, these questions are nothing to do with you” and “it is the responsibility of the authorities to deal with the extremists”. Obviously that needs unpacking more (on another thread), but there is a contradiction there, and I will comment on things that affect me, and I see no problem with that.

    The one thing that none of us can afford to have happen is for debate to be closed down or self-censored.

    Thanks for replying.

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