18 March 2007

More Muslim than Muhammad

And the headline is really not about Muslims, it is rather about some regular garden variety Brits. The kind that are becoming so hypersensitive that even in a case where a Muslim highly sensitive antennae remain still, invent new threats to multicultural coexistence in the happy land of Albion.

The three little pigs have been cut from a children's performance at Huddersfield Town Hall for fear of offending Muslims.

Children from Honley C of E Junior School will portray three little puppies instead at the Kirklees Primary Music Festival in June.

Organisers of the festival, which runs from June 12 to 14, decided to change the pigs to puppies so as not to offend Muslim children or parents.

Gill Goodswen, head teacher of Stile Common Junior School at Newsome, was one of those who made the decision in a committee meeting.

She said: "We have to be sensitive if we want to be multi-cultural.

"It was felt it would be more responsible not to use the three little pigs."
Of course, one should applaude this expression of sensitivity and care on the side of the head teacher. One can wonder at the same time about the sanity of said teacher. And some people do.
Clr Terry Lyons was upset to learn of the decision.

The independent, whose ward includes Honley, said: "I can't believe that Muslims would be offended by this. This is pandering to a few extremists."

Clr Lyons believes the people who made the decision may have been influenced by the controversy surrounding the sacking of teaching assistant Aishah Azmi in Dewsbury last year.

He said: "There's an element of fear evident since the veil dispute and I don't think that's healthy."
Apparently, it is not just sensitivity and multi-culti witch hunt, but also the plain old fear that caused that wretched idea to be conceived. So we can discount our doubts re sanity of the decision-makers in this case. But what do the Muslims, who are so touchingly treated, think about the whole business?
Mohammed Imran, of the Hanfia Mosque and Educational Institute in Lockwood, welcomed the thinking behind the decision.

He said: "I think it's great that the festival organisers are considering things which might offend Muslims. They are obviously trying to involve children rather than exclude them."

But Mr Imran pointed out that Islam does not ban the mentioning of pigs.

He said: "According to the Koran it's forbidden to eat pork or to touch a pig, but there's no ruling against talking about them or singing about them.

"I think certain parents would have a problem with the portrayal of pigs, but it's not the same throughout the community."
It looks like the knee-jerk expression of sensitivity by the schoolmarms came rather as a surprise to the Muslim community. No wonder if in the future some members of this community will try to get a free ride on the sensitivity (or, maybe, fear?) wave that seems to be overwhelming the PC decision-makers in Britain.

I wonder whether I should mention that pig is no less (and no more) offensive to representatives of a certain other religion, but this fact seems not to have any appreciable impact of the multi-culti crowd...

So what is to come next? Toilet seats facing Mecca? Cemeteries where graves are aligned in Muslim fashion? Police consulting a mullah before arresting a suspected terrorist? Assigning police duty according to the religious sensitivities?

Oops... Oops... Oops... Oops...

Update: the little piggies are back, at least for now. I must say, this is a case where a Tory deserves some kudos:
Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, said: "My view is that the people responsible for this are completely bonkers. It is the type of political correctness which makes people's blood boil.

"As usual it is done in the name of ethnic minorities but it is perpetrated by white, middle class, do-gooders with a guilt complex and far too much time on their hands."

Update 2: but this piggy will not be back. And I cannot even say "unbelievable" anymore.

H/T to Mike.