Appeasing the Muslim World
By Shannara Johnson
On April 12, the UK Daily Mail reported that British schools have started to
drop teaching about the Holocaust from their curriculum in order not to
offend Muslims, many of whom deny it ever happened.
"There is also resistance to tackling the 11th-century Crusades," continues
the article, "where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of
Jerusalem--because lessons often contradict what is taught in local
Falsifying or omitting parts of history just to appease a religious
minority? What might seem bizarre to Americans is meanwhile common practice
in European countries, especially Great Britain, whose 1.6 million Muslims
represent the largest minority religion.
Aside from respect for other cultures and religions--a much-touted virtue in
Europe--we assume that a major reason is fear of the more fundamentalist
adherents of Islam, who have a tendency for violent retribution to make
their displeasure known.
Sweden, for example, which has some of the most liberal asylum laws in
Europe, is staggering under the weight of its huge Muslim population. In
Malmö, the commercial center of southern Sweden, Muslim immigrants make up
more than one quarter of residents--and will likely be in the majority by
In the last ten years, crime in Sweden has skyrocketed--especially rapes
have nearly doubled, many of them assaults by Muslims on Swedish women. In
neighboring Denmark, an Islamic mufti sparked a political outcry in 2004
after publicly declaring that women who don't to wear a headscarf are
"asking for rape."
However, in Eurozone land, where religious discrimination is a felony
punishable by jail time, those notions were quickly swept under the carpet
by authorities. Anna Gustafsson, head of the Domestic Violence Unit at Malmö
police, asserted the higher rape rate was actually a good sign, due to a
higher incidence of reporting, not to an increase in crime itself. The
Swedes aren't buying it. A 2004 poll found that 75% of them think "many
people in their country dislike Muslims," more than in any other European
Of course governments will never admit to being afraid, so
"multiculturalism" and "political correctness" are the catchwords of the
day. And appeasing Muslims is no small feat: the strict Sharia law of Islam
affects every aspect of daily life.
In recent years, more and more countries have started to not just react to
but anticipate Muslim sensitivities and nip in the bud anything that might
even slightly disturb them. The results range from the weird to the
ludicrous... some examples.
To Muslims, pigs are dirty, offensive animals whose flesh must not be eaten.
But abstaining from serving pork to Muslims is apparently not enough.
In 2003, a West Yorkshire head teacher, whose school is attended by 60%
Pakistanis and Indians, most of them Muslims, banned children's books about
pigs from the classroom.
In 2005, British banks stopped giving out piggy banks to their customers.
Politicians in West Midlands, UK, banned the display of pig-related items in
municipal offices, including toys, porcelain figures, calendars, and a
tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
In Amsterdam, Netherlands, an elementary school stopped lessons about living
on a farm because Muslim students started to demolish the classroom when the
pig came up for discussion.
Even the die-hard Chinese government is caving in. In February, when China
celebrated the beginning of the Year of the Pig, the Chinese government
decreed that no pigs should be displayed or mentioned in the ceremonies, so
as not to offend the country's 21 million Muslims. A hint: even though
Muslims represent only 2% of China's population, China gets most of its oil
from Muslim countries in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa, with
Sudan being its biggest supplier.
In 2005, a new CNN poll asked: "Is it time for England to change its
national flag?" What initiated the debate was a comment by Chris Doyle,
director of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding,
who stated that the red cross of St. George in the center of the flag was an
insensitive reminder of the Crusades.
According to CNN, "Doyle added that it was now time for England to find a
new flag and a patron saint who is 'not associated with our bloody past and
one we can all identify with.'"
The Belgian Brussels Journal reported last year that some Austrian Muslim
soldiers refused to salute the Austrian flag, turning their backs on it.
Instead of disciplining the soldiers, "an imam was summoned to issue a fatwa
stating that Muslims are allowed to salute the Austrian flag."
What's more, "Austrian Army officers have complained that Muslim
conscripts--about 3.5% of the Austrian armed forces--are unable to do most
jobs because they have permission to pray 5 times a day, no matter what job
they are performing at the time. Some who attend Friday prayers stay away
for the rest of the day."
The Austrian defense minister's solution: hire imams as permanent chaplains
in order to mediate future conflicts.
Food & Drink
In 2005, fast-food giant Burger King was forced to withdraw its BK Cones
from the British market after one Muslim customer complained that a design
on the label of the ice cream looked like the word "Allah" in Arabic script.
In Denmark, a traditional Christmas treat called "Jewish Cookies" elicited
protests and boycotts from Muslim consumers. Ole Poulsen, head of the public
food consumer department, said renaming the cookies was "a possibility."
In Sheffield, UK, the Passport Office refused to accept the passport photo
of a 5-year-old girl in a halter top, arguing that the visibly bare
shoulders of the girl might offend Muslims. According to the Daily Mail,
"The counter clerk told [the girl's parents] she was aware of at least two
other cases where applications had been rejected because a person's
shoulders were not covered in their photo."
Soon coming to a theater near you?
In recent years, more and more incidents with orthodox Muslims have made
headlines in the U.S. media.
At Minneapolis airport, traffic came all but to a standstill when Somali
taxi drivers denied passengers access to their cabs if they were carrying
alcohol or suspected of carrying alcohol. They also refused to transport
blind people with guide dogs. Minneapolis authorities eventually cracked
down on the "coalition of the unwilling" by threatening drivers with a
30-day suspension for the first offense and termination for the second.
Nationwide, Target stores have had troubles with Muslim employees working
the register, who refused to scan bacon and other pork-containing foods for
customers. The transitory solution was to call over another employee or to
have the customer scan their pork themselves. Now Target has shifted its
Muslim workers over to other departments, keeping them away from the
And last but not least, in 2006 an Islamic website urged American Muslims to
protest against Apple's flagship retail store in midtown Manhattan which
is--you guessed it--offensive to Muslims. The cube-shaped building
purportedly "constitutes a blatant insult to Islam" because it resembles the
Ka'ba (ka'ba means cube) in Mecca, Islam's holiest structure. We wonder what
that spells for children's building blocks, dice and Rubik's cubes...
While we from WWNK are usually not interested in inter-religious skirmishes,
the combination of an overbearing religion dictating the actions and lives
of people in so-called "free societies" and bureaucrats bending over
backwards to be politically correct is one that strikes us as reason for
concern, and, for good measure, ridicule.
Keep these kind of emails up, I may make you a co-editor .