The Week Unwrapped: Religious tolerance, trans treatment and police misogyny

Is the Arab world re-embracing its Jews? Are the rights of LGBTQ+ people under threat? And do the police have a misogyny problem?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

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Religious tolerance

Reports from the UAE suggest that school textbooks are shifting to promote tolerance towards Jews. They still don't all put Israel on the map, but it is a big step in the direction of acceptance, according to the authors of a recent study. It coincides with a report in The Economist suggesting that “the Arab world is re-embracing its Jews”, having largely sidelined and rejected their Jewish populations since the creation of Israel. Will Israel soon be back on the map in the Arab world – and could this help to heal some of the Middle East’s wounds?

Waiting to transition

The treatment of trans people is back in the news this week on multiple fronts, as the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission called on Scotland to delay plans for reform of its approach to gender recognition and the Council of Europe raised the alarm about “extensive and often virulent attacks” on trans people across the continent. And a crowdsourcing campaign by a trans woman in Worthing has drawn attention to the length of NHS waiting times for gender-confirming surgery, which can be more than three years.

Police misogyny

The Metropolitan Police have this week apologised to a female academic who they admit was subjected to “sexist, derogatory and unacceptable language” when she was strip-searched after being arrested while giving a legal advice leaflet to a 15-year-old who had been stopped and searched. For years, police had denied any impropriety, but CCTV footage of the incident confirmed that she had been taunted about body hair and a “rank” smell as officers restrained her and cut off her clothes with scissors. What does this tell us about police attitudes towards women?

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