Wednesday, February 6, 2008


A couple of friends write to share some very interesting thoughts on several of the posts that have appeared recently on Viewpoint. Check them out on our Feedback page.


Muslim Modesty v. Modern Hygiene

Some Muslim female medical students in England are refusing to practice standard hygienic procedures. Citing modesty as their reason they decline to wash their arms to the elbow as is required of all medical practitioners in the U.K.:

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. Universities and NHS fear many more will refuse to co-operate with new Department of Health guidance, introduced this month, which stipulates that all doctors must be "bare below the elbow".

The measure is deemed necessary to stop the spread of infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile, which have killed hundreds.

Minutes of a clinical academics' meeting at Liverpool University revealed that female Muslim students at Alder Hey children's hospital had objected to rolling up their sleeves to wear gowns.

Similar concerns have been raised at Leicester University. Minutes from a medical school committee said that "a number of Muslim females had difficulty in complying with the procedures to roll up sleeves to the elbow for appropriate handwashing".

Sheffield University also reported a case of a Muslim medic who refused to "scrub" as this left her forearms exposed.

Documents from Birmingham University reveal that some students would prefer to quit the course rather than expose their arms, and warn that it could leave trusts open to legal action.

Hygiene experts said last night that no exceptions should be made on religious grounds. Dr Mark Enright, professor of microbiology at Imperial College London, said: "To wash your hands properly, and reduce the risks of MRSA and C.difficile, you have to be able to wash the whole area around the wrist.

"I don't think it would be right to make an exemption for people on any grounds. The policy of bare below the elbows has to be applied universally." Dr Charles Tannock, a Conservative MEP and former hospital consultant, said: "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.

"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." But the Islamic Medical Association insisted that covering all the body in public, except the face and hands, was a basic tenet of Islam. "No practising Muslim woman - doctor, medical student, nurse or patient - should be forced to bare her arms below the elbow," it said.

The long march into the dark ages continues.


Teddy Roosevelt

"There is superstition in science quite as much as there is superstition in theology, and it is all the more dangerous because those suffering from it are profoundly convinced that they are freeing themselves from all superstition. No grotesque repulsiveness of medieval superstition, even as it survived into nineteenth-century Spain and Naples, could be much more intolerant, much more destructive of all that is fine in morality, in the spiritual sense, and indeed in civilization itself, than that hard dogmatic materialism of to-day which often not merely calls itself scientific but arrogates to itself the sole right to use the term.

"If these pretensions affected only scientific men themselves, it would be a matter of small moment, but unfortunately they tend gradually to affect the whole people, and to establish a very dangerous standard of private and public conduct in the public mind."

Theodore Roosevelt, "The Search for Truth in a Reverent Spirit," Outlook, Dec. 2, 1911.

Teddy should be alive today to witness the inquisition that the dogmatic materialists are carrying out in the nation's universities and courtrooms in the name of science. He'd be speechless.

HT: Uncommon Descent


Backroom Politics

Making the rounds on the net: