Seattle: Do not say “brown bag” or “citizen,” for they are offensive and, yes, racist

August 4, 2013
"Even the monkey is embarrassed"

Even the monkey is embarrassed

Once again, I’m relieved to know my beloved California doesn’t hold the West Coast monopoly on moronic political correctness. In Seattle, aka “San Francisco North” (1), the city Office of Civil Rights sent a memo around to Seattle employees and… Well, read on, but try not to hit your head against the tabletop too much:

The memo went on to offer politically correct alternatives that could be used in official documents and discussions.

‘Luckily, we’ve got options,’ Elliott Bronstein wrote in the internal memo, according to Fox News. ‘For “citizens”, how about “residents”?’

Mr Bronstein defended the ban on a Seattle radio station, and said that the term ‘brown bag’ had historically been used as a way to determine skin color.

(…)

To avoid bringing up its racist connotations, city workers in Seattle must now use ‘sack lunch’ or ‘lunch-and-learn’, according to Komo News.

Oh, for Pete’s sake. The memo says some workers were offended by the use of “brown bag” because it reminded them of a test for acceptable skin color used more than 50 years ago, and so obscure that I bet 90% of the nation hasn’t even heard of it.

You know what? “Mickey” and “Mick” were mildly offensive terms for Irishmen many years ago. My ancestors were Irish, and so this offends me. I demand everyone in Seattle with those names immediately stop using them.

But wait, there’s more!

They must also replace ‘citizen’ with ‘residents’ because many people in the northwest city are not U.S. citizens.

‘They are legal residents of the United States and they are residents of Seattle. They pay taxes and if we use a term like citizens in common use, then it doesn’t include a lot of folks,’ Mr Bronstein said.

According to City Data, 94,952 – or 16 per cent – of the city’s inhabitants are foreign, with most coming originally from Asia.

Call me a reactionary racist hater, but I thought “citizen” was a term of honor, something one aspired to become. It not only meant that you lived in a place, but that you that you had a special stake there in its governance, its prosperity, and, indeed,  in its fate. It was part of your identity.

The ancient Greeks took pride in being citizens of their city-states; Roman citizenship was a mark of distinction, something non-citizens sought to earn. Tens of millions have come to America over the centuries, leaving behind their old lives and striving to become citizens here.

And yet now for Seattle’s government, a government founded by citizens, “citizen” has become a word to be shunned for fear of giving offense.

This is another expression of the vapid multiculturalism the Left finds so attractive: not only that all cultures are equal, but that to assert any special distinction on the part of one’s own culture is somehow arrogant and chauvinist, something to be condemned. In fact, it’s a denial of American culture or civilization, for how is this culture defined and set apart? Not by land or language or religion, unlike much of the rest of the world, but by a set of shared ideals, among which is the concept of citizenship, of being a “citizen.”

Something which, in Seattle, is apparently a bad thing.

RELATED: At Legal Insurrection, William Jacobson discusses brown bags, chinks in the armor, and other weapons of control wielded by the Language Police.

Footnote:
(1) Or is that title held by Portland, now?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Iconic firefighter photo almost excluded from 9/11 memorial exhibit

July 28, 2013
"Patriotism. How gauche."

“Patriotism. How gauche.”

Because, you see, it’s too “rah-rah American”:

According to Elizabeth Greenspan, author of the up coming book Battle for Ground Zero (St. Martin’s Press), Michael Shulan, creative director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, thought about cutting the famed photo from Ground Zero of three firefighters raising the American flag amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center…because he thought it was too “rah-rah America.” Shulan said, “I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently.”

The “problem” was eventually solved by adding other pictures, “to undercut the myth of ‘one iconic moment…'”, according to the museum’s curator. See, the lone image was just too simplistic, hiding the complexities and meaning of what happened that day.

