17 May 2007

British Schools Ban Crosses, But Not Hindu or Islamic Symbols

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Daily Express:

School chiefs are today under fire for banning pupils from wearing crosses in class while allowing the jewel­lery of other faiths.

Christian groups and politicians condemned the education bosses and accused them of ­“double standards”.

The officials have told headteachers to ban jewellery except in “exceptional circumstances” when schools need to be “sensitive” towards other faiths. The “exceptions” include lockets worn by Muslims and Hindu bracelets.

But even Muslim leaders have join­ed the condemnation, arguing that all religious groups, including Christian­s, should be treated the same.

The guidance, issued to headteachers in Croydon, south London, has echoes of the row last year over Nadia Ewedia, the British Airways employee who eventually won her long battle to wear a cross at work.

“Where rights are in competition, some rights win out. So we have a situation where gay rights trump Christian rights and in some areas, Muslim rights seem paramount.”

Tory education spokesman David Willetts said: “People who issue these guidelines don’t understand how much resentment they generate by their clumsy attempts to respect every religion except Christianity.” …

A document issued by the Muslim Council this year said taweez amulets have religious significance for those who wear them and should not be considered as jewellery. It said schools should allow the symbols, which contain verses from the Koran, to be worn discreetly

The Croydon school guidance says the religious items that can be worn are: Rakhi, a cotton bracelet worn by Hindus; kara, a metal bracelet put on the arms of Sikh children when they are young and is impossible to remove; and taweez, religious lockets worn by some Muslim pupils on a string around the neck, arm or stomach.

Complete article

2 Feedbacks on "British Schools Ban Crosses, But Not Hindu or Islamic Symbols"


Dave — I met Nadia Ewedia at a conference in London last week. And her lawyer too, barrister Peter Diamond.


Small world.

You can tell that things are bad, when _I’m_ defending religious expression against political correctness and coercive secularism.


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