This topic contains 27 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  So what 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #2697

    Heyman
    Participant

    The high court has ruled that a London coroner must stop treating cases in chronological order as this constitutes discrimination against certain religious groups.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-43922000

    Is treating everyone the same, regardless of race, colour or creed discrimination?

    Is it wise to seek to expedite the progression of some legal cases based on the religious beliefs of those involved?

  • #2698

    Ian
    Participant

    Is it wise to seek to expedite the progression of some legal cases based on the religious beliefs of those involved?

    No. This ruling tells everyone else in the borough that they and their deceased relatives are second class citizens. I am disgusted at this. This is not equality.

    • #2699

      Aly
      Participant

      So if the ‘rule’ as to who gets the seats on a bus or train first come first served is it then ‘disgusting’ and ‘not equality’ for an able person to give up their seat for someone who is elderly, disabled or pregnant?

      Don’t different groups have different needs?

      Is your problem with this that certain groups that you dislike have their needs accommodated in this way?

      • #2702

        Ian
        Participant

        Wow. That didn’t take long, did it?

        It’s bit worrying when someone equates “religious belief” to “disability” or “medical condition”.

        Priority seating on a bus basically falls under “Reasonable Adjustments” from the Equalities Act 2010.

        Giving preferential treatment to some people because of their choice to follow a belief system is not even slightly comparable. I suspect you know this and are being highly disingenuous.

        There are arguments for and against this ruling for sure. Yours is not one of them.

      • #2708

        Div
        Participant

        I’d agree with disabled people getting priority seating.

        I don’t agree with people getting special treatment on religious grounds.

        Please don’t make assumptions about my feelings towards Muslims or Jews. I have both in my family.

        My gut feeling is that special treatment for Muslims and Jews at the current time and in the current climate is a very bad idea indeed and will only fan the flames of hatred.

        • #2723

          Jethro
          Participant

          Whilst it’s a very soft number the Washington post in 2012 quoting an organisation called pew research reckoned somewhere in the region of 84% of the worlds population has faith- now I’m not going to argue just how soft that number is, but I think it’s fair to say there is a sizeable percentage even a majority of the world population consider religion to be important. So it could be said that religion is important. Being of an age when I know you have to take your turn in the queue for the crem I’m not slightly bothered if a Jewish family want their dead relative to get cremated or buried within a couple of days of their death, and my relation has to wait a bit longer (they’re not bothered and neither is the vicar).

          If you want to be multicultural, you have to make compromises (and indeed these are on both sides) but when it comes to someone’s eternal soul (which you may or may not agree with) you need to be very circumspect and I can guarantee one sure way of alienating people is to not be mindful of their death rites and customs – they are important.

    • #2705

      Duncan
      Participant

      The judgement is an amazing piece of issue dodging. It seems they are telling her she can do what she likes but she’s not allowed to write down a policy that says she’s ignoring religious reasons.

      a. She’s not allowed to simply exclude ‘religious reasons’ to get priority

      b. She’s not allowed to simply always accept religious reasons to get priority

      c. She is allowed to give some applications more priority than others and doesn’t have to have a strictly chronological order policy.

      d. She’s allowed to have a policy (rather than just make her mind up without one) and take availability of resources into account.

      e. They aren’t going to give her any legal guidance about what to decide.

  • #2700

    carl0
    Participant

    This just further underlines why I f*cking hate religion, its unfair sense of entitlement and the spineless way that society caves in because we may hurt someones feelings based on a fairy story.

    Stories like this really grind my gears. Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!

    • #2701

      Aly
      Participant

      I’m not religious so waiting makes no difference to me. Why shouldn’t someone for whom does matter take priority?