Just what part of nearly 3,000 Americans being massacred by Muslims waging  jihad is too simple for you, Mikey? What complexity, what nuance, what other perspective is lacking? The jihadists’? Point-of-view shots from the cockpits as the planes were about to slam into the towers? Should you have included a plaque of the text of Bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa declaring war on us? That would introduce some of your beloved meaning, letting the al Qaeda leader explain in his own words why 9/11 was only justice for our crimes, how we’re as much to blame by making them hate us. And who is to judge who is right? Complexity! Perspective! Meaning!

I hope you’ll forgive this simple American for being too “rah-rah,” Michael, but that single image carries more layers of meaning than I suspect you, trapped in a decadent, nihilist multiculturalism, could ever understand.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Klavan On The Culture explains multiculturalism

February 28, 2011

Well, it’s about time. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this idea that no culture has any more intrinsic worth than any other culture, but I just haven’t had any luck. Maybe Andrew Klavan can finally explain it to me:

Yep. I’d say that about clears it up. 

RELATED: From the archives —  Real multiculturalism.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Andrew Klavan: the crisis of Satanophobia in America

December 3, 2010

A bit of humor to wash away the sour taste from those last videos: PJTV‘s Andrew Klavan pokes fun at mindless multiculturalism and political correctness by looking at the heretofore unknown sufferings of a religious minority right here in America: Satan-worshipers.

How true. It’s dreadfully insensitive of us to call Old Scratch evil just because he’s evil. We should instead say he’s “differently morally enabled.”

Yeah, that’s it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Religious tolerance for me, but not for thee

November 6, 2010

Just another reminder that the principles of liberal democracy and Sharia law are not compatible: In New York, Muslims want to build a mosque near Ground Zero and most Americans, while hating the idea, agree they have the right to do it. Meanwhile, in Kuwait, Christians are denied permission to build churches:

A group of Christians has complained that Kuwait City’s Municipal Council is preventing them from getting land to build a church. “The Municipal Council is the big problem preventing us from getting land; not all of the members, just the Islamic fundamentalists,” said Archimandrite Boutros Gharib, head of the local Greek Catholic Church.

Recently the municipal council blocked an attempt by the Greek Catholic Church to acquire land in Mahboula, an area in the Ahmadi governorate south of Kuwait City. The request has been pending for several years.

A new church would reduce over-crowdedness in a villa currently used for worshiping, Fr Gharib said.

According to the Greek Catholic clergyman, both the government and the country’s leader, Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, have given their approval and blessing to the Church to have its property built. However, the Council has not followed suit. What is more, “The council did not give us any reason,” he added.

“We found the higher levels of government say yes and the lower levels of government say no,” said Rev Andrew Thompson, the Anglican chaplain to Kuwait, who stressed that religious fundamentalists controlled the municipality.

As Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch points out, and as the “fundamentalist” councilmen understand, Islamic law prohibits dhimmi (Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians) peoples from building new places of worship or even repairing the old ones. Yet, while while American Muslim groups complain if someone just speaks out against the building of a new mosque in the US, they say nothing about the far worse (and genuine) religious persecution practiced in Muslim lands. Indeed, Muhammad himself ordered that only Islam shall be practiced in the Arabian peninsula. I suppose the city councilors could argue that, hey, at least they’re allowing those dhimmi Christians to practice at all. Be grateful.

This isn’t an argument for tit-for-tat discrimination or, as some might put it, “they can build a mosque in New York when we can build a cathedral in Mecca.” To do so would be to abandon our own deeply held principles.

But neither can we ignore blatant hypocrisy and religious discrimination for the sake of an intellectually addled multiculturalism, regardless of how warm and fuzzy it makes us feel. Instead, it is incumbent on us to challenge and call out the advocates of Sharia in every case where their religious law, which they see as their duty to impose on us, conflicts with the basic human freedoms Western civilization holds dear.

If we don’t we may eventually find ourselves in the same unhappy state as the Greek Catholics of Kuwait.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I think I’m OD’ing on the irony

August 18, 2010

For years –years!– the moonbat Left (which includes the Democrat leadership) railed at George W. Bush for destroying our image in the Muslim World, in spite of all the blood and treasure we spent liberating 60,000,000 Muslims from two of the worst tyrannies in the world, not to mention genuinely effective disaster relief in Muslim Indonesia after the Boxing Day tsunami, while their beloved UN did squat-all. Barack Obama campaigned to restore our good name and even went to Cairo to kowtow as a good dhimmi to make a speech apologizing for our supposed sins.

