Just because the pot is black does not mean kettle is shiny

The Consulate-General of Saudi Arabia has written to the New Zealand Government to complain after two incidents in which Saudi Arabian women were told by bus drivers that they couldn’t board a bus because of their Muslim veil.

Dr Sameer Aljabri, the husband of one of the women, who works at the Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission in Auckland, said he would lodge an official complaint with the Human Rights Commission on behalf of his wife. The incident had affected his opinion of New Zealand, where he had lived for about seven months. “It feels like this country is at the end of the world and knows nothing about the rest of the world,”  he said.

A Human Rights Commission spokesman said the incidents appeared to amount to discrimination on religious grounds.

  • Pope Benedict, in the course of an interview with German journalist Peter Seewald said “As far as the burqa is concerned, I do not see a reason for a general ban. Some women do not wear the burqa entirely voluntarily and it is correct to talk of a violation against that woman. Of course one can not agree with that. But if they want to wear it voluntarily, I don’t know why one must ban them.”
  • Last year the French Catholic Church said that Islamic countries would not respect their Christian minorities if Nicolas Sarkozy’s government banned full-face Muslim veils. Bishop Michel Santier, the senior French official for inter-faith relations, said very few women in France wore full veils and that Muslim leaders agreed it was not obligatory.
  • New Zealand Christian Network National Director Glyn Carpenter defended the freedom of Muslim women to wear the full-veil burqa, when he appeared on TV1’s Close Up programme on Tuesday, 5 July.
  •  New Zealand may not be perfect but Saudi Arabia’s record on civil, political and religious rights is woeful. Though the latest reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch note some marginal improvements, such as more scope for women to work and study, Saudi Arabia remains one of the world’s most repressive, autocratic and intolerant states, says the editorial in the DomionPost


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News category: Top Story, World.

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