      • #2703

        Ian
        Participant

        There are all sorts of non-religious reasons why having a body released by a coroner quickly matters more to some people and less to others. That’s great for you that when you can move on arranging the funeral of your father or a child “makes no difference to you”. Would that all people were so lucky,

      • #2704

        burp
        Participant

        A funeral is an important part of the grieving process for many. As such, some atheists may be upset by the fact the funeral of their loved one is being delayed in a process dictated not by chronology, but other people’s religious belief systems.

        • #2706

          dopey
          Participant

          A funeral is an important part of the grieving process for many. As such, some atheists may be upset by the fact the funeral of their loved one is being delayed in a process dictated not by chronology, but other people’s religious belief systems.

          This. If the coroners court is involved then it’s reasonable to assume that somebody has lost a loved one in a violent, unnatural or unexpected manner. In such cases people often find themselves in a state of emotional limbo where the death doesn’t seem real. The release of the body often heralds a point at which the loss can be accepted, and the resultant grief can begin to be managed.

          No family should be thrown to the back of the queue and have that process delayed simply because they don’t have an invisible friend in the sky.

        • #2707

          Ian
          Participant

          No family should be thrown to the back of the queue and have that process delayed simply because they don’t have an invisible friend in the sky.

          Quite. It’s hard to see how this is going to do anything but contribute to anti-Islamic and anti-Jewish sentiment in the rest of the borough. It’s an awful time in someone’s life and many won’t cope well with the perception it’s being made worse because of religious privilege.

          Personally I would hope any decent believer would have sufficient empathy to recognise that their culture and traditions derive from a basic human need shared by believer and non believer alike, and that they wouldn’t want non believers to be treated worse.

  • #2709

    gaz
    Participant

    Loud shouting minorities getting given priority over everyone else and we just bend over and take it, again.

    Can’t be seen as being anti-semetic now can we? Bollocks.

  • #2710

    josh1
    Participant

    I find it pretty worrying when people use issues like this to fan intolerance. You only have to look at a few of the posts even here to see how that is the case.

    The facts of the case are that one group feels they are not having their specific needs met, they have gone to court, argued their case and their position has been upheld.

    When you start telling people that they are somehow losing out as a result of one group’s specific needs being met (be that physical, spiritual or emotional) you invite them to feel a grievance against that group.

    My own experience of the situation was that time was more or less immaterial, one or two days made no difference. If you can show me evidence that the greaving process for people without the religious beliefs we are talking about here requires them to have a funeral within 24 hours or as near as possible then you would have a case. The case would be that there should be more staff at the coroner’s to ensure no one was in that position.

    • #2711

      Div
      Participant

      I’m not fanning intolerance. I’m predicting that others will. Sad but true. Anyone who has spent much time on here will tell you that I’m not tolerant of intolerance.

      I do think that people have the right to religious beliefs and freedom, but I don’t believe that religion should automatically be given the same equality status as disability, gender or sexuality.

      Whilst I think we should (and do) support religious freedoms such as burying the dead the next day in normal circumstances, in cases where the coroner is involved there is no possibility of this. In these cases the law of the land overrules the law of the religion.

      We live in a country where we are generally very tolerant of religions from around the world and we go out of our way, more than any other country to accommodate people’s wishes. There are special burial sites provided for Muslims and Jews for example. People are available outside normal working hours to facilitate funerals taking place as soon as possible.

      I do think that people demanding exemptions from post-mortems and demanding queue jumping privileges because of religion is not compatible with our society. What is the British religion? Not Christianity, but queuing! Intolerance of queue jumpers isn’t about race or religion, it’s the British way.

      I really am struggling to see a better way to play into the hands of the far right, and I can see the Daily hate mail headlines already.

      • #2713

        josh1
        Participant

        I don’t see how fast-tracking some cases is any different from the accommodations you describe. The idea of a queue here is notional and when you talk about issues like this in these terms you do invite grievance as you say. I stand by my points that I can’t see anyone else is really disadvantaged by this. Personally, I think this is a far better way of dealing with the bigots. Saying we are treating people differently because of their circumstances, it is the humane thing to do and anyway you don’t lose out so learn to live with it.

