Friday, 11 September 2009

The One That Is Going On And On And On And On . . .

The story in the news today about Haringey council putting a foster child into the care of the family of one of the wannabe liquid explosive suicide plane bombers has been commented on by a number of bloggers today. Whilst not the focus of today’s rambling, I will pass brief comment.

Haringey are idiots who couldn’t tell their arse from a sky-scraper made of edam and lego. I don’t think we should be surprised at this latest news story. That being said, it is my belief that most people in the intelligence community do not play well with others. I understand why to an extent. Given that these arse-clowns were under surveillance, and seemed fairly committed to the idea of making a plane go bang in spectacular style, it makes perfect sense for the cops and spooks to keep schtum until they have enough evidence to pick these guys up and charge them. That practice is preferable to keeping people locked up for however many days whilst a case is built.

By keeping them under surveillance you can build the case on the hoof whilst making sure the muscle is ready to step in if they make a move before the suspected scheduled time. I would imagine, given the history of Haringey social services, that the big hat in spook circles wasn’t all that enthusiastic about calling Haringey Soc. Serves and telling them that the foster family were connected to these people. That wouldn’t work at all.

That being said, why they thought that the unemployed and seemingly unemployable were suitable foster carers is a mystery to me. Haringey are an easy (and justified) target, but I bet one of their head honchos could pick up some government policy document and say ‘well it says here. . .’

One line hits me square between the eyes:

"Muslim children can only be placed with people of the same faith and the need
to find foster parents could mean that corners were cut in the vetting process."

There are some real issues with that policy.

Firstly, does this mean a child’s cultural heritage trumps considerations over its safety? If so, this is shameful and tantamount to abuse. You could have a loving couple from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster who would provide a secure and stable environment for any child, being passed over for a Muslim individual with a fondness for stretching seven year old sphincters. That is madness.

Secondly, does this mean Jewish children can be placed with Christian families? Taoist with Hindu? Is it just the Muslim children who cannot be placed outside their faith? If so, this is shameful and tantamount to abuse. What happens to the kids if there are no beds available with Muslim foster carers? In order to be in foster care, you have to be under a clear and present threat to your wellbeing, are the kids to be returned to an unsafe environment for the want of a Muslim foster family? Or are they to be placed in some home, cold and institutional, where they will feel that they are being punished? Do Haringey council run homes for the Muslims? If not, then where’s the difference to the policy for foster caring? This is bad news for the kids, the non-Muslim community who seemingly can’t be trusted to look after anyone of an Islamic background, and the Muslims themselves because. . .

Thirdly, this means that either the Muslim community demands that children be left in danger or a miserable home rather than be in a comfortable, loving environment, or (as is most likely) some lack-wit has decided that cultural sensitivity is the beginning, middle and end of the consideration, and indirectly tells those who aren’t Muslim they aren’t good enough. Either way mistrust and hatred is going to be the only outcome. Non-Muslims will hate the Muslims as they will see them as insulting, prejudiced and not caring about the kids. The Muslims will hate everyone else for hating them as the siege mentality takes over, and the kids will really hate the ‘liberal’ hand-wringing people at the council for making bloody silly policy which cost them their childhood in part or whole.

But here’s the rub. When last I looked, Muslim people breathe oxygen, drink water and need food to eat. There’s no real difference between them and anyone else. Their faith is an accident of birth. There is no Muslim genome, nothing binds the Bosnian Muslim, the Algerian Muslim, the Bangladeshi Muslim and the Malaysian Muslim beyond their faith. Muslim people come in all different sizes, shapes and colours.

Does this mean that a one year old Muslim kid has to be kept by people of ‘his’ faith? He’s a bloody kid. He could quite easily have been born a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist, it is a total and complete lottery. It isn’t HIS faith, it is the faith that has been imposed upon him by his parentage and his society.

That sounds like an impassioned argument about the futility of religion, perhaps with an undertone of bansturbation. It isn’t. I don’t care for religion myself, in my experience each of the three biggies in the mid-East, Europe and Africa seem to espouse values of love, peace, forgiveness and understanding, but those who bang on about it most display those qualities least. I don’t need it in my life.

But here’s the thing, just because I don’t need it in my life, doesn’t mean other people don’t need it in theirs. If they feel they do, then carry on, I sincerely hopes it makes you happy. I will not try to force my lack of faith (although it is more a lack of faith in Man and his organised church, than in God) upon you. I will not seek to kill you because you believe differently to I (this may be because as I have no church to ‘learn’ from, there’s no-one telling me to do it). I will treat you with respect, good manners and politeness. I do this willingly and without passing judgement upon you. In return I ask that you do not try to force your faith upon me, that you do not seek to kill me because I believe differently to you and that you treat me with respect, good manners and politeness and do this willingly and without passing judgement upon me.

On the whole, this arrangement works very well. Down my street in very homogenous Canterbury we have Ahmadiyya Bangladeshis running the grocers, Shia Kurds running the barber, very Christian women running a charity shop and Greek orthodox running the chip shop. All within forty paces of each other. They refrain from smashing in each others windows, which is nice, and will normally change each others banknotes if pound coins start running low. I use all the businesses regularly because they are all nice people and I believe in supporting local commerce.

Very few people would turn purple and start shouting about a Muslim kid in danger of being beaten, raped or killed being moved out of that environment and placed in the care of someone who will give them a nice dinner, a warm bed and a bed-time story. Those that would are detestable, these really are the cheeeldren we should be thinking of.

So what’s the message? On the whole we all get on fine, tolerate and in some circumstances actually show an interest in our differences. Some people through idiocy hate the different as their way is the only way. These people shout loud. Next time you hear an idiot shouting loud, get together, sensible, ‘normal’ people and shout louder. Perhaps that way the idiots will realise they are outnumbered and stop trying to kill us all. Perhaps that way council officials will realise that the policy of putting kids in the foster care of suicide bombers is more offensive to us, that being society, than it is to those who think Muslim people should have their own little world.

I’ll sign off with a quote from a well respected and much loved dramatic piece.

‘Be excellent to each other.’ – Rufus; Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

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