The Wearing Of The Green

Pat Kenny hosted a discussion on school uniforms and the hijab today.

The most interesting part of such discussions is often the feedback from listeners.

There were a few unusual opinions, to say the least.

There’s something odd about a country that lived the through penal laws getting hot under the collar about others who insist on religious expression.

More disturbing though is the ‘let them go back where they came from’ riposte in many of the emails to the programme.

But the most peculiar argument goes something like ‘crucifixes are banned in Saudi Arabia, so it’s fair play’.

Since when did we take lessons in public policy from theocratic dictatorships?

Several contributors noted with approval the French approach, which is to ban the hijab.

The trouble is, of course, the French ban all religious expression in their schools, which are strictly secular.

Not only that, they have done so since Napoleon set up the system two centuries ago.

In a country where the churches control 99% of primary schools, I can’t see that going down too well once the full consequences sink in.

As the old joke has it, if I was going there, I wouldn’t start from here.