        I’m ambivalent about religion but it is clearly important to some people and we ought to respect that as long as it doesn’t seriously interfere with the rights of others. On queueing as a national religion I quite agree and will often call people on this one but we also have the concept of women and children first so rules like this are always context specific.

        • #2717

          Div
          Participant

          I stand by my points that I can’t see anyone else is really disadvantaged by this

          I think this is the core of why we disagree. You are willing to accept this as a “need” (your choice of word) for two communities based on religion, but you can’t see why it would matter to anyone else – perhaps based on your personal experience.

          Being willing to accept its importance to two minority groups, are you not willing to consider that it might matter to other people as well? Within any community there is a spectrum of beliefs, wants, needs and views.

          I can tell you one way people can be inconvenienced seriously by coroner delays – joint bank accounts can be locked following a death of one holder under initially unclear circumstsnces pending the coroner’s inquest. It turns out this can be a real problem for the surviving partner and their dependants if all finances are joint.

          Or another example – my last parent died at a period of the year where I was contractually unable to take annual leave, and where I had five days bereavement leave. Not a lot of time to travel and make arrangements somewhere 300 miles from home, where I left my partner and infant child. I was very grateful for the efficient service of the various parties involved in the process, and would have been a seriously unhappy bunny if I had knowingly been delayed for someone else’s beliefs pitted against my employment, my arranging a difficult funeral and me supporting my wife and child at a difficult time for them, and their needs.

          I don’t want to have to phone a coroner up and plead for special treatment as they tension my misery against someone else’s religious beliefs. I actively don’t want to put someone in the position of making such decisions. I want to be treated fairly.

          So perhaps if you can’t see how others could be disadvantaged, you aren’t looking very far.

    • #2712

      Div
      Participant

      The facts of the case are that one group feels they are not having their specific needs met, they have gone to court, argued their case and their position has been upheld.

      The position has been upheld and not at the same time. It’s an issue dodging judgement that doesn’t make the situation clear. Schrodingers judgement, you can neither exclude or accept religious reasons for priority.

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  James.
  • #2715

    Keith
    Participant

    I think everyone else waiting for their loved ones body to be released should be invited to the funeral of the queue jumper, and tut loudly. That’ll show them what’s what and no mistake.

  • #2716

    neb
    Participant

    We try and get the dead in the ground before they’re cold, I think Muslims are the same: why should a coroner apply irrational rules which offend against our beliefs when there is no harm to others? for example I’ve been to a colleague’s mother’s wake recently when they had her (I’m not sure what Catholics call this) but to be crude ‘on display’ so that people could pay their respects for a week or so.

  • #2718

    sue
    Participant

    My reaction to this was that if most, I suspect, in the ‘why should one group get pushed to the back of the queue’ line. However if we’re going to be tolerant of others beliefs then we also have to tolerate that there might be a downside.

    My children are scared of ghosts. Rather than tell them they are being silly, I leave the light on. An elderly grandfather insists on going to church every Sunday which necessitates 6 hours in the car every second weekend. If someone believes their loved one won’t get into heaven if the burial is delayed, then we tolerate their belief and accept a slightly longer wait. no matter the religion we should all be tolerant.

    Someone has to prioritise cases. We were happy to wait when a grandmother died unexpectedly in her sleep; there was no hurry. I suspect in most cases there will be a priority by anger (as is the case in so many public services) and this will only add stress to a difficult time. An information gathering and decision making service would be an expensive and difficult 24/7 service to run across the country.

  • #2719

    SuperStarDJ
    Participant

    As I understand it, the Coroner originally made these rules because her staff were getting lots of hassle from Jewish and Muslim families.

    Previously there had been polite requests: “Please, we’re Jewish, we’d appreciate it if you could expedite this as much as you can” — and I doubt if many people would object to a best-efforts response to such requests.

