The Swiss Handshake
Just some of the many benefits of having a beautiful, 22-year-old daughter who is a recent graduate of the left-wing / ALP / Greens / student union dominated Adelaide University is that I’m often reminded, amongst many other things:
- how much I don’t know;
- how truly evil guns are (sadly, she wasn’t there long enough to also learn how truly evil large white trucks are as well!); and
- how politically incorrect and insensitive I am.
I was at an ‘Edge Church’ function at Feliciano’s Restaurant in Gilbert Street, Adelaide a few weeks ago and was distracting Dom, the owner, from his important pizza making duties.
During my discussion, Dom asked me if I considered myself to be a racist.
It didn’t take me long to answer Dom’s blunt question with a “Well …………… yes and no” answer. I then continued:
“Dom, the daughter of one of my closest friends in the whole world married a Pakistani Muslim about 4 years ago. When ‘Jill’ first started dating ‘Jack’ (needless to say, not their real names) about 6 years ago my friend ‘Adolf’ (not his real name either) was somewhat apprehensive about his daughter Jill being involved in a relationship with a practising Muslim.
However, after a while, Adolf mentioned to me that Jack is actually ‘quite a nice bloke’ and Adolf asked me, given Jack’s professional university qualifications, if I could do anything to help him obtain a job as something better than a taxi driver or restaurant kitchen hand, as he was then.
Not questioning for a moment my friend Adolf’s assessment of Jack, I arranged for Jack to be interviewed (and, later, employed) by a business with which I was then closely associated.
6 years on, Jack is still gainfully employed at the same business and Jill is delightfully happy with being married to Jack.
Jack will often come out to dinner with Adolf and me for our Friday evening “blokes’ nights” and although, and fair enough, he passes on having bacon on his hamburger, he is now ‘part of the furniture’ and an integral and important part of Adolf’s extended family.
On my understanding, Jack goes to a mosque occasionally and observes fasting during the Ramadan feast – but he doesn’t make a big deal of it – and although he seeks mild concessions from his employer (such as starting and finishing earlier than usual) it’s barely noticed by any of the people with whom he works. Jack doesn’t make a big deal of being hungry every day! He certainly no martyr about it all.
When Jack and Jill were married they had a Muslim service on a Friday evening at an Adelaide mosque and then a non-denominational Western civil service the following afternoon, followed by a very traditional Western reception at a popular Italian restaurant in Adelaide.
In short, Jack has consciously and intentionally integrated himself into a traditional Australian family and he is welcomed with open arms by just about every Australian with whom he interacts – except when Pakistan is beating Australia in cricket! J
Accordingly, when it comes to Muslims like Jack I do not consider myself to be racist in the least but, to the contrary, both welcoming and accommodating.
Compare Jack to ‘Mustapha’ (yes, his real name!) who I had the displeasure to know for a short while in 2014.
Mustapha made it very clear to me that the only reason he would talk to me was because he was forced against his will into a situation where he had to.
During Ramadan, Mustapha expected the world to revolve around him and bend over backwards to make concessions for him given the obvious and regularly professed pain and agony that he endured during the tortuous, month-long fasting process.
Because I did not share Mustapha’s religious beliefs he was constantly scornful towards me and made it quite clear that he considered me to be lower in status than a bug upon which he might step whilst walking down the street.
Mustapha constantly boasted that it was preordained (that’s my word, not his) by his family that he would have many wives in Australia and somewhere between 10 and 15 children – all of whom, to his great and constant amusement, would be fully supported by the Australian government. Mustapha had no interest whatsoever in ever obtaining a job and he was only interested in researching Islamic theory and beliefs – and he considered radical Islamic views and ideology to be his sole source of inspiration in life.
ISIS had only become known of in Australia a few months before I had my unfortunate association with more stuff – but even then, he considered their actions to be admirable.
The concept of socialising with a non-Muslim was repugnant to Mustapha and he could think of no worse a future than having to interact with non-Muslims on a regular basis.
So, when it comes to Muslims like Mustapha I do, absolutely and proudly, consider myself to be a racist and not the least welcoming or accommodating.”
Dom could not think of a reason to disagree with my views on racism – even though I pleaded with him to show me any error(s) in my views, if he could, in fact, see one or more errors.
Dom then, finally, went back to making his pizzas for all who were in attendance.
The Swiss ‘Experiment’
It was only shortly after this conversation with Dom that I became aware of a situation that has recently occurred in Switzerland – and it made me think that, sometimes, it’s the little things that are most telling.
In Switzerland it has long been customary for students to shake the hands of their teachers at the beginning and end of each school day. In short, it’s a sign of solidarity and mutual respect between teacher and pupil and one that is thought to encourage a positive classroom atmosphere. Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga felt compelled to explain in some greater detail that shaking hands was “a part of Swiss culture and daily life”.
The reason that Minister Sommaruga felt compelled to speak out about the handshake was that two Muslim brothers, aged 14 and 15, who have lived in Switzerland for several years (and thus are familiar with its values), in the town of Therwil, near Basel, refused to shake the hands of their teacher, a woman, because, they claimed, this would violate Muslim teachings to the effect that contact with the opposite sex is allowed only with family members.
