Over on what has become ‘the dark snide’, the omnipresent anti-Islamic element continue to propagate their tedium. I have to support their right to do so and am not obliged to read any of it. However, there is an occasional post that raises some ‘real issues’ and, in this case, some amusing responses. In all honesty I have to say that I find it necessary to curtail my emotional reactions, which are engaged by such posts, before I can engage in a rational reaction. The post in question is 67% of Britons want the burqa banned by riteway.
The UK passed the Human Rights Act in 1998, and that even if this act were to be repealed we would still be subject to the European Convention on Human Rights. So even if SheikhBakrir Bakri were to be elected Prime Minister in 2010 and to pass the Sharia (Implementation of) Act 2011, then it would still have to be consistent with the ECHR. The first person to be sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery would appeal, the Sharia Act would be found to be in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998, and the law would fall apart. Or if the SheikhBakriar Bakri MP were to have the wit to repeal the HRA first, they would appeal directly to the European Court of Human Rights which would find the Sharia Act in breach of the ECHR, and the House of Lords would therefore rule that the Sharia Act was invalid. That’s the way constitutional law works in the UK these days.
So more realistically, whatever system of institutionalised sharia the Rt Rev Rowan is anticipating, we know that it’s going to have to be one that is compatible with European human rights law, particularly with regard to not discriminating between individuals on grounds of sex, race, religion or lack thereof or sexual orientation.
Nevertheless, European countries are introducing laws that ‘effectively ban the niqab and the burqa’. While I may muse over how a niqab or burqa wearer gets through customs, I remain unaffected by such things. I am more offended by men in vests and seeing three generations of ‘slut walkers’, and the person in front of me in the queue ordering bloody cappuccinos. But that’s an age thing.
What really got my attention was the leader ‘67% of Britons want the burqa banned’. Are we to take it that this is sufficient reason for imposing a similar ban in the UK? What about the 33% whom we may assume either don’t want the ban or are indifferent? A current bête noire of mine is the notion of democracy in the UK, in which the ‘supremacy of parliament’ allowes successive political administrations to erode those democratic rights that ‘we think we have’ (The ultimate protector of our rights, the monarch, has been singularly mute on this, as have her predecessors). So I find myself revisiting one my own old posts Democracy – Do we really have it? (It’s an age thing).