If they’re so concerned about modesty, why do these Muslims think they’re so special?
The UK-based Telegraph reports:
Muslim medical students* are refusing to obey hygiene rules brought in to stop the spread of deadly superbugs, because they say it is against their religion.
Women training in several hospitals in England have raised objections to removing their arm coverings in theatre and to rolling up their sleeves when washing their hands, because it is regarded as immodest in Islam.
*I assume they mean some Muslim medical students
The UK’s Department of Health has introduced new policy this month requiring all doctors to be bare below the elbow in order to stop “the spread of infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile, which have killed hundreds.” This new policy is being objected to, and in at least one case compliance was outright refused, on religious grounds by an unspecified subset of female Muslim medical students across the UK. Apparently these students think that their religion is deserving of special treatment. That it should transcend national medical policy intended for all doctors and medical students. Apparently they think that their fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran is more important than equality and medical policy enacted to SAVE LIVES.
These students are not alone in their prioritization of fundamentalist Islam over equality and life. The Telegraph reports that
The Islamic Medical Association insisted that covering all the body in public, except the face and hands, was a basic tenet of Islam.
“No practicing Muslim woman – doctor, medical student, nurse or patient – should be forced to bare her arms below the elbow, ” it said.
Dr. Charles Tannock, a Conservative MP and former hospital consultant, takes the words out of my mouth:
“Perhaps these women should not be choosing medicine as a career if they feel unable to abide by the guidelines that everyone else has to follow.”
Tannock also said that “These students are being trained using taxpayers’ money and they have a duty of care to their patients not to put their health at risk.”
I should start a ticker to count the number of times I share a point of view with a conservative…
Tannock and I are not alone in this stance. Indeed, a number of medical professionals and hygiene experts echoed the sentiments that policies for healthcare professionals should be universal, not subject to special faith-based considerations.
These Muslim fundamentalists really need a reality check. If they want to live in an Islamic republic, then they can live in the Islamic World. When one comes to a secular nation, so long as one does not violate any secular laws one can can bring their religion with them, dress as they like, pray as they like, congregate as they like, maintain their traditional diet, and share their culture with others. This is all well and fine. But for the love of all that is good, I beg all Western Islamic citizens: Would you please stop acting like you are entitled to special treatment?! Do you have the slightest idea what “secular” means? It means separation of church and state. What that means is NO SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR RELIGION. This includes YOUR religion. The covering up of female Muslims’ arms may be a commonly held (extremist) tenet of Islam, but not unnecessarily risking the health and lives of patients is a commonly held (rational and humane) tenet of medicine! It’s also a commonly held tenet for being, y’know, a GOOD PERSON! And moreover, no Muslim has to keep their arms covered. They choose to keep their arms covered. And Muslim communities chooseto maintain unnecessarily rigid standards. If female Muslim medical students, doctors and other medical professionals want to choose to keep their sleaves rolled down, then they can choose to leave medicine. That’s one of the benefits of living in a secular democracy: you often have choice. If you want to live in a secular democracy and have the opportunity, then live in a secular democracy. If not, either change careers or go to a place where you can keep your sleaves rolled down while giving medical treatment.
Dr. Majid Katme, the spokesperson of the Islamic Medical Association said: “Exposed arms can pick up germs and there is a lot of evidence to suggest skin is safer to the patient if covered. One idea might be to produce long, sterile, disposable gloves which go up to the elbows.”
If covered up skin is safer to the patient than exposed skin, then perhaps Katme should address the Department of Health on these secular reason-based grounds. If he is correct and having such long gloves is the best (or an equally good way to go, in comparison to bare arms) then great. Win-win situation. But if not, then as far as I am concerned female Islamic healthcare students and professionals can either roll up their sleaves, find a new profession, or find a country to practice that has not yet instituted the policy just adopted in the UK, but hopefully other places will if it is indeed a valid practice.
Islam and Muslims are not special. The sooner they Muslims learn this, the better. And equally important, the sooner that politically correct Muslim-coddling liberals* learn this, the better.
*Note: I am certainly not saying that all liberals fall under this description. In fact, on the liberal-conservative social and economic spectra, I am certainly a social liberal, and would probably be classifiable as an economic liberal, too. I have a less-defined position on the latter, and more thought and information is required.