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By ATWadmin On July 30th, 2008

What is to be made of the news that a Sikh teenager who was barred from school for wearing a religious bangle regarded as a ‘handcuff to God’ was discriminated against and should be allowed to return to classes, a judge has ruled. Sarika Watkins-Singh was excluded after insisting she be allowed to wear the Kara – a bracelet worn by many Sikhs as a symbol of faith – despite her school’s ban on jewellery other than wristwatches and ear studs.  The 14-year-old, who had been a prefect at her school in South Wales, said tearfully that she was ‘overwhelmed’ by her High Court victory and described herself as a ‘proud Welsh Punjabi Sikh girl’.

I think this  is a disgraceful decision and there will be many more legal ans societal consequences.  This school SHOULD have been supported in its stance but instead our judiciary has humiliated the school and rewarded the whinging complainant. This will lead to a barrage of further complaints, with the Religion of Peace leading the way. 

25 Responses to “A HANDCUFF TO FORTUNE….”

  1. I do not like this descision and can see it leading to further trouble in the future. But who, in this present climate and fascination with Human Rights ever expected a different result?

  2. Gosh, Controvesty about religious wear in school and not a Muslim in sight.

  3. stupid little cow but hopes she enjoys her ‘victory’. The decision to allow it did not surprise me in the least – our basically left wing judiciary are always on the side of the ‘oppressed’. I do wish though the ‘oppressed’ would bugger off back to their own countries where they clearly enjoyed a much more liberal society, and looked forward to a great future – (especially the females).

  4. A school must be allowed set its own dress code. That is the only way to be fair to everybody. And if you don’t like the rules then you should be free to find a school more to your taste.

    For the courts to overturn a school rule is an absolute disgrace.

  5. Read the judge’s words. He makes an exceptional case of a silver bangle, stating that no equivalence can be made with a Crucifix and that the school need fear no further exemptions.

    In effect, a heathen trinket is now more special than a Crucifix. Quite clearly the man is insane.

    And the fat little trumpet needs to stop eating.

  6. Would you guys like to see the wearing of crucifix’s banned?

  7. Yes. Unless the school is an explicitly religious institution which parents have chosen to send their children to the two should absolutely not mix.

    That said, the fact that the judge has made it quite clear that ‘Christianity doesnt count’ is totally contemptible hypocrisy.

  8. Spot the difference.:-

    Christian Chastity ring’ girl loses case.
    Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: "This is entirely the correct decision."The case was a manipulative attempt to impose a particular religious viewpoint on this school and, presumably, on other schools if this case had been won."

    Sikh girl wins right to wear bangle at school.
    Anna Fairclough, Liberty’s legal officer who was representing the Singhs, said: “This common sense judgment makes clear you must have a very good reason before interfering with someone’s religious freedom.“Our great British traditions of religious tolerance and race equality have been rightly upheld today.”

  9. Well considering that several of the commenters here complaining about this including David were delighted when a similar ‘religous rights’ ruling went in favour of an individual challenging the rules recently, what can you expect more more of these wrongheaded decisions.

  10. Colm,

    You mean, "My religious gewgaw is superior to your religious gewgaw"?

    Or, "I’ll see your bangle and raise you a cross"?

    Shurely not.

  11. Dawkins

    I am referring to the recent decision by an employment tribunal to permit a woman who was a registrar to refuse to carry out civil partnerships for ‘religous reasons’ even though the whole point of registry office ceremonies is that they are secular. She forced her religion into her workplace , won her case and David and Pete Moore amongst others here were delighted , but now all of a sudden they don’t like such religous rights.

  12. Perhaps the best way forward might be if ALL religious symbolism/jewellery was banned from the classroom, and if a person wants to exhibit the fruits of their religion, then let it be displayed via their personalities rather than their jewellery?
    Hmmm, having said that, I’m only too painfully aware of how often I fail that very test.

  13. Generian,

    "Spot the difference.:-
    Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said:
    Anna Fairclough, Liberty’s legal officer who was representing the Singhs, said:"

    Two different people from two different organisations.

    What do I win?

  14. Colm,

    Uh yeah, I thought you were referencing the airline woman and the cross.

    Hmmm, interesting movie title there: "The Airline Woman and the Cross."

    Shyamalan, are you paying attention? :0)

  15. Colm –

    I have no problem with the girl wearing her bangle, although I’d prefer heathens to practice discretion. My problem is with the judge raising it above the crucifix. Our civilisation is Christian. Our laws and morals are Christian. Our heritage and culture is Christian and our system of government is that of a protestant constitutional monarchy.

    If a judge – beholden and loyal to the Crown – isn’t prepared to reflect this is his rulings, he ought to find something else to do.

