Search This Blog

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Let religionists carry knives into Parliament building, says MEP

An MEP wants Sikhs to be able to carry knives into the European Parliament building.

She says they can carry them into Westminster, so why not the European Parliament?

Lib Dem MEP Liz Lynn was speaking as an all-party Sikh interest group is launched, but some Sikhs have been denied access to the Parliament building because they seem to think they have to carry a knife – a ceremonial thing called a kirpan.

No, they don’t. If it’s ceremonial and not a weapon, as they claim, why can’t they carry a representation of it? And what are they doing being allowed to carry weapons into Westminster, when anyone else would not be allowed to do so?

This loopy PC MEP puts forward this crazy logic: “I am deeply disappointed that the European Parliamentary authorities refuse to recognise the right of Sikh people to wear the kirpan.

“The kirpan is not a weapon: it is a religious symbol. This is not a question of security but one of religious freedom.”

Even if each and every Sikh who was allowed to enter a government building carrying a knife had only the purest of intentions (and that cannot, of course, be guaranteed), the fact that that weapon is on his person if he got into an contretemps – even by no fault of his own – is itself a security issue. If ten Sikhs are in a meeting, there are ten knives in the meeting.

And what if a religious type claimed it was his fundamental religious freedom to carry an AK-47?

Where I do agree with her is when she says, “I do not see why the rules should be different in the European Parliament.” Quite. The rules shouldn’t be different for the two parliaments. The knives should not be allowed into Westminster – unless, of course, everyone were allowed to carry one, which might not be wise.

No comments: