I am going to admit to being prejudiced.
I have a prejudice against religion.
Now I can certainly think of reasons why I would refuse to shake the hand of the head of the Metropolitan Police, but as a police officer not wanting to touch a man other than my husband seems a bit precious.
I am sorry but I can not be relaxed about stuff like this. This is the bloody twenty first century. Here is my dilemma.
Muslim women joining police force = Good Thing.
One at least of these Muslim women seemingly unable due to her faith to touch men = Bad Thing.
Women are still fighting for equality. We often have to prove we are not second class citizens/brainless idiots (delete as applicable). Top jobs are still overwhelmingly the preserve of men, and we still have a very long way to go to achieve true equality -For god's sake, men still look on patronisingly if I start talking about football "Bless! What does she know about 'The Man's Game'?" And then with one little news item we give the sexists ammunition to last them a decade. "They want to do our jobs?? They want to join the police force??? But they don't want to have to touch a man????"
My advice to this woman? Speaking as a feminist myself - "Get back in the kitchen." No, strike that last comment. Let's rethink. She could always become a nun I suppose? No nasty men there so that could be ideal. Although do I remember some kind of silly discriminatory rule there about having to be a Catholic or some other such nonsense? "I have the right to be a nun, but I reserve the right not to go to Mass as it against my faith."
I don't even want to go into what a field day it will give the BNP.
But it seems all is well on the policing front which is a great relief-
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.
So apparently religious laws are flexible.
You can make them up and adapt them to suit your personal circumstances....which presumably explains why so many of our most vicious politicians can tell us they are guided by their Christian beliefs.
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