Friday, December 14, 2007

Dreaming of a white Winterval…

A faithful communicant has drawn Cranmer’s attention to this Reuters story, which recounts that Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims have joined with the UK’s ‘equality watchdog’ to urge Britons to enjoy Christmas without worrying about offending non-Christians:

“It's time to stop being daft about Christmas. It's fine to celebrate and it's fine for Christ to be star of the show," said Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. “Let's stop being silly about a Christian Christmas," he said, referring to a tendency to play down the traditional celebrations of the birth of Christ for fear of offending minorities in multicultural Britain.

Suicide bombings by British Islamists in July 2005 which killed 52 people in London have prompted much soul-searching about religion and integration in Britain, a debate that has been echoed across Europe. The threat of radical Islam, highlighted by the London attacks, prompted reflection about Britain's attitude to ethnic minorities and debate about whether closer integration was more important than promoting multiculturalism.

Phillips, reflecting on media reports of schools scrapping nativity plays and local councils celebrating ‘Winterval’ instead of Christmas, feared there might an underlying agenda - using ‘this great holiday to fuel community tension’. So he joined forces with leaders of minority faiths to put out a blunt message to the politically correct - leave Christmas alone. "Hindus celebrate Christmas too. It's a great holiday for everyone living in Britain," said Anil Bhanot, general secretary of the UK Hindu Council.

So that’s that then - Hindus celebrate Christmas too. Actually, if you walk into any of their mandirs, it looks as though they celebrate Christmas every day. But let us hope to hear from Mr Phillips more manifest common sense, such as mecca-facing toilets or demands for the reinstatement of bacon sandwiches in prisons, banning compulsory Ramadan observance in the NHS, and the free practice of euthanasia upon sick cows.


Anonymous Ho Ho Ho Hotei ! said...

...and don't forget the Buddhists! .

14 December 2007 at 13:35  
Anonymous Grovelling white person said...

How nice of the immigrant communities to give their permission for native British to celebrate Christmas as they have done for centuries. We can all be thankful that Trevor Phillips and Anil Bhanot have shown such benevolence and generosity to their unworthy subjects. As a symbol of my undying gratitude, I shall soon embark for Saudi Arabia and publicy announce my permission for Ramadan to go ahead.

Of course, when white culture is offensive to minorities, white people are expected to undergo 'sensitivity training'. When ethnic culture is offensive to white people, white people are again expected to undergo 'sensitivity training'. That's 'equality' for you.

15 December 2007 at 06:30  
Blogger John M Ward said...

I think the "grovelling white person" has got the wrong slant on this. It's not a question of permission from these bodies -- it's a matter of saying "we're with you on this, not against you!"

Because the perception is (with much justification!) that it these bodies' communities that are the source of the problem, it is right that they address the issue. If the boot were on the other foot, and we were perceived as the killjoys, I am sure we would wish to do much the same.

I'd suggest that, especially in this Season of Goodwill, we accept the gesture and, well, party on dudes!

15 December 2007 at 14:16  
Anonymous Non-White Person said...

Grovelling white person, I have just seen on Channel 4 a documentary in which Muslim clerics and converts instruct by behavioural change of some volunteer non-Muslims on the observance of the Islamic way of life and obedience to the Koran.

I was wondering therefore, as a way to assuage your anxieties and in the spirit of hospitality, if it would please you if these Muslims who have come to live in Britain (who one can only assume that they must have found the Judeo-Christian lifestyle in Britain attractive to come and live here in the first place) should equally and in reverse be volunteering to change their life-style and beliefs to Judeo-Christian ones?

16 December 2007 at 22:42  

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