Last updated at 4:14 AM on 19th July 2010
Blind passengers are being ordered off buses or refused taxi rides because Muslim drivers or passengers object to their ‘unclean’ guide dogs.
One pensioner, a cancer sufferer, told how had twice been confronted by drivers and asked to get off the bus because of his guide dog, and had also faced hostility at a hospital and in a supermarket over the animal.
The problem to carry guide dogs on religious grounds has become so widespread that the matter was raised in the House of Lords last week, prompting transport minister Norman Baker to warn that a religious objection was not a reason to eject a passenger with a well-behaved guide dog.
‘Stunned’: George Herridge, 73, was twice asked by bus drivers to leave their vehicles because of his guide dog, a black labrador
While drivers can use their discretion to refuse to carry non-disabled passengers with dogs, they are compelled to accept guide dogs under disability discrimination law.
Yesterday both the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and the National Federation of the Blind confirmed the problem was common, and, according to the latter organisation was ‘getting worse’.
The tension stems from a strand of Islamic teaching which warns against contact with dogs because the animal’s saliva was considered to be impure, the Muslim Council of Britain said.
It urged Muslims to show tolerance and common sense over the issue.
‘We need to be flexible on this,’ a spokesman said. ‘Muslim drivers should have no hesitation in allowing guide dogs into their bus or car.
‘If a dog does lick you, it’s not the end of the world. Just go home and wash yourself.’
George Herridge, 73, a retired hospital maintenance manager, told the Daily Mail he was ‘stunned’ to be twice asked by bus drivers to leave their vehicles because of his guide dog Andy, a black Labrador.
Mr Herridge, who lives with wife Janet, 69, in Tilehurst, Reading, said that on the first occasion two years ago, he got off at the request of a Muslim driver because some Muslim children on board were ‘screaming’ because of the dog.
He found himself in a similar scenario in May last year, when a Muslim woman and her children became ‘hysterical’. Mr Herridge this time refused the driver’s request to alight.
He complained to the bus company which launched an investigation. It later informed him the matter had been dealt with ‘internally’.
Jill Allen-King, spokesman for the NFB, said she had been repeatedly left on the kerb by Muslim taxi drivers who refused to take her dog.
One cab driver told her he would have to ‘go home now and wash myself’ when she tried to enter his car with her dog.
Mr Baker yesterday warned bus and cab companies that, while there were within their rights to ask a passenger to leave if the dog was causing a nuisance, it was ‘much more questionable to be asked to remove a dog for religious reasons’.
He added: ‘One person’s freedom is someone else’s restriction.’
In 2006, Muslim minicab driver Abdul Rasheed Majekodumni was fined £200 and ordered to pay £1,200 costs by magistrates in Marylebone, central London, after being prosecuted for failing to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act when he refused to take a blind passenger because her guide dog was ‘unclean’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1295749/Muslim-bus-drivers-refuse-let-guide-dogs-board.html#ixzz1fLCNsUCv
Reposted from a story By Eric Johnson
Thu Dec 1, 2011 7:14pm EST
(Reuters) – The family of an HIV-positive boy sued a boarding school in Hershey, Pennsylvania after it denied admission to the 13-year-old citing safety concerns, a school official said on Thursday.
The Milton Hershey School, a cost-free, private school for roughly 1,850 socially disadvantaged pre-kindergarten through high school students founded by the Hershey chocolate company, defended the controversial decision.
“In order to protect our children in this unique environment, we cannot accommodate the needs of students with chronic communicable diseases that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others,” said Connie McNamara, a spokesman for the Milton Hershey School, located roughly 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
“The reason is simple. We are serving children, and no child can be assumed to always make responsible decisions that protect the well being of others,” McNamara said.
HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, is medical condition that undermines the body’s immune system and can make those infected susceptible to lethal cancers and infections. HIV is a precursor to AIDS, or the Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, a pandemic which has killed roughly 25 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s.
HIV is most commonly transmitted through sex or sharing needles with an infected person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV is not transmitted by day-to-day casual contact, such as through shaking hands or a casual kiss. The CDC said it is not possible to become infected from a toilet seat, a drinking fountain, a door knob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets.
The school said it planned to ask a federal judge to weigh-in on their decision, but attorneys for the boy and his mother “took the adversarial action of filing a lawsuit,” McNamara said.
The child’s attorneys at the non-profit AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania sought to compare the school’s actions to the Ryan White case, in which an HIV-positive Indiana boy was expelled from middle school in the 1980s because of the infection. That case led to the Ryan White Care Act of 1990.
Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of a real or perceived disability, including having HIV, according to the National Association of State Boards of Education.