  16. So your not a fan of seperation of church and state then Pete?

  17. PETE

    More important is the right of a school to set it’s own uniform policy and for it’s pupils to respect those rules or find another school. Neither in ths classroom or the workplace should people insist on the right to challenge the rules which apply to everyone in that common envinronment by forcing their own private religous customs, practices or beliefs into that setting, regardless of faith.

  18. RS –

    That’s not really the question. I have no view on the the seperation of church and state and see merits and drawbacks either way. The US and France go the seperation route, good luck to them, that’s my view on it.

    Being a conservative and traditionalist however, I know that the old ways are best. Our protestant constitutional monarchy has served us as well as any constitution could have, better than any constitution has served any other country and protected our liberties until Parliament embarked on a slow-motion revolution in the 20th Century.

    If you doubt this, then consider that the French have had five constitutions in less time than we’ve had our one.

    Reason doesn’t come into it. In fact I admit that some aspects of constitution are bonkers and stand common sense on its head. But reason is overrated and our protestant constitution works.

    Colm –

    More important is the right of a school to set it’s own uniform policy and for it’s pupils to respect those rules or find another school

    I agree. Given how fat and smugly self-satisfied this teenage girl is, and that she was so puffed with righteous indignation, I suspect she’s spoiled to the degree that she has little respect for natural authority.

    I doubt she considered for a moment the importance of respecting the view of school governors or that, sometimes, to acknowledge the view of others although you disagree with them is vital to good order.

    Now before you smack me around the chops with the Christian registrar, the onus on government to respect the views of others is just as vital, and the authority of Christian morality in the United Kingdom is at least as great as that of government.

  19. Pete you are aware that over in Britian there is a sizeable minority of a religion which pre-dates protestantism in Britain, and if you think there are merits in the overlapping of Church and State, thats all just grist to the mill for headcases like Iris the pink.
    Never mind it deligitimizing your ability to criticize other theocratic regimes without sounding slightly hypocritical.

  20. Pete,

    "My problem is with the judge raising it above the crucifix."

    No your problem is with reading comprehension. The judge said that wearing the crucifix was not a requirement of Christianity whereas wearing the Kara was a requirement of the girl’s religion. I don’t know about the latter but the former is certainly correct. Are you wearing your crucifix?

    Not that it makes the judgement any better. IMO the girl was not discriminated against unless the school allowed different rules for other religions, or if the rules were deliberately drawn in some petty way to target Sikhs. Neither of which seems to be the case here. Also assuming she could go to another school her freedom of religion was not affected either.

  21. Pete

    I won’t smack you around the chops with that. We’ve debated that issue and I just think the decision was wrong on several levels. Of course the govt. and the authorities in general need to respect the views of others, which is why we have legislation protecting peoples rights not to be unfairly discriminated against in employment and services because of aspects of their physical person (race,sex) or other factors (faith , sexuality) but that is different from allowing special treatments in the work or school envinronment which highlight and prioritises aspects of a person’s life which should be left in the private sphere.

  22. Frank O’Dwyer –

    I understand perfectly well what the judge said, and it certainly isn’t that the trinket is a requirement of her religion:

    While not a requirement of her religion, he accepted the Kara was of ‘exceptional importance’ to Sarika’s racial identity or religious belief. The judge said there was ‘no evidence’ that the wearing of a crucifix was regarded in the same way as the wearing of the Kara. ‘In other words the school is not justified in having any fear that granting an exemption to the claimant to allow her to wear the Kara would create any further exemptions,’ he said.

    So there you go, the importance of the heathen trinket is attributed to a teenage girl’s attachment to it, which apparently transcends 1500 years of Christian civilisation.

    As I said, the man’s insane.

  23. I firmly believe that the govt.should frame primary legislation which lays down the areas where the Juduciary can and cannot become involved. We seem to be becoming a society where judges can butt in to every nook and cranny of life and make binding decisions in areas where they should have no say at all. A society which alows almost anyone in any situation which they dont like to run to the courts for ‘rights enforcement’ rather than accept the restrictions and responsibilities of freely chosen memberships of emplyment/social/educational bodies , is not healthy and is a recipe for ever conflicting frictions.

  24. Pete,

    My mistake about the requirement part. However he is still talking about how the different religions view the importance of wearing of the symbol, and not the symbol itself.

    Nothing in what he said implies that the kara is more important than the crucifix, or that Christianity is of lesser importance than the Sikh religion.

    Which is entirely beside the point anyway. There may well be some Christians who think that it is vital to wear a crucifix at all times. It’s not for judges to say what is the authentic version of a religion, which is a forlorn intellectual exercise anyway.

  25. I do wish though the ‘oppressed’ would bugger off back to their own countries where they clearly enjoyed a much more liberal society,

    Maggie was this girl not born in Wales which by my reckoning makes it her country or are you as i suspect making another bigoted racist comment that seems so prevalent on this site.