Yesterday at 03:22 · Edited ·
I am sitting on a United airlines flight in the air 30,000ft above and I am in tears of humiliation from discrimination. The flight attendant asked me what I would like to drink and I requested a can of diet coke. She brought me a can that was open so I requested an unopened can due to hygienic reasons. She said no one has consumed from the drink, but I requested an unopened can. She responded, “Well I’m sorry I just can’t give you an unopened can so no diet coke for you.” She then brought the man sitting next to me a can of UNOPENED beer. So I asked her again why she refused to give me an UNOPENED can of diet coke. She said, “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a WEAPON on the plane.” So I told her that she was clearly discriminating against me because she gave the man next to me an unopened can of beer. She looked at his can, quickly grabbed it and opened it and said, “it’s so you don’t use it as a weapon.” Apphauled at her behavior I asked people around me if they witnessed this discriminatory and disgusting behavior and the man sitting in an aisle across from me yelled out to me, “you Moslem, you need to shut the F** up.” I said, “what?!” He then leaned over from his seat, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “yes you know you would use it as a WEAPON so shut the f**k up.” I felt the hate in his voice and his raging eyes. I can’t help but cry on this plane because I thought people would defend me and say something. Some people just shook their heads in dismay. #IslamophobiaISREAL
Tag Archives: discrimination
Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills Photo: ALAMY
Telegraph.co.uk – Sunday 23 March 2014 By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor 22 Mar 2014
Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.
Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.
The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock – and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate heirs.
Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes.
Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, said the guidance would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles in the British legal system.
Some lawyers, however, described the guidance as “astonishing”, while campaigners warned it represented a major step on the road to a “parallel legal system” for Britain’s Muslim communities.
Baroness Cox, a cross-bench peer leading a Parliamentary campaign to protect women from religiously sanctioned discrimination, including from unofficial Sharia courts in Britain, said it was a “deeply disturbing” development and pledged to raise it with ministers.
“This violates everything that we stand for,” she said. “It would make the Suffragettes turn in their graves.”
The guidance, quietly published this month and distributed to solicitors in England and Wales, details how wills should be drafted to fit Islamic traditions while being valid under British law.
It suggests deleting or amending standard legal terms and even words such as “children” to ensure that those deemed “illegitimate” are denied any claim over the inheritance.
It recommends that some wills include a declaration of faith in Allah which would be drafted at a local mosque, and hands responsibility for drawing up some papers to Sharia courts.
The guidance goes on to suggest that Sharia principles could potentially overrule British practices in some disputes, giving examples of areas that would need to be tested in English courts.
Currently, Sharia principles are not formally addressed by or included in Britain’s laws. However, a network of Sharia courts has grown up in Islamic communities to deal with disputes between Muslim families.
A few are officially recognised tribunals, operating under the Arbitration Act.
They have powers to set contracts between parties, mainly in commercial disputes, but also to deal with issues such as domestic violence, family disputes and inheritance battles.
But many more unofficial Sharia courts are also in operation.
Parliament has been told of a significant network of more informal Sharia tribunals and “councils”, often based in mosques, dealing with religious divorces and even child custody matters in line with religious teaching.
They offer “mediation” rather than adjudication, although some hearings are laid out like courts with religious scholars or legal experts sitting in a manner more akin to judges than counsellors.
One study estimated that there were now around 85 Sharia bodies operating in Britain. But the new Law Society guidance represents the first time that an official legal body has recognised the legitimacy of some Sharia principles.
It opens the way for non-Muslim lawyers in High Street firms to offer Sharia will drafting services. The document sets out crucial differences between Sharia inheritance laws and Western traditions.
It explains how, in Islamic custom, inheritances are divided among a set list of heirs determined by ties of kinship rather than named individuals. It acknowledges the possibility of people having multiple marriages.
“The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class,” the guidance says. “Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognised.
Similarly, a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir, as the entitlement depends on a valid Muslim marriage existing at the date of death. This means you should amend or delete some standard will clauses.”
It advises lawyers to draft special exclusions from the Wills Act 1837, which allows gifts to pass to the children of an heir who has died, because this is not recognised in Islamic law.
Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, said: “This guidance marks a further stage in the British legal establishment’s undermining of democratically determined human rights-compliant law in favour of religious law from another era and another culture. British equality law is more comprehensive in scope and remedies than any elsewhere in the world. Instead of protecting it, The Law Society seems determined to sacrifice the progress made in the last 500 years.”
