Sunday, April 20, 2008

British swimming pool bars father and son from its 'Muslim-only' swimming session

This was put down to a "misunderstanding" and there was no action taken against the "misunderstanders" -- but imagine the retribution if a Muslim had been banned

A father and his five-year-old son were turned away from their local swimming pool because they were the wrong religion. David Toube, 39, and his son Harry were told that the Sunday morning session was reserved for Muslim men only. Hackney Council, which runs the Clissold Leisure Centre in Stoke Newington, north London, claimed staff there had made a mistake. However, the Muslim-only session was advertised on its website.

Mr Toube, a corporate lawyer, described his experiences on a blog. "I arrived at the pool to discover that they were holding what staff described to me as "Muslim men only swimming"," he wrote. "I asked whether my son and I could go as we were both male. I was told that the session was for Muslims only and that we could not be admitted. I asked what would happen if I turned up and insisted I was Muslim. "The manager suggested that they might ask the Muslims swimming if they minded my son and I swimming with them. If they didn't object, we might be allowed in."

A few days later, Mr Toube, who lives with his wife, 38-year-old barrister Samantha, and their two sons in Stoke Newington, North London, spoke to another leisure centre employee. "He gave me an identical story. His explanation was that it was a requirement of the Muslim religion that Muslims could not swim with non-Muslims." Mr Toube joked: "I asked him whether Clissold Leisure Centre would institute Whites Only swimming for racists. His answer was that they would if there was sufficient demand."

He added: "I spoke to a number of Muslim friends, and none of them had heard of a religious prohibition on swimming with non-Muslims. "One friend was so disgusted with Hackney for trying to segregate Muslims and non Muslims that he suggested that he take his little daughter swimming with us, just to prove the point."

However, Dr Taj Hargey, chair of the Muslim Education Centre of Oxford, said it was not true that Muslims could not swim with non-Muslims. "There is no Koranic verse or any statement from the sources of Islam that says different religions should be segregated," he said. "The only requirement is that when women swim they should be modestly clad." The Prophet Mohammed is recorded as saying that it is a Muslim's duty to learn to swim as it could save his or her life.

The swimming sessions for male Muslims were advertised as taking place every Sunday from 8am to 9.30am. Leaflets stipulated: "It is compulsory for the body to be covered between the navel and the knees. "Anyone not adhering to the dress code or rules within the pool will not be allowed to swim. All brothers welcome.'

A leisure centre spokesman said staff were wrong to refuse entry to Mr Toube. He added: "The member of staff the user spoke with at the time was mistaken when referring to the session as Muslim-only. "The men's modesty session is not a private hire and is, therefore, open to the public. "Staff cannot ask your religion on entrance and you won't be refused entry if you don't appear to be Muslim."

A spokesman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: "Segregating services may amount to unlawful discrimination and could create a sense of unfairness, inadvertently increasing community tension."


UK Muslim Airport Porters Refuse to Handle Israeli Luggage

This outrageous story from e-mailer Beryl Dean has been verified and is absolutely true:
My friend Miriam Bedein traveled to Britain early in April. She arrived on British Air from Israel, and as she arrived at the baggage claim, she observed that there were no porters at the site.

She asked what was happening of the gentleman who was taking her to the baggage carousel, and he said "Ooh, the porters are Muslim and they will not handle any luggage coming from Israel" (In Britain, the porters take the luggage off the carousels and take them to your cab, etc.) While it was not his job, the gentleman was kind enough to get her luggage for her.

She is writing British Air about this incident, asking why they tolerate, and what they are doing about, this unacceptable situation. I urge my readers to write, particularly to British Air and Heathrow Ariport. But I have another solution, as well: DON'T GO TO BRITAIN.

It's essentially a Muslim Nation--Dar Al-Islam. Let them have halal bangers and mash all they want, but not our dollars. This situation is in place, because--as with all things--the Brits kowtow to Islam and have allowed this intolerable behavior


Global warming? Scotland sees its best snow in a decade

The restaurant at the top of the mountain is packed, though the queues are not for tartiflette or omelette savoyarde but for the distinctly un-haute cuisine of haggis and neeps and tatties. In the shop by the funicular railway, Loch Ness Monster books and goat’s- milk soap from a local crofter are on sale next to ski goggles and thermal leggings. The weather forecast — “Some buffeting on higher slopes” — sounds particularly Scottish, while the signs for the “Cairngorm Poo Project”, an initiative to cut human waste left by walkers, would be hard to imagine in Courchevel or Val d’Isere.

Only a year after experiencing its worst season, the CairnGorm Mountain resort near Aviemore is defying the doomsayers of global warming and predictions of its demise. The car park is full and the slopes busy. When the sun comes out, it is almost warm. After several weeks of decent snowfalls, the spring skiing conditions are, according to everyone who knows, the best in living memory. The resort has even run out of up-to-date piste maps, and has had to advertise for extra staff because many of its seasonal workers have already left.

The snow in Scotland is so good that at least two of its five resorts are expecting to extend the season into May. It may be just temporary, but for the moment the Great British Ski Resort is back in business. “Yesterday I had a business appointment at the bank in the morning, but after work I was ski touring until 8 in the evening,” says Bob Kinnair, 54, chief executive of CairnGorm and a former head of the British Association of Ski Instructors. “It was just me and a mountain hare. I’ve been skiing here for 30 years but these are the best spring conditions I can remember.” He adds: “It’s an extraordinary position for Scottish skiing to be in heading for the end of April in this century. We were open for skiing on December 1 and we’re expecting to be open on May 1, which will take us into our sixth month.”