At first, the school authorities decided to avoid trouble, and initially granted the boys an exemption from having to shake the hand of any female teacher.
However, an uproar followed and, as Mayor Reto Wolf explained to an international news service “The community was unhappy with the decision taken by the school. In our culture and in our way of communication a handshake is normal and sends out respect for the other person, and this has to be brought home to all of the children in school.”
In this regard, and for independent verification, you can read this international news service article HERE:
Therwil’s education department reversed the school’s decision, explaining in a statement in late May, 2016 that the school’s exemption was lifted because “the public interest with respect to equality between men and women and the integration of foreigners significantly outweighs the freedom of religion.” It added that a teacher has the right to demand a handshake.
Furthermore, if the students refused to shake hands again “the sanctions called for by law will be applied” – which included a possible fine of up to the equivalent of approximately US$5,000.
This uproar in Switzerland, where many people were enraged at the original exemption granted to the Muslim boys, did not end after that exemption was itself overturned by the local Educational Department.
The Swiss understood quite clearly that this was more than a little quarrel over handshakes – it was a fight over whether the Swiss would be masters in their own house, or whether, in the alternative, they would be forced to yield, by the granting of special treatment, to the (and I, Peter Kerin, say “distorted”) Islamic view of the proper relations between the sexes.
It is one battle – small but, to the Swiss, significant – between bleating, complaining and ungrateful Muslim immigrants on the one hand and the indigenous Swiss on the other.
Needless to say, once the exemption was withdrawn, all hell broke loose among Muslims in Switzerland. The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland, instead of yielding quietly to the Swiss decision to uphold the handshaking custom, criticized the ruling in hysterical terms, claiming that the enforcement of the handshaking is “totalitarian” because its intent is to “forbid religious people from meeting their obligations to God.”
That, of course, was never the “intent” of the long-standing handshaking custom – which was a nearly universal custom in Switzerland – and, in Swiss schools, had to do only with encouraging the right and positive classroom atmosphere of mutual respect between instructor and pupil, of which the handshake was just one aspect.
The Swiss formulation of the problem, namely, weighing competing claims, will be familiar to residents of many Western countries who are versed in Constitutional adjudication. In this case “the public interest with respect to equality” of the sexes and the “integration of foreigners” (who are expected to adopt Swiss ways and not force the Swiss to exempt them from some of those ways) were weighed against the “religious obligations to God” of Muslims, and the former interests were, quite sensibly in my opinion, found to far outweigh the latter.
What this recent event shows is that, even at the smallest and most seemingly inconsequential level, Muslims are challenging the laws and customs of ‘the Infidels’ among whom they have been allowed to settle, all with a view of, in due course, a stealthy jihad towards the dominance of sharia law.
Each little victory, or defeat, will determine whether Muslims will truly integrate into a Western society or, instead, refashion that society to meet and appease Muslim requirements.
Thankfully, the handshake has been upheld and, what’s more, a stiff fine now will be imposed on those who continue to refuse to shake hands with a female teacher.
This is a heartening sign of non-surrender by the Swiss – but the constant challenges of the Muslims within Europe to the laws and customs of the indigenous residents and citizens have no logical end and, I fear, will not stop.
I also suspect that the greater the number of Muslims that are allowed to settle in Europe, the stronger and more frequent their challenges will be. They are attempting not to integrate, but rather to create, for now, a second, parallel society, and eventually, through sheer force of numbers from both migration and by outbreeding the Infidels, to fashion not a parallel society but one society – which society is dominated by Muslim (ie: sharia) law and customs.
The Swiss handshaking dispute has received some, but not enough in my respectful opinion, press attention. Presumably, it’s been deemed too inconsequential a matter to bother with.
However, the Swiss know better – and so should we in Australia where we are constantly besieged by unrealistic left-wing (and in particular, Green) politicians who are besotted with the idyllic and naive notion of letting in tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of Muslim refugees who, like those resident in Switzerland, will, I believe, constantly challenge Australia’s values and way of life, little by little and step-by-step.
A lawyer at Finlaysons in Adelaide recently reminded me that there is an old Scottish saying that in one variant reads: “Many a little makes a mickle.” That is, “the accumulation of many little things leads to one big thing”. That’s what’s happening in Europe today.
The Swiss result was one victory for the side of sanity. There will need to be a great many more.
In Australia this comes back to, amongst many other things, these people refusing to stand in Court. In my respectful opinion, fines – and possibly jail time – should be introduced as it’s just not acceptable.
I’d like to remind the unrealistic left-wing (and in particular, Green) politicians in this country of the essence of a saying that I read many, many years ago that had been penned by a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust in Europe in the 1940s, and that saying is along the following lines:
“……………………… and those who constantly shouted ‘appease, appease’ were the first to be slaughtered by those whom they tried to please.”
If taking these prima facie hard-line views makes me a racist in accordance with the popular, leftist and ‘politically correct’ definition of the word – then I’m proud to be called a racist.
That said, if more Muslims like ‘Jack’ come along, I’ll continue to be welcoming, encouraging and generally supportive of them.