I have been following with interest, the recent debate regarding the Garda reserve who was told he could not wear a turban with his uniform.
While I sympathise with the individual concerned, I applaud the Minister's decision to stand firm on this issue.
I have been living in the Middle East for the last few years, and despite the fact that I live in one of the more liberal countries in this region, there are a host of social "rules" which I must abide by.
Some of these cause varying degrees of inconvenience to the non-nationals living here, while others are utterly discriminatory.
That said, I am here of my own free will.
My point is that the onus is on me to adapt to the society in which I find myself living, it is not up to that society to adapt to me.
Surely the same should apply to foreign nationals who come to live in Ireland?
We should be welcoming of other nationalities (absolutely), but not to the extent that it changes the fabric of our own national identity.
l I am deeply shocked by the overwhelming support that Conor Lenihan is getting from people for his remarks about how a Sikh man must "fit in with our culture" and not wear a turban while on garda reserve duty, (Letters, August 17).
Since when has Irish culture forbade the wearing of religious garments?
I've heard arguments that when Irish travel to certain countries they must "cover up" in respect for a particular culture.
This logic does not apply because these countries' cultures are governed by a particular religious belief.
Ireland is supposedly a secular country and therefore is not led by a particular church's belief.
Possibly more shocking is the letter that compares a Sikh's need to wear a turban to the cause of the London bombings.
This is mind-bogglingly racist and shows how little many Irish people know about "other" religions. Others, are asking, if we allow one man to wear a turban, what will be next? If I may be so bold to answer, we might learn a little bit more about what Irish culture today is about. [Link]
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