I work for a humanitarian organisation, the British Society of, and part of my work is acting as a caretaker of the building and allowing various groups of people to hire the hall. The organisation is founded on Fundamental Principles (humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, universality ) that allow it access worldwide in any situation be it emergency due to disaster of nature or of conflict, neutrality being paramount.
I have worked here for over 11 years and for each of those years I have allowed an Islamic association to use the hall for prayer meetings at the end of two festivals each year. The Society I work for is not associated with any religion due to its neutrality but I took it upon myself to allow use as a community centre based building, there not being many buildings suitable for them within quite a distance and they come from up to and over 50 miles away.
Two weeks ago I was informed by the Area Director that a volunteer/s had complained. They had not based the complaint on the neutrality but on the basis that muslims were using the building. The complaint on neutrality is valid and I admit that I am in the wrong for allowing this. Nobody could have known of there being prayer meetings as I ensured complete privacy for my friends. I am awaiting a decision from the Area Directors superior but should the decision be to stop them using the building without confronting the racism and bigotry that produced the complaint it will be condoning that racism and bigotry and I will think long and hard at my employment.
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