Friday, 4 March 2016

PC Work Place Politics

There was another strange PC story in the news recently. It involved an occupational therapist who worked for East London NHS Foundation Trust. She had a colleague (they may be ex colleagues now), who is Muslim, and apparently they had taken to discussing comparative religion.

Religion and Politics Are An Office 'No No' .....

The results of these discussions apparently were that the therapist had given the Muslim a copy of a book about a Muslims woman's conversion to Christianity, offered to pray for her, and asked if she wanted to go to a Christian church with her.

Now although this might be frowned upon by the PC brigade (although would they have said anything if the situation had been reversed?), it may not have been offensive, and indeed in the version of the story I read, there is no suggestion that the recipient of the book, prayer and offer of a church visit was offended, they were even described as 'work friends' (which may just be journalistic licence).

However the NHS trust got involved one way or another, and disciplined the Christian therapist, via a 'written warning about her behaviour for "harassing and bullying" her colleague'. This resulted in an Employment Tribunal visit by all concerned and a ruling that the Trust could take further a actions against the therapist. She took the whole matter to court on the grounds that the ruling breached her human rights (and the court judgement was reserved until a later date).

Now there were a few things about this story that disturbed me:

1) Was her behaviour really 'bullying' .... one could argue that it was 'caring' or at least very mildly offensive, if you believe that Muslims are in need of special protection rules in our society.
2) In the story as I read it, the colleague appears not to have complained, so why was the trust taking action ... was it a workplace spy?
3) If this had been a Muslim giving a copy of the Koran, or inviting someone to the mosque, or offering to pray for them, would any disciplinary action have been taken?

Offensive Posters Or Free Speech?

I ask all this, because there seems to be a presumption in UK law and society that:

(a) Muslims are offended by every remark ever made that hints at criticisms.
(b) Any comment on Islam has to be intended to cause offence, even if its factual or just mild criticism.
(c) Muslims never try to proselytise .... ever (well peacefully).

Oh and just before Christmas, a Muslim colleague gave me a copy of the Koran. I accepted it out of politeness only, and made no complaint .... but then I am a non Muslim. Perhaps I should have raised a disciplinary case against him and sued my employer?

This seems to be the way it works these days .....


  1. Religion can be very comforting to some, in a world torn apart by Religion.

  2. I am sorry but trying to tar all religions as equally bad is sitting on the fence of PC bullshit, when its very obvious that one religion is currently waging war on civilised behaviour, and is a danger to us all, atheist or not. Its the policy that just allows its extremists to hide amongst us.

    I prefer to turn the spotlight on to unacceptable behaviour. The town halls that aid and abet by actively defending it, or turn a blind eye to its adherents behaviour e.g. Rotherham are part of the problem not the solution.

    1. Sitting on the fence is ignoring Religion's underlying tenet of belief without and in spite of evidence, and its "higher power" which takes precedence over societal laws, common sense and all logic! This almost universal religious requirement makes possible otherwise unthinkable atrocities by adherents who for their own or others' reasons try to do "God's will".

      Numerous "harmless" and "moderate" versions of this suspended reality only help to perpetuate and normalise this cro magnon mentality - they greatly facilitate the extremists abilty to "hide amongst us" - they maintain a "sacred" untouchable environment where this particular madness can survive, infect and spread.

      Unfortunately I do not see a day when people cease to believe in fairy tales, the best that we can do is not to pander to them and allow them special treatment because of their "religious beliefs" which are at the end of the day their own prejudices seeking validation from a "higher power"; you feel you don't like gays? join this group and find like minded people and a god with some old texts that you can point to and deny that you yourself are homophobic and small minded, on the contrary, you're Christian with religious convictions, which is good, no?

    2. Vroomfondel old chap. Much though I enjoy your comments, many of which are insightful, and give a useful counter balance to an opinion in a post, I have noted that there are two areas which you are obviously reluctant to comment on.

      One is the far left hijacking of the Labour Party (which they are consolidating as we speak). This being a subject I thought you might defend or oppose (depending upon your political persuasion). Either of which would be interesting view points, and open up some intellectual debate, but in point of fact you don't comment on posts on the subject. Oddly I actually have nothing more to add on that subject, and won't be posting so often on JC and the gang, as political suicide by the Labour Party doesn't bother me much.

      The other is on the subject of the behaviour of many of the followers of Islam. This post for example specifically deals with the fact that two standards are applied to the actions of the religious, with Islam and its followers having special protection, but your comment only uses the 'C' word .... the 'M' word is once again markedly absent.

      This reluctance to comment directly on the subject of Islam (a subject which is daily debated in our press via the 'migrant crisis'), is rather odd, unless it's through some fear of being branded 'racist', or some other consideration? However, I am sure that it's not because you are blind to the on going and specific dangers that this particular religion poses to our very civilisation .... even indeed our right to speak out on it is under direct threat.

      But whatever the reason, it means that whenever an outrage is committed by its adherents (and that is almost daily in some parts of the globe), and I post a critical post, you invariably respond with critique all religions, tarring them all with the same brush (whether peaceful Quakers or violent Taliban).

      Not only is this often intellectually convoluted (Islamist behead soldier, therefore somehow Christian Mormons are equally responsible), but unfair to all those religions, which although kind of daft, are harmless.

      Its this kind of treading on eggshells approach to this particular religion, that acts as cover for views not compatible with our society, and emboldens those of its follower who are actively harmful. It's also this kind of thinking that allows a Rotherham to occur, even when it was all in plain sight of a council and police force, that for fear of offending Muslims, let over a thousand at risk non-Muslim girls get gang raped over a decade. A disgrace that we have still not addressed properly in full public debate, and which would be a war crime if it had occurred in Bosnia or the Congo instead of under a Labour Council.

      I hope you are aware that I am not having a go, as you are obviously free to comment as you wish (and I am always pleased when you do), but I am genuinely baffled as to why these two areas are treated differently from any other?

    3. I read your political posts with interest but I'm not very political and I don't have much to add to the debate, you tend to cover it all already in a fair and balanced piece.

      I take your point concerning religion; I can overlook the point of the story when addressing instead the deep root of what I consider to be the problem. I agree that there's too much PC surrounding Islam, more so than for the other daft beliefs, and the danger that this entails from the religion with undeniable ties to terrorism.

      I may also be avoiding the more serious issues as there's enough of that elsewhere, post some good news and I'll be all over it. :-)

    4. Good man ... I can never promise good news (the world is as it is I'm afraid), but four more for consideration later tonight.

  3. That Christian woman lost her appeal.

    The losing woman said "What the court clearly failed to do was to say how, in today's politically correct world, any Christian can even enter into a conversation with a fellow employee on the subject of religion and not, potentially, later end up in an employment tribunal. If someone sends you friendly text messages, how is one to know that they are offended?"

    She seems to be right to me .... You have to wonder what the ruling would have been if a Muslim talked to a Christian and invited them to visit a mosque? Does this mean that no one can try to convert anyone anymore?

    1. Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately given the current world, I am not terribly surprised.


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