Lady Cox said: “Everyone has freedom to make their own will and everyone has freedom to let those wills reflect their religious beliefs. But to have an organisation such as The Law Society seeming to promote or encourage a policy which is inherently gender discriminatory in a way which will have very serious implications for women and possibly for children is a matter of deep concern.”
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FOOTNOTE: Scots Law is different from English; I don’t know if this will apply here (Meenister)
In October this year, two Muslim workers won a discrimination case against Tesco after their bosses kept their prayer room locked.
Abdirisak Aden and Mahamed Hasan, both aged 27, were among a number of devout Muslim employees at the supermarket who had lobbied for a prayer room since 2006.
In 2008, managers agreed to set aside a security office at the distribution depot in Crick, Northamptonshire, as a prayer room for Muslims.
But four years later, bosses set new restrictions on the use of the room which included keeping it locked when it was not in use.
Following an employment tribunal, Tesco was guilty of indirect discrimination – with the men awarded an undisclosed sum for ‘injury to their feelings’.
Terrorist violence against Christians has put the very survival of the religion in some regions in peril. We cannot stand idle, says Baroness Warsi.
There are parts of the world today where to be a Christian is to put your life in danger. From continent to continent, Christians are facing discrimination, ostracism, torture, even murder, simply for the faith they follow. The pages of this newspaper regularly chart the plight of the persecuted, from the scores of worshippers killed recently by bombers at All Saints Church in Pakistan to the Coptic congregation sprayed with bullets by gunmen in Egypt.
Christian populations are plummeting and the religion is being driven out of some of its historic heartlands. There is even talk of Christianity becoming extinct in places where it has existed for generations – where the faith was born. In Iraq, the Christian community has fallen from 1.2 million in 1990 to 200,000 today. In Syria, the horrific bloodshed has masked the haemorrhaging of its Christian population.
Perpetrators range from states to terrorists to people’s neighbours. And victimhood is not exclusive to Christians; Hazara Shias in Pakistan, Baha’is in Iran, Rohingya Muslims in Burma – all have long been singled out and hounded out because of the faith they follow.
While religious persecution may not be a new concept, today the fault lines between faiths and within faiths are ever more volatile. Collective punishment is becoming more common, with people being attacked for the alleged crimes, connections or connotations of their coreligionists, often in response to events taking place thousands of miles away.
This has become a global crisis, and in Washington D.C. today I will be making the case for an international response. Speaking at Georgetown University and the Council on Foreign Relations, I want to call for cross-faith, cross-continent unity on this issue – for a response which isn’t itself sectarian. Because a bomb going off in a Pakistani church shouldn’t just reverberate through Christian communities; it should stir the world.
The spirit of unity is out there: in the compassion of the Muslims who donated blood to help those Christians injured at All Saints Church; in the solidarity of the Christians who encircled Muslims as they prayed in Egypt’s Tahrir Square during the 2011 uprising; in the camaraderie between religions in Nigeria and Indonesia, where the faithful regularly protect one another’s places of worship.
We need to harness that unity. For, from Apartheid to gay rights, intolerance and inequality have only been defeated when the mainstream has got behind the cause.
Laws are not enough. You may be reassured by the fact that 83 per cent of countries with populations over two million guarantee religious freedom in their constitutions. But when you learn that these include some of the most oppressive states in the world – like North Korea, which protects ‘freedom of religious belief’ by law while banishing Christians and other believers to labour camps – these legal guarantees become laughable.
I do not buy the argument that faiths are on a violent collision course, that division and sectarianism are inevitable. Yes, the battle lines have been drawn on religious divisions in the past. People are exploiting them today, finding a convenient ‘other’ – a scapegoat – in their minorities. But history shows this is not inevitable; communities can and do co-exist.
Not only can they co-exist, they can flourish. Pluralism is not only a good in itself; it is good for society. It enables people to play a full part in society, which boosts economies. It is thought that of the 30 wealthiest nations in the world, 26 are ones which respect religious freedom. Religious freedom guards against violence, extremism and social strife, all of which hold back the development of a society.
These are some of the arguments we need to make. As Foreign Office Ministers, we promote religious freedom in our respective countries, working with partners all over the world to crack down on persecution and equipping diplomats with the training to understand these issues. To build on this I want try to build an international consensus, bringing together law enforcers, politicians, charities, journalists, the judiciary and more to develop a strategy for putting this vision for universal religious freedom into practice, and to start making an impact on people’s everyday lives.
Baroness Warsi is Senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office & the UK’s first Minister for Faith. Follow her on twitter @sayeedawarsi