    But what was happening was families making demands and continually contacting the office and putting unfair pressure of the staff (where often, for legal reasons and other things out of their control, they could not do things quicker).

  • #2720

    goon
    Participant

    If you believe in multiculturalism then it is impossible to treat everyone the same way and remain fair. For example Sikhs and motor cycle helmets – a Sikh has to wear a turban therefore cannot wear a motorcycle helmet, the law recognised this and they are exempted on religious grounds.

    So the question you have to answer to your own satisfaction is are we right to have a multicultural society and accept in doing so we cannot be be wholly fair to everyone. My view is that it’s not a simple or easy answer unless you go down the Britain first route, which is the default position of many people simply because they don’t take time to consider how much the country and its cultural diversity has changed over the last 40 years and how it’s not going to change back.

    My wife was asked about fairness in a police interview for a promotion board, she replied that everyone should be treated the same under the law – she failed the board for that specific reason. It’s not just coroners who have accepted that some groups need to be treated differently from other groups (although there are limits to how far the exemptions from the letter of the law can be taken – eg honour killings).

    • #2721

      dommy
      Participant

      A Sikh wearing a turban instead of a helmet is not stopping me from wearing a helmet. Personally I think it’s not a sensible decision but it’s not something that bothers me or people in general, so I see no problem with it. If I was a doctor dealing with a lot of injured Sikh bikers, maybe I’d have another view, but in the end it’s not my head. Someone deciding their religious views trump someone else’s wish to have their loved ones body returned as soon as possible does affect other people.

      Is it racist or religiously insensitive of me to insist that boys I teach from patriarchal cultures or religions treat me with the same respect as they would a male teacher?

      In the end, multiculturalism is about give and take, it is about both sides making compromises. Anyone can believe what they like and I’m happy to fight for their right to do so, but that doesn’t mean religion should be given equal status as disability or sexuality when it comes to equal rights.

    • #2722

      daveb
      Participant

      I’d say that “same rules for everyone” (regardless of race, religion, etc) is an important principle. The rules do have to be made with everyone in mind, but then the rules should apply universally.

      On the Sikh/helmet issue, I don’t object to a rule allowing a turban instead of a helmet, but I do object on principle to saying that only Sikhs have that choice. (Though this issue is hardly high on the list of things to complain about.)

  • #2732

    Jamesg85
    Participant

    I believe that we should accommodate other religions to some extent; Halal options in schools and prisons for instance. I believe in considerate treatment for many disadvantaged groups in society; who would begrudge disabled parking or targeted funding for the socially deprived? I also believe in taking special consideration for some groups in my daily life; for instance, I would always give up my seat on public transport for someone who needed it more.

    The coroner ruling seems to step over a poorly defined line from considerate treatment to preferential treatment.

    The danger is not so much that a few religious families get their loved ones moved up the autopsy list, the danger is that such preferential treatment for one group, to the detriment of another, becomes an accepted legal precedent.

    We live in a time when identity politics and special interest groups seem to be of increasing importance. Personally, I think we’d have a healthier society if we concentrated on equal treatment and bringing people together, rather than further defining everyones special little box.

  • #2753

    So what
    Participant

    I’ve only just seen this post and not been able to go through the whole post so this point may have already been made in which case my apologies.

    My understanding is that the desire to have bodies quickly released is where an inquest is not required. Sometimes it’s just a straightforward release. In Judaism and Islam, quick burial is desirable with less emphasis on whether everyone can attend. My understanding of most other people/religions is that the funeral is generally a bit later so that everyone can attend.

    So accommodating quick release doesn’t usually cause any delay for others.

    Obviously there are sometimes circumstances where bodies cannot be quickly released. In Judaism, although we would still like this to happen, we accept that this is not always possible.

    What was objectionable about this coroner’s behaviour was the insistence on following a particular methodology when accommodating J&I requests would usually cause no problems to anyone else.

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