Thanks to Jesus and Mo
Here is an example of a moderate – who really should know better: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8500712.stm
But before I continue – it is important to understand that in the UK guns are outlawed, and so are knives (in public) especially those with a fixed blade – we have tight laws on the carrying of knives, the only loop hole as I can see it is religion (and some other British traditional dress – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgian_dubh#Controversy). Obviously you can carry a knife it is a tool for your job – i.e. Chief, Doctor, Hunter, Carpenter etc.
I heard Sir Mota Singh on the radio this morning first denying that there has been an issue with this in the UK (which there has), and then secondly making excuses about how the dagger is needed as part of the religion.
Now bearing in mind that this man is a judge! And as such must deal with knife crime on a daily basis, you might have thought he would be a little more understanding of why schools do not want *any* young boys carrying knifes into the school? But was he?
All I heard were excuses about the religion and how it was necessary because it was symbolic of their adherence to the specifics of their religious traditions blar blar blar, and that they would never be used in anger. So when the presenter said, “well if it is symbolic, can a smaller or safer version of the dagger be used” – he changed the subject and played a rather well educated game of dodge the topic, until the interview ran out of time.
This is just typical of the religious to do this – and it just shows that they will justify their religion at the expense of any civil rights anyone else may have. It is also an example of how dangerous a religious moderate can be, especially if they are in a position of responsibility or power – they are not fundamentalists, and they do not mean harm – they are just misguided, and naive. What if a Sikh was bullied at school – would they be tempted to use the knife, even just to scare off an assailant? What if the assailant stole the knife and used it either on the Sikh or someone else? There are just too many horrible circumstances to think about here, and my preference is that knives of this sort are just banned outright in public unless it is required as a tool for professional work associated with a civil or military trade.
Of course we have added problem of the Scottish traditional dagger(sgian dubh), however, the difference here is that someone must be wearing traditional scottish dress in order to wear one, and often they are plastic – even so I still think they should be banned – there is nothing more intimidating than a large Scottish Man, drunk (anyone who knows the Scottish will tell you they drink – a lot!) in a kilt with a big knife in his sock, and of course I am sure many of these knives get lost on our streets all the time.
Comment by misunderstoodranter — February 8, 2010 @ 3:43 pm
The same issue has been ‘under the knife’ in Canada with Sikhs. See http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/03/02/kirpan-scoc060302.html
If the dagger is truly ceremonial and representative of courage, then its wearing is symbolic. There is no reason other than religious belief void of sense to deny the wearing of a symbol to fit within secular law. I feel the Supreme Court missed the point (ahem) on this one by insisting the ‘ceremonial’ dagger had to be sewn into garb as if this made it any less of an accessible weapon rather than be kept as a symbol of what it represents. And that symbol could be made in such a way to respect the law about carrying concealed weapons while maintaining its religious meaning….perhaps a small pendant worn about the neck and kept under clothing.
Comment by tildeb — February 8, 2010 @ 5:16 pm
A plastic one should be sufficient.
Comment by misunderstoodranter — February 8, 2010 @ 6:54 pm
Smaller than 2cms in total length I think.
Comment by tildeb — February 9, 2010 @ 2:39 am
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