Despite the snow cover — at least a metre has fallen at the top (altitude 3,600ft, or 1,097m) — skiing in Scotland remains a unique experience. The piste names — Over Yonder, M2 and Side Slope — have a prosaic charm of their own. Bright orange signs highlight rocks and streams, while fences at the side of slopes prevent the snow from being blown too far by strong winds. This week, after a fresh dusting of snow on Tuesday, conditions remained surprisingly good. Despite a fair bit of “buffeting” (just 30mph when The Times visited — a good day) and sub-zero temperatures, there was fresh powder to be had in the bowls and gullies surrounding the 37km of groomed runs. Only a few weeks ago it was possible to ski all the way down to the lower car park, an event so rare that it was described as a “once-in-a- generation experience”.

CairnGorm’s target of 51,000 skier days was passed two weeks ago, and it should now comfortably exceed 60,000, with many travelling up from England. Although this is still nothing like the 150,000-200,000 skier days enjoyed by the resort in its prime 30 years ago, it represents a dramatic increase on last year’s 38,000. The improvement in conditions means that CairnGorm can expect to make a small profit this year, though most of that money will be reinvested in the resort infrastructure and used to service bank overdrafts. After just about breaking even for half a dozen years, the resort made a loss of £200,000 last year, raising serious questions about its future and the viability of Scottish skiing.

Scotland’s four other resorts have all enjoyed good conditions this year. Iain Hayes, 22, from Aviemore, who has been skiing in Scotland since he was 3, said yesterday: “These are the best conditions I can remember for ten years. The cover is incredible. It’s opened up the whole mountain.”


Teacher accuses British Islamic school of racism

A former teacher at an Islamic school, who alleged that it taught an offensive and racist view of non-Muslims, has been awarded 70,000 pounds by an employment tribunal after winning his case for unfair dismissal. Colin Cook told the tribunal in Watford that pupils were taught from Arabic books that likened Jews and Christians to "monkeys" and "pigs" at The King Fahad Academy, which is funded and run by the Saudi Arabian Government. The tribunal ruled that Mr Cook, a British Muslim, was unfairly dismissed from his 36,000 pounds-a-year post at the school in Acton, West London, in December 2006 after blowing the whistle on systematic cheating at a GCSE exam.

The panel found that the school created a "smokescreen" to try to justify his dismissal after 18 years' unblemished service. It awarded Mr Cook 58,800 pounds in compensation for loss of earnings and 10,500 for injury to feelings. But it rejected his claim that the school discriminated against him on racial grounds.

Mr Cook told the hearing that after leaving the school another member of staff gave him extracts from an Arabic textbook, which encouraged students to believe that all religions other than Islam were worthless. The books referred to "the repugnant characteristics of the Jews". Another passage said: "Those whom God has cursed and with whom he is angry, he has turned into monkeys and pigs. They worship Satan." Mr Cook alleged that the books were spreading race hatred. "They should not be brought into this country and they should not be used in this country," he said.

The school denied ever teaching any form of racial hatred and insisted that the offending passages in the books were "misinterpreted" and were never used in class. But it later got rid of the books.

The school was established in 1985, with the aim of providing a high-quality education acceptable to the Saudi and British authorities for the children of Saudi diplomats and other Muslim families in London. Some of the children of the jailed extremist clerics Abu Hamza al-Masri and Abu Qatada are pupils at the school, which charges fees of up to 1,500 pounds per year for day students.

Mr Cook alleged that in June 2006 staff wrongly allowed pupils to refer to heavily annotated course books during an English language GCSE exam. The tribunal was told that when he suggested that the school might be trying to cover up his allegations, a senior colleague told him: "This is not England. It is Saudi Arabia." Mr Cook then took his complaints direct to the Edexcel exam board.

Mr Cook of Feltham, West London, taught English as a second language at the school. Giving evidence to the tribunal, he said that some pupils "talked as if they did not live in London at all". When he queried how Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada could be paying school fees when they were said to be on benefits, he was told to mind his own business. He also claimed the school was seen as an extension of the Saudi Embassy rather than part of Britain, with Saudi teachers even enjoying diplomatic immunity.

Mr Cook's solicitor, Lawrence Davies, said: "Safeguards under English law were thrown out of the window when Mr Cook was sacked. "This school must learn that it is not the Saudi way or the highway. The tribunal has upheld justice and protected the whistle-blower." The tribunal panel was not required to rule on Mr Cook's allegations about the school's curriculum. But in its judgment, it said it had considered Mr Cook to be a "truthful witness". As he was a respected teacher, with an 18-year unblemished record, it ruled that the impact of his dismissal had been "nothing short of life-changing" for Mr Cook. He had received a "harsh punishment for doing what he thought was the right thing to do", it concluded.

Mr Cook said last night: "I have been accused by people at the school and outside the school of lies and distortion. The school inferred that I had endangered pupils with my allegations. "The evidence speaks otherwise. I told the truth all along. Islam teaches peace and honesty. Hopefully, my accusers will now realise that I acted justly and for the good of the school."


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