Yet now, with Obama making a complete fool of himself over the jihadist victory monument Ground Zero mosque, to whom does the Left turn to save their multicultural golden calf? George W. Bush. Byron York has the story:

“It’s time for W. to weigh in,” writes the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd. Bush, Dowd explains, understands that “you can’t have an effective war against the terrorists if it is a war on Islam.” Dowd finds it “odd” that Obama seems less sure on that matter. But to set things back on the right course, she says, “W. needs to get his bullhorn back out” — a reference to Bush’s famous “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” speech at Ground Zero on September 14, 2001.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson is also looking for an assist from Bush. “I…would love to hear from former President Bush on this issue,” Robinson wrote Tuesday in a Post chat session. “He held Ramadan iftar dinners in the White House as part of a much broader effort to show that our fight against the al-Qaeda murderers who attacked us on 9/11 was not a crusade against Islam. He was absolutely right on this point, and it would be helpful to hear his views.”

And Peter Beinart, a former editor of the New Republic, is also feeling some nostalgia for the former president. “Words I never thought I’d write: I pine for George W. Bush,” Beinart wrote Tuesday in The Daily Beast. “Whatever his flaws, the man respected religion, all religion.” Beinart longs for the days when Bush “used to say that the ‘war on terror’ was a struggle on behalf of Muslims, decent folks who wanted nothing more than to live free like you and me…”

These people are asking for –nay, demanding!– BushChimpHitler’s help to make up for Obama? Pardon me while I laugh.  Rolling on the floor

There’s plenty to say at another time about their multicultural blindness toward the two faces of Islam; for now, I just want to lean back and savor the moment.

LINKS: More from Hot Air. Roger Kimball thinks this moment is delicious.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Islamists in the UK government? What could go wrong?

December 16, 2009

For several years now, Great Britain has been trying to deal with the growing radicalism in its Muslim population by bringing into government moderate Muslims who can advise the Crown as to the best ways to “reach out” and counter Salafist influence. Trouble is, the “moderates” they keep recruiting aren’t so moderate. Islamist Watch gives us two of the latest examples:

Not Jolly Good: Islamists in the UK Government

Is there any degree of radicalism that disqualifies someone from holding a sensitive government post in the UK? Probably. But it would be difficult to tell based on two recent stories.

First, Treasury official Azad Ali has begun advising the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on combating Islamic extremism. Apparently his suspension earlier this year for blog entries steeped in — you guessed it — Islamic extremism presented no barrier to his joining the “community involvement” panel chaired by the CPS anti-terror chief. In addition to naming radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki, the email pal of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, as “one of my favorite speakers and scholars”

And…

Second, there is Asim Hafeez, the new “head of intervention” at the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism of the Home Office, where he is charged with “divert[ing] fellow Muslims from the path of violence.” However, Hafeez has been described by a knowledgeable colleague as a “hardcore Salafi,” one who follows a puritanical form of Islam. According to Harry’s Place:

A number of Hafeez’s talks are available online which appear to not only back up [these] accusations but also to suggest that Hafeez might additionally be a hard-line Islamist who wishes to replace the British constitution with “the Quran and the Sunnah.”

Do read the whole thing.

This is only the latest example of how, through a blind devotion to unquestioning multiculturalism and political correctness, we tie one hand behind our backs in our fight with the jihadis. For fear of seeming intolerant or bigoted against all Muslims (and for fear of angering those on whom we depend for our crack oil), we don’t dare inquire into what the people we want to place in sensitive positions might really believe. We turn a blind eye to the very real ideology of violent jihad, Islamic supremacism, and antisemitism that runs throughout the Qur’an, the hadiths, the writings of later scholars to the present day – the core of Islam, not a radical heresy or misunderstanding. At times, as at Ft. Hood, this leads to fatal results.

