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Saturday, 13 July 2013

Political Correctness - again!

According to a report in today's Daily Express, a primary school child in Portsmouth was refused permission to have a drink of water in class, on one of the hottest days of the year, because the teacher considered that it would be unfair to Muslim fellow-pupils who are currently keeping the fast of Ramadan - which involves going without either food or water between the hours of sunrise and sunset.  Now, apart from the fact that, when I was at primary school, we were expected to survive between breaks without either bottles of water, or trips to the toilet, this is surely just another example of political correctness gone mad!  

I don't believe in the existence of Santa Claus, but I'm not going to deny others the right to sing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December (I'm too busy remembering the wonder of the Incarnation!). I don't agree with the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, but I don't go out and hire a lawyer when I hear David Attenborough inform a television audience that such-and-such a creature 'evolved' over many millions/billions of years - without offering a single scrap of evidence to back up his assertion!  

The old adage maintains that, when in Rome, one ought to do as the Romans do.  In other words, one ought to try to fit in with the culture of the country in which one is resident, not have it changed to suit one's own viewpoints/beliefs/practices!

Of course children should be taught to respect the beliefs of others.  However, that respect does not require that they emulate them!  The report did not state the religious belief - if any - of the teacher involved and, apparently, the school (in the person of the Deputy Head) did offer a verbal apology to the child's mother.  However, one does wonder if the teacher was simply afraid of any potential backlash of one of the Muslim pupils had gone home and complained to its parents that another child had been allowed to have a drink.

At a time at which immigration, and the assimilation of immigrants, is a political hot potato, this kind of story does nothing to bring about the kind of peaceful co-existence that the majority surely desire.  It is to be hoped that it will prove to be a totally isolated incident, and not the catalyst for any form of "payback"!

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