I love pigs. I think they are adorable and smart too. Ever since I was a child, I have been collecting ceramic and plush pigs. I must have over one hundred. I don't know what I would do if I lived in a country that forbid me to read stories about pigs, prohibited public displays featuring pigs, or banned the sale of toy pigs.
In the Islamic world, pigs are regarded as the most disgusting creatures on the face of the earth. Muslims are forbidden to eat pig. But their distaste for swine runs much deeper. They can't even look at a pig without feeling extreme repulsion. Why? Because Muhammad the prophet--secretary of Allah--told the people of the desert that pigs are vile. It's in the Koran. The Jews have a similar prohibition to pig eating. However, when was the last time you read about some Jewish group telling others that non-Jews cannot eat pig? Never. How many Rabbis want to get pig stories banned from secondary schools? Not one. Do you think Jewish teachers would forbid their students from reading George Orwell's Animal Farm? Of course they wouldn't. Animal Farm is a satire about fascism--a good one too--with lots of pigs. Speaking of fascism, please read this article. It is followed by my concluding thoughts.
From the BBC website, Wednesday, January 23...
Three Little Pigs 'too offensive'
A story based on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale has been turned by a government agency's awards panel as the subject matter could offend Muslims.
The digital book, re-telling the classic story, was rejected by judges who warned that "the use of pigs raises cultural issues".
Becta, the government's educational technology agency, is a leading partner in the annual Bett Award for schools.
The judges also attacked Three Little Cowboy Builders for offending builders.
The book's creative director, Anne Curtis, said the idea that including pigs in a story could be interpreted as racism was "like a slap in the face".
The CD-Rom digital version of the traditional story of the three little pigs, called Three Little Cowboy Builders, is aimed at primary school children.
But judges at this year's Bett Award said that they had "concerns about the Asian community and the use of pigs raises cultural issues".
The Three Little Cowboy Builders has already been a prize winner at the recent Education Resource Award - but its Newcastle-based publishers, Shoo-fly, were turned down by the Bett Award panel.
The feedback from the judges explaining why they had rejected the CD-Rom highlighted that they "could not recommend this product to the Muslim community".
They also warned that the story might "alienate parts of the workforce (building trade)".
The judges criticised the stereotyping in the story of the unfortunate pigs: "Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?"
Ms Curtis said that rather than preventing the spread of racism, such an attitude was likely to inflame ill-feeling. As another example, she says would that mean that secondary schools could not teach Animal Farm because it features pigs?
Her company is committed to an ethical approach to business and its products promote a message of mutual respect, she says - and banning such traditional stories will "close minds rather than open them".
Becta, the government funded agency responsible for technology in schools and colleges, says that it is standing by the judges' verdict.
"Becta with its partners is responsible for the judging criteria against which the 70 independent judges, mostly practising teachers, comment. All the partners stick by the judging criteria," said a Becta spokesman.
The reason that this product was not shortlisted was because "it failed to reach the required standard across a number of criteria", said the spokesman.
Becta runs the awards with the Besa trade association and show organisers, Emap Education.
Merlin John, author of an educational technology website which highlighted the story, warns that such rulings can undermine the credibility of the awards."When benchmarks are undermined by pedestrian and pedantic tick lists, and by inflexible, unhelpful processes, it can tarnish the achievements of even the most worthy winners."
Story from BBC NEWS:
This is outrageous! The demands are ridiculous--based on fear and blind obedience to an imaginary god and to a primitive man-made set of rules and regulations. What is even more regrettable, is that the educators caved in to these unreasonable fears at the expense of all other non-Muslim, British citizens. There is no way on earth that the U.S. or U.K. should cater to the special interests of a fundamentalist religious minority. No one is telling Muslims that they cannot practice their religion. But what makes them think it is acceptable to ask others to give up their cultural symbols? People who immigrate to England or the U.S. have a duty to assimilate. They are guests of the host country. As guests, they should blend in to the environment that is in place, obey the laws of their new country, and learn the dominant or official language(s). They don't have the right to demand that the host country change its ways to cater to them. This notion is absurd. But so is religious ideology. The host country owes them nothing. The price of freedom is the responsibility of assimilation. Those who cannot accept the laws and dominant cultures of their new countries should get back on those planes and head home.
I hate religion. I hate relativism. And I surely don't respect any culture that treats half its citizens like dogs and violates human rights at every turn. Don't ask me to tolerate misogyny, torture, and the dumbing-down of people. I won't do it.
Muslims--or any other special interest group for that matter--can't expect to get the milk without paying for the cow. Here is an analogy: As an American, I would not expect to be able to move to France and not have to learn French. Nor would I feel entitled to have the French people bow down and kiss my Yankee ass. If I had this attitude, don't you think the French would tell me to take a flying leap?!
If Muslims don't accept the values of the west, then why are they immigrating to the west? They should return to their birth countries where they don't have to see pigs in public areas.
Every time we cave into one of their outlandish demands, they win. And we lose. Please don't think for a second that I am a racist. This has nothing to do with race. It is about religious bullying and cultural relativism. I respect differences in cultures when these differences do not include human rights abuses.
Muslims believe that Allah is great. I believe that the pig is great. We don't expect Muslims to give up Islam. They shouldn't expect us to give up the pig.