White, who became infected after a hemophilia treatment and died of AIDS in 1990, became a national spokesman for AIDS research and public education and drew attention to the then little-known infection.
“Like Ryan White, this young man is a motivated, intelligent kid who poses no health risk to other students, but is being denied an educational opportunity because of ignorance and fear about HIV and AIDS,” said AIDS Law Project Executive Director Ronda B. Goldfein, who is representing the boy and his mother in the lawsuit.
The boy “is an honor roll student and an avid athlete” who controls his HIV through a regimen of medication that does not impact his school schedule, according to the lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
The school, which was founded by industrialist Milton S. Hershey in 1909 to care for orphans, said their case is different because it is a boarding school “where children live in homes with 10 to 12 other students” on its campus “24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” McNamara said.
Thursday was World AIDS Day and President Barack Obama announced new funding to battle AIDS and challenged other nations to boost their commitments to fund treatment.
(Reporting by Eric Johnson; Editing by Greg McCune)
On this world Aids day, we fight like never before to educate the world on preventing the worst pandemic to ever assault It, AIDS and HIV.
We complain about funding for research not being enough, we constantly fight the hypocrisy of the antiquated diatribe preached by the church that Aids doesn’t Affect the faithful, That it is purely a disease of the homosexual community when in fact in recent years the largest growing numbers of HIV infection in the western world is straight Heterosexual women aged 18-25. But when we try educating the very people who face a future world where Aids is as much a hurdle as any other illness our children, we hit one wall after another. Parents say how dare you, churches say not necessary, and when it is finally allowed it is watered down so much you would think we were educating school children on how not catch a cold rather than how to save their lives! With such a poor sex education in place we have to trust on every other aspect of a child’s education to put out children into the world who have been intelligently prepared for all that faces them in the future.
I was astounded today to hear that the Dumbing down of America has reached such a low that would even Forrest Gump couldn’t find a platitude that was appropriate. It has been revealed that children in some New York schools can earn credits in chemistry by learning to put make up on, and a Geography credit by using a map to catch public transport to 3 or 4 tourist destinations and back to school without getting lost! The mind boggles on the possibilities of how this could expand, if they shoot someone do they pass advanced maths because they got the trajectory right? If they’re able to make toast have they passed home economics? And if they can chew gum and walk have they passed the study of evolution!
Parents, it’s time to storm the Bastille it’s time to yell HELL NO NOT ON MY WATCH! Yes school is hard it’s meant to be ,life is hard and the mistakes that lay in wait for the uniformed and poorly educated can take their experience from a life fully lived with all the possibilities of the world in front of them, theirs for the taking, to one where the world leads them by the nose putting them in a easy to control box where it keeps all of societies mistakes . School can be a wondrous training ground for a future of amazement, or a fitting room for the disabilities of a life less lived. So parents tell the school that gives your child a metro card and Mary Yay Compaq instead of a world atlas and a chemistry primer to go to hell, because if you don’t that’s where they’re sending your kids!
SPAM filters are a wonderful Invention, Good morning all you poor helpless disabled folk, how is the pencil selling and sheltered workshop treating you? Oh wait sorry that was my wonderful contributor who wrote in reply to my blog post on wheelchair extreme sports.
From time to time I check my spam filter, because Occasionally friends or reader with unusual names like Russian or Greek spellings get branded spam when they are actually great contributions to the blog. I checked today and there was a reply for the article on wheelchair extreme sports the reply was titled “how dare you encourage them” intrigued I continued to read, it read
Dear Mia, you would be better served not building up gods poorest, the disabled by showing these obviously manufactured videos of people who are as we all know really able bodied doing dangerous stunts that a disabled person could never achieve. The quicker you turn your blog to directing the disabled towards accepting their fate the better they will be . Filling their heads with rights and protests and mountain climbing only sets them up for a fall. Yours in the lord Jesus Christ
and then there was their signature!
I couldn’t make this crap up if I tried, It is this schlock that for so many decades kept the genius that is within all of us selling pencils and stuffing envelopes in a sheltered workshop and being rolled out on Sundays so well meaning zealots could lay hands on us in the name of JEESUSS.
To the other half dozen antiquated do-gooders that live under the same rock as this writer, for god sake go out get drunk, get layed, and get educated,do something and get the bullshit that we the disabled and wheelchair bound are not capable of whatever the hell we dream out of your religion soaked heads.
Anyway I’m off to train 12 miles in my wheelchair in preparation for my 3,400 mile roll from New York to Los Angeles, and sorry no pencil selling will be partaken of but I will summit the Colorado Rockies in a wheelchair along the way.