Today’s posting about the Toronto Mosque and the lawsuit through the HRC against UPS demands a clear defining of exactly what is meant by ‘freedom’ if we want to have any hope of defending western liberal democracy.
Freedom: A jurisdiction where people are not in danger of state persecution for their beliefs words ideas or politics.
Thats is it. An idea which is as important as it fragile. Freedom does not mean anyone is obliged to bend to the sensitivities of others in order not to offend them. UPS is not obliged to change its dress code to suit eight Muslim women who wish to wear a long shapeless dress anymore than a strip joint is obliged to hire a nun and let her work the pole in a full habit.
In a free society people have something rare and precious in the history of civilization and even human encampments. Choice.
A Nun can decide she wishes to spend her life in a traditional Catholic habit and take the consequences of the limitations that result. She can also decide not to wear the habit and work the chrome pole at the Playmate.
The same can be said of the Sikh who insisted he wear the turban while in the RCMP. He had that most precious thing the world has to offer. Choice. Instead he opted for the removal of the choice of others in the name of tolerance or ‘reasonable accommodation’ while in fact displaying gross intolerance to the rest of his country.
The eight Muslim women are free to ignore the rules of Islam and continue to work at UPS under their rules of dress or they are free to quit that job and dress like mail boxes should they choose to. This as I have stated already is a miracle of human accomplishment to allow this kind of latitude to people within a nation.
UPS is using the defense that a long flowing shapeless garment is dangerous in their work environment and Im sure thats true. It remains a gutless and pathetic defense. UPS needs none in fact. They have the right to demand whatever dress code for any arbitrary reasons they choose to the exact extent that people have the right to choose not to work for them. In fact the sacredness of the belief should ring an alarm bell rather than allow for greater accommodation. History is the great teacher of this.
During the Spanish inquisition people where not free for example, to practice Judaism. However Jews where free do not have the right to force the company cafeteria not to serve pork and keep kosher dishes. They are free to open a business of their own and have whatever rules they wish. This is perfect freedom and something we have achieved in the western world only recently and at great expense in blood and resources.
When a Jewish community center in Montreal demanded that a YMCA cover its windows so as not to distract students at the school they where way off the mark. The Jewish school if it felt it didn’t like the view was free and is free to frost remove or cover their own windows. This is freedom at its apex.
Islam by far is making the most demands for accommodations at the expense of the rest of society and for all nations in the world where Muslims are a little over one percent. The cost of twisting the logic of secular democracies to allow for this is a fast track back to the middle ages and as they where perceived to be, more than likely how they actually where. In fact its a fast track back to something much worse. Saudi Arabia as it is today and eventually, Somalia.