Friday, May 04, 2007

New Veil Anger

A bus company in Scotland has produced new guidelines about veiled passengers. The guidelines state that if a passenger is attempting to use a travel card they must identify themselves either by lifting their veil (to match their face to the photo-card) or by producing a driving licence or passport. The aim is to prevent people from using another person's card.

The BBC quotes from two Muslim spokespersons who both claim that this rule is unnecessary for two reasons; 1) hardly anyone wears the veil and 2) people aren't going to put on a veil just to avoid paying for their bus fare. Both these points argue that the rule is a waste of time. But being a waste of time is a problem for the company, if it wants to waste time, let it.

One of the spokesmen, Sohaib Saeed, events co-ordinator at Edinburgh Central Mosque, was at least honest enough (after giving his fake reasons for opposing the rule) to let us know his real objection. "This rule is intrusive and it's singling people out."

Wrong and wrong. Seeing someone's face is not considered intrusive in this country, and the women do not even have to show their face, they only need to identify themselves. That can hardly be considered intrusive. As to singling people out; they have singled themselves out.

Once again we see this attitude that people should be free to make a decision and expect there to be no repercussions. If a woman chooses to wear a veil she must accept that that comes with consequences. She should be free to make that decision, but then don't expect (or insist) that others alter their behaviour to accommodate your decision. Like everyone in this world, they must live their life with the consequences of their decision.

However, the drivers are unhappy, and with good reason. As one told the Scotsman:

It seems unnecessary and puts drivers in an awkward and potentially dangerous position. We risk being branded racist.
Their complaint is valid and just exposes the sorry state of our society.