18 Oct 2006


I have to report a great discussion with Professor Tariq Modood, MBE, from the University of Bristol’s department of Sociology, on the issues around racial equality.

He helped to flesh out the subject for me with which I have some breadth of understanding. I have broadly come away with two main articulations.

Firstly the notion of equality not uniformity that is the laudable English tradition as opposed to say the French or American greater tendency to equality by conformity. Based around the foundation of equal citizenship (Oh, you didn’t know it was unequal? Post a comment if you want more.)

And secondly and this is a personal comment that the above being so and its implied rights to the individual, a main secondary issue is of security and appropriateness. I am a biker. It was not always so, but now if I go to a petrol station I am usually required to take of my helmet and there are often detailed signs pointing this out. At first I resented this, but I understood it and I respect it.

Some people from all quarters and for different reasons fear the veil. My esteemed friend reports that a cross section of wearers reveals a majority of teenagers rebelling who’s own mothers do not wear the veil and furthermore are embarrassed by their children’s behaviour.

I welcome all views; I do not believe in sweeping difficult issues under the carpet, please send me your views.

I feel that a combination of straight talk, at the petrol station or in front of an official, if asked to remove your helmet or veil, either do it or don’t shop there and on the other hand talking about it takes it out of the realm of the decent Muslim families embarrassment and into a perhaps more realistic perspective of teenagers will protest and dress up as mods, punks, with hoodies and veils.

Bearing in mind the issues that we all face, we need to save ourselves from future misunderstandings. Lets talk about this.

When I encounter tensions in my local community, I wonder why our officials have not been more vocal and communicative with the respective community leaders. Keep me informed and I shall keep you posted, let us not be beaten by ignorance.

I do not apologise for summarising here, this is by no means a finished statement, it is an invitation to discussion.


  1. "Weds 18 Oct political debate with Prof Tariq Madood of Bristol Uni

    I went to this meeting too and you are being very kind to the guy.He trivialised the issue of veil/no veil by equating it with teenagers wearing rings in their noses or skimpy clothing in public places. Jack Straw MPs top priority (and having been both Home and foreign Secretary the man knows what he's talking about) has to be the safety of himself and his staff.

    Have we got such short memories in Bristol? A local MP (Nigel Jones, Cheltenham) almost had his hands cut off in his own constituency office, his PA (a local councillor) was MURDERED, by a nutter with a sword. (He was a white english nutter, phew, that's ok then, we can talk about it without offending anyone!) If for religious reasons he had been allowed to wear a mask he could have escaped justice to this day.

    The issue of the veil wearing is not one of culture, fashion, religion or womens rights, it is the security of our representatives in public life and their employees, and that includes doctors, lawyers, and anyone else who has the public into their office and gives advice.

    If you deal with the public (the way you do, angelo) giving all kinds of quasi legal advice about their benefits, housing, kids schools, (and if you were an MP, immigration and crime issues would come into it) it is absolutely imperitive that you know the person sitting in front of you is the same person for whom the appointment was made. Otherwise you could unwittingly be the victim of various frauds, as well as the security aspect. Anyone who thinks people do not target public figures in this was is incredibly naive, and the higher up the ladder you go the worse it gets. My only reaction when I heard Jack Straws remarks was "Why on earth did it take him a whole year to say it!"


  2. I went to the meeting too. I thought that the Professor talked in a very erudite and learned way. I don't believe he trivialised any of the matters at all - but perhaps he raised the discussion to rather too high an academic level at times!
    I think that we are all a little concerned and bewildered that we have invited people from different cultural backgrounds into our country and, find that on trivial matters of etiquette, we are expected to understand, and follow rules that are alien to our own culture. If we don't do this we are accused of bigotry or even racism.
    An example (mentioned in the meeting) was a female schoolteacher who found that she was giving offence when she tried to shake the hand of a Somalian man.
    We should realise that through our actions we may GIVE offence, but also that, from any action people may TAKE offence. The Race Relations Industry in the country should protect people from those who take offence when none is intended.
    I think that we should have a guideline that, whenever there is a clash of cultural custom and habit, then the endemic cultural norm should be allowed to prevail. At least then we would all know where we stand.
    On the issue of veils we would normally consider it to be rude and evasive for someone to cover their face in any normal interaction. I think this cultural norm should prevail.

  3. The problem is also one of double standards. If you wore a Pith Helmet and demanded immediate repatriation for anyone not respecting English customs and law you would be, quite rightly, dimissed as a bigoted, racist nutter.

    But if you wear robes and a flowing beard and demand beheading for someone who has dared to draw a cartoon depicting the Prophet you are allowed to do so, and face no legal restriction or even criticism.

    The fact that some are trying to deny others the freedom of speech which they themselves are so happy to exploit in the UK needs to be addressed. One suspects that it is covertly, by the Security Services,
    But I think it should be also made clear to all denominations that any religious statements which can be seen as contrary to English law or a as incitement to illegal or violent action will not be tolerated and that anyone found involved in such activity seriously jeopardise their right to stay in the UK or even their UK citizenship.

    In the light of the London Tube bombings we cannot afford to allow extremist, disaffected groups of whatever affiliation or religion or race to foment discontent, anger and ultimately murderous action - whatever their rationalisation and reasons might be.

  4. I am so pleased we are having a discussion on the subject. I respectfully ask that the members of our Islamic community post their views.

    Please e-mail me angelo@bristolconservatives or contact my office if you are facing difficulties related to these issues, I shall do my best to help and be grateful to be informed before feelings on the ground become enflamed.

    My position is that we must do all we can to communicate, if we are to continue to make multiculturalism work and expect relations to improve in Bristol.

    1. As more recent readers may have surmised, I have learned much about lame stream politics through first hand experience and now recognize how they are actually 'all' bought and paid for. I supported the conservative party in 2006 for offering to improve rights for fathers. In the process I saw from the inside that they are blatantly controlled by the banksters and military industrial complex. Populated largely by the self serving and a few fools suckered in like me. The situation for fathers is now worse than ever.

      I am now advocating 2nd amendment style gun laws for the UK. We have a natural right to defend ourselves against this tyranny.

      I would still not restrict the veil but instead I would respect the right of private business to reject those that wear them, it's their place their choice. On the other hand, there are few MP's worth saving and they decided to enter public office, it is right that they be afraid of the public.

      As we have all discovered, these so called 'terrorist' events in the US and UK have been staged, If you have any trust in me, I confirm that to be true from the insiders perspective. From our schools to our police, an ignorant population of sheeple are being bred and 1984 happened as a slow creep. Like frogs in a pot, we will soon be well done.

      Today I look at our cities from a mathematical view point and realize they make no sense and I know that the number one issue is a complete reset of the global monetary system away from the debt and fiat system and back to an uncontrolled (free) gold standard with a major debt jubilee and redistribution.

      After that I believe we should dump the law books accumulated over far too long and start again with just 2 laws. Protect the individual. Protect the individuals property.

      Then open direct democratic communities of no more than 150 persons. Turn all armies to research, development and exploration. and other such peculiar ideas.

      I await a critical mass of the awakened and hope that the theory of exponentiality is in effect for an imminent blow off!

      It had better happen soon, or sites like this and independent journalists in general will become a thing of the past, in effect the prison doors will be shut.