Friday, 14 August 2009

It's (a way of) Life, Jim...but not as you know it

Minister and wife walk out of Muslim wedding!

Does this really deserve to make the front page of a national newspaper? Does it really?

I mean, some bloke and his wife go to a wedding, can't sit together, and then leave. What is the definition of a 'slow news day'? Ok, so it's newsworthy because Jim Fitzpatrick is another Labour minister mocking his Muslim constituents who probably voted for him. No good deed deserves to go unpunished I suppose. But I suspect the main reason 'Muslims getting married according to Muslim tradition' makes headline news in a right-leaning paper is because it is another opportunity to scare the pants off people regarding the 'Islamification of [insert Western nation here]'. I would have thought that a wedding (not the registered aspect of the marriage) is a private matter not a state matter, but clearly the danger it poses to our way of life must not be underestimated - particularly by the paranoid or delusional.

Of course the signs have been with us for years (how did we fail to spot what was in plain sight all along?). Their plans for creeping Islamification are ingenious (you can read all about it in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Mecca'). Somehow they have made it fashionable for a full face veil (albeit gauze-like material) to be part of the bride's dress in a traditional 'white wedding', and they have even managed to brainwash generations of young men and women in this country into having gender segregation at stag nights and hen parties (don't let the alcohol and strippers fool you, these Muslims are tricksy my precious).

And there's always the danger these weddings pose to community cohesion...hang on a minute isn't this story about some non-Muslims who were invited to one of the most private and happiest of family occasions by some anti-cohesion Muslims? I couldn't think of a better way to demonstrate my desire for separation from my fellow citizens who do not share my colour or faith than to invite them into the company of my nearest and dearest and ply them with free food and drink.

I have been to Muslim weddings throughout the whole of my adult life and only on one occasion did the male and female guests NOT sit separately. But even with this segregation, I observed that non-Muslim guests where always allowed to sit together. At my own brother's wedding his non-Muslim mates brought along their girlfriends and they all sat on the same table. You may not agree with it, you may find this type of segregation odd, but it's the way these events are organised. Not every Muslim family does it this way, the vast majority do, and you either go along knowing what to expect and sit through it respectfully, and enjoy the same gender company whilst being fussed over as a guest or respectfully decline the invitation in the first place. I am under no illusion about the freely available alcohol that will be present at the weddings of non-Muslim friends and relatives that I get invited to. I don't drink but it doesn't prevent me going. I would consider it rude not to attend without a valid reason, an extenuating circumstance, not to. I take my hat off if I visit a church and I cover my head if I visit a synagogue - no big deal. Why do some people find it so difficult to spend an hour or so experiencing another person's way of celebrating marriage?

The minister later told his local newspaper: "It's a disappointment. We are trying to build social cohesion in a community but this is not the way forward." Quite.

Nothing says "trying to build social cohesion" like Hissy Fitz showing a bit of bad manners and making a young couple's wedding day memorable in the national press for all the wrong reasons.

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