One of the defining elements of Islamic law is an inherent double standard. There are distinctions drawn between Muslims and non-Muslims. There are special laws that apply only to the kafir, and not the faithful. The penalties for the kafir are much stricter. And the word of a kafir is essentially meaningless if it is contradicted by a Muslim.
There’s a strict caste system in Islamic law. At the top are Islamic men. In the middle (I’m not quite certain how they rate against each other) are Muslim women and kafir men. And at the bottom, kafir women.
This is, of course, in stark contrast to Western law, where all are (in theory and, generally) equal before the law.
Which what makes what is happening in England equally tragic and infuriating. There Islamic law is creeping to general acceptance, and hardly anyone is complaining. Not even when the changes area actually dangerous.
One of the bigger dangers in health care is the passing of infections in hospitals. There’s an old joke about how if you’re not feeling well, stay away from hospitals — they’re full of sick people. There’s a grain of truth to that, and hospitals around the world have gone on major cleanliness kicks. Hand sanitizers available all over the place, special sensors that go off when a health care worker doesn’t wash thoroughly before leaving a rest room, intensive studies into how and when infections spread — it’s remarkable. Hospitals have discovered that they can make vast improvements in the health of their patients by such simple steps.
But in England, that isn’t a concern. Hospitals realized that bare skin was easier to decontaminate than clothing, so they started requiring their workers to wear short sleeves. The logic: get the clothing up and away from where it might touch patients, and have the workers clean their hands and arms right up to their elbows to kill any germs that they might pick up from a patient. Simple solution, very elegant, very effective.
Unless you’re a Muslim. Then the stricture that Muslim women must cover every possible inch of themselves at all times takes precedence. (This is based on the theory that all men are savage, uncontrolled beasts who can at any time be provoked into a lustful fury at the slightest glimpse of female skin. And since it’s unreasonable to assume men should have any responsibility for their actions, it’s the job of women to avoid offering even the slightest provocation lest they be assaulted — which is, naturally, their fault and will result in the men being excused and the woman blamed for the attack, because the filthy whore asked for it by letting the man see her forearm or ankle or something. And since the filthy whore was asking for it, she’s a fornicator and should be punished, even by death. The guy? He should be more careful to not be around such filthy whores.)
Anyway, back to the British hospitals. The thoroughly researched and documented theory seems to be that Allah will keep the germs from attaching themselves to the sleeves of Muslim women, protecting all — even the dirty kafir — from harm. It’s only the kafir themselves — because they lack faith in Allah — who are at risk for spreading these germs. So they, obviously, should be subjected to the rules about sleeves and cleansing.
I can’t wait for the first patient to shy away from a Muslim nurse or doctor who comes by, all clad up like a mummy. If they dare complain or even flinch, they will be running the risk of being charged with discrimination or even a hate crime. How dare they put their own lives ahead of properly expressing religious tolerance? What kind of idiot would put science ahead of the benevolence of Allah, even for us kafir?
Meanwhile, there’s another exception being carved out in British law for Muslims — this one a bit more common, but potentially even more dangerous. It’s essentially legalizing assault and battery.
Ever been to a public protest? Ever gone out to some kind of gathering or rally, and gotten really worked up? Ever gotten so upset that you just have to lash out at the target of your ire, that you get so mad that you have to just throw something?
Well, if you do that in most civilized societies, you can expect to be arrested and/or get your ass kicked by the authorities. And to be perfectly honest, that’s fair. Especially since the authorities are most often the target of those missiles.
But now in Britain, there’s a new, legal “Get Out Of Jail, Free” card. All you have to do is obey two simple restrictions:
1) Limit your choice of missiles to shoes.
2) Shout “Allahu Ackbar!” or “Ulululululu!” as you hurl it.
That’s it. Because the English decided that “throwing shoes” is a traditional Islamic form of expression, they have to respect that and allow themselves to be pummeled in footwear.
Even especially old, rank shoes.
Or steel-toed shoes.
Or stiletto heels. (Remember “Single White Female?” Jennifer Jason Leigh killed Judge Reinhold with one to the temple. It’s not that fantastic.)
This is a warning we should take good note of. In the name of “respect” and “tolerance,” the British are literally endangering the life and safety of people to cater to petty bigotries and superstitions of an increasingly-demanding minority — that is getting used to getting its way through threats and intimidation.
This is not the British Empire of old. One of my favorite tales is from the days when India was a British colony. Certain groups had a despicable religous practice called “sati” — requiring a widow to throw herself on her late husband’s funeral pyre, immolating herself. General Sir James Napier, serving in India, was approached by a delegation of Hindus who beseeched him to lift the ban on the practice. General Napier’s response has become the stuff of legend:
“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”
England could use some new General Sir James Napiers today, people who understand that “diversity” and “tolerance” do not trump common sense and the common good.
And so could we.