Have a rant: Inoffensive advice causes offence

Talk about a load of hot air. Last week’s advice in your legal dilemma on celebrating Christmas was a real classic of a non-answer from a lawyer (Personnel Today, 27 November).

The question was about offending Muslims by celebrating Christmas. The advice could be summed up as: ‘don’t offend anyone, and use your common sense’. Hmm, that’s useful.

What the head of employment law at Cobbetts seems to have forgotten is that Christmas, while seemingly the celebration of buying lots of gifts from Selfridges, is actually a Christian celebration. By its very non-Muslim nature, it could be offensive to a Muslim. But any reasonable person – Muslim or otherwise – would have no problem with it and, I suspect, no leg to stand on if they did complain. For if they did, surely they would be offending all the Christians, and we’re as entitled to our celebrations as anyone else.

As a practising Christian, I find it offensive that anyone finds Christmas offensive, but I shan’t be taking anyone to a tribunal. I also find loud-mouthed aggressive drunk people offensive, but their religion has no bearing on my prejudice.

This bit of scandalously sloppy legal advice does no-one any favours, and is the sort of politically correct nonsense that lawyers consistently hide behind.

Covering your back is not the only option, however. Surely the best advice is to suggest the Muslims organise their own festive celebrations and invite everyone else along. Although you might find you have to extend this option to the Klingons, Jedi, Scientologists, Moonies, etc.

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