Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What does this mean to Church of England primary schools

Tomorrow the Angelilli Report "Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child" will be voted upon. Whilst this report is awful in so many ways I will just concentrate upon one single aspect and its possible impact. Para 127 states this,

"Is concerned at the multiple violations of rights affecting girls from a migrant background; urges Member States to ban headscarves and hijab at least at primary school, in order to anchor more firmly the right to be a child and to ensure genuine and unenforced freedom of choice at a later age"
The argument made by the Women's Committee is that they support this because
"it mentions the primary schools. muslim girls should decide to wear a headscarf after they get their first menstruation themselves. this is the rule. but there are parents who force very young girls to do so. the same who do not allow them to go swimming or do gymnastics. which is against our law. this is why we approved the paragraph by a large majority"(Karin Resetarits)
OK, but if the average age of the onset of menstruation is 11-13 then there will be many, many who start their menses before they would be leaving primary school. However this is not my arguement.

The second part of the paragraph is the one that worries me. It appears that the European Parliament believes that to be a proper child that child should not be religious. At what age do they think that somebody should be believed when they say they have faith? At 4? At 5? At 11? At 15? At 21? Should the state, should our government in Brussels be legislating on issues like this?

For that matter why are Muslims being singled out in this way, all they are attacking is a symbol of religion rather than the belief, but their position seems to be that it is the belief itself that is wrong.

So as my headline asks, where does this piece of legislation leave Church of England primary schools?

His Grace, Thomas Cranmer has picked up the ball here and gives the issue the seriousness it deserves.


Anonymous said...

These people really ought to listen to themselves. Do they really not realise how sick and pervy this sounds? "Check out that thirteen-year-old? Is she menstruating yet?" If she is then she clearly she's old enough to have some "religion" as well!

One would like to suggest that the European Parliament might have better things to do than regulate the number of non-menstruating teenagers wearing the hijab. Clearly though, they don't.

These women say they want freedom. Clearly though, religious and moral freedoms aren't the sorts of freedoms they're interested in. Just the ones that are handed down by Big Brother!

In any case, how much a kid menstruates and whether or not the state takes an interest in whether or not she wears a headscarf is not the issue. The point is that the State, not to mention the actual State in the shape of the new European superstate, loves to get its jollies by kicking around religion and the Family. And if they have to start with the Muslims and then move on to Christianity later (or sooner, if certain Labour MPs get there way), these people really aren't fussed.

Gawain Towler said...

This is about sound, not action. Politicians of course are never the ones who have to carry out the tasks that they set.