Rather "surprisingly" (look closely folks, you will find I am being a tad "ironic" with my use of that word), my own local borough of Croydon (see www.croydoniscrap.com for all about Croydon) have put their two left feet firmly in the sh*t on this one.
It seems that Croydon Council have decided that the local Muslim community are not being treated fairly, when it comes to swimming facilities. As such Nanny's chums on the council have decreed that Thornton Heath (a part of Croydon) swimming pool should hold Muslim only sessions on a Sunday afternoon.
As if that were not bad enough, the sessions are for men only.
A triple whammy!
Racist, religioust and sexist, to boot!
Nice going Nanny.
The men only swimming sessions are held for two hours every week in Thornton Heath swimming pool, in fact they have been doing so for a year now.
I should point out that non Muslim men may swim during this time. However, they must follow a dress code akin to bathing in the Victorian age; swimming shorts must hide the navel and extend below the knee.
Daniel Foley, a regular at Thornton Heath, said:
"I turned up and saw a sign saying it was closing early for Muslim afternoon
I couldn't believe it."
Croydon Mosque says:
"Muslims are not allowed to show intimate parts of their body.
This is non-negotiable.
Muslims have as much right to go swimming as anyone else."
A spokesman for Croydon Council said:
"We are keen to ensure sporting facilities in the borough
are accessible to the whole community.
We appreciate that certain religious groups,
such as Muslims, have strict rules on segregation
for activities including sports,
so in response to requests from the local community,
we have been running these sessions at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre
for the past year,
with a women-only session on Saturday evening and a male-only session on Sunday evening.
These have been successful and well attended.
Croydon is not unique in offering such sessions
to minority communities, many local authorities do the same.
We are not giving preference to any one group
but simply taking practical steps to create access to all."
A few facts here:
- Local authorities collect council taxes from all residents, in order to provide services and facilities for all residents without fear or favour to any one group. The segregation is clearly discriminatory, as it denies many people access to the facility on a Sunday afternoon.
- Many people in South Africa and America fought and died for the right to sit in the front of the bus, to attend the same schools and to swim in the same pools as everyone else. Croydon's policy is segregation, pure and simple; it is a retrograde step which will alienate the Muslim and non Muslim communities.
- It has taken centuries for Britain to develop the freedom and civil liberties, that we should be rightly proud of. We will not throw those centuries of toil and sacrifice away simply to placate those who are intolerant and bigoted.
Division and segregation lead to suspicion and intolerance.
Intolerance and bigotry are not welcome.
This is non-negotiable.
Feel free to write to Croydon Council here Croydon Council
Here is a list of councillors, and their email addresses Councillors
Give them my love:)
I would write to them myself, but they have steadfastly ignored very single communication that I have ever sent to them. So much for local democracy!
Whilst you are about it, why not drop Bliary Poppins a note too? He has been banging on about Muslims needing to integrate more, this segregation is surely a contradiction of his stated policy is it not?
Write to the PM here Bliary Poppins.