Do I think there are no moderate Muslims? Far from it. There are plenty who reject the jihad imperative and just want to live quiet lives among their neighbors. But there is a disturbingly large fraction who have taken Islam’s aggressive message to heart and support both the cultural and the violent jihad, seeking Islam’s eventual victory over Western civilization. We do ourselves no favors -indeed, we harm our own cause and that of genuinely moderate Muslims – by refusing to face head-on the ideological and theological challenges posed by Salafist Islam.

Screening for Islamist sentiments should be a basic precaution, hurt feelings be damned.


And now, a word from Pat Condell

March 19, 2009

A few days ago, fascist Muslims jeered and hurled insults at British soldiers on parade in Luton, UK. These soldiers had just returned from doing their duty in Iraq, protecting Iraqis from other fascist Muslims. Like all soldiers who have done their duty, they had earned the right of a parade on their return home. But, in addition to the cheers of their family and friends, they were treated to being called rapists and murderers by members of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah, one of many Islamic supremacist and jihad-supporting groups infesting England.

Many Britons were outraged at this. One of them is Pat Condell, who fires back with one of his inimitable video replies. Roll tape, Tito!

Rock on, Pat. Not worthy

 


Freedom of speech death watch

January 21, 2009

A Dutch court has ordered the prosecution of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders for his film Fitna, in which he criticized Islam and compared it to totalitarian ideologies and accused it of fostering violence. The court justified this persecution thusly:

The three judges said that they had weighed Mr Wilders’s "one-sided generalisations" against his right to free speech, and ruled that he had gone beyond the normal leeway granted to politicians.

"The Amsterdam appeals court has ordered the prosecution of member of parliament Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination, based on comments by him in various media on Muslims and their beliefs," the court said in a statement.

"The court also considers appropriate criminal prosecution for insulting Muslim worshippers because of comparisons between Islam and Nazism made by Wilders," it added.

Several months ago, the Dutch prosecutor’s office had decided not to persecute prosecute, having determined he had not broken the law. Some dhimmi-Dutchmen pressed the matter in the courts, however, leading today’s decision to force the prosecutor’s office to open an investigation. Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) issued the following statement:

Court decision an all-out assault on freedom of speech

woensdag 21 januari 2009

The Freedom Party (PVV) is shocked by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal’s decision to prosecute Geert Wilders for his statements and opinions. Geert Wilders considers this ruling an all-out assault on freedom of speech.

Geert Wilders: “Apparently this is The Netherlands today. If you speak out you might be prosecuted. To participate in public debate has become a dangerous activity.”

“If I have to appear in court, not only I will be prosecuted, but also hundreds of thousands of Dutch citizens who reject the Islamisation of the West. In Dutch Parliament only the Party for Freedom is willing to speak up for the preservation of our culture and our many freedoms.”

The Freedom Party leader now faces legal proceedings that will probably take years to conclude and will also involve enormous legal fees.

“We depend on small donations. The Freedom Party is the only party in Parliament that does not accept any government funding. This court decision jeopardizes the very existence of the Freedom Party. We simply cannot afford the enormous legal expenses.”

“This is a black day for freedom.”

No kidding.

As a free human being Mr. Wilders has the inalienable, natural right to speak his mind on political matters. I don’t care what one thinks of him, the PVV, Fitna, or Islam and the cultural jihad against the West. My own writings here should make it clear that I largely agree with the opinions expressed in Fitna and that I am very concerned about the renewed jihad and the dangers posed to liberal democratic society by the spread of sharia law. On the other hand, you may think Wilders’ an ass and the whole hullabaloo over Islam nothing more than a fear-mongering fantasy.

But that is immaterial. Whether you agree with Wilders or not, he has the right to free speech, to present his views and have them challenged and judged in the marketplace of ideas. What the Dutch court has done is to sacrifice that right at the altar of communal tranquility, to grant Islam a special, superior place in which it is immune from criticism, from the normal give and take of Western society.

In other words, the Dutch Court of Appeal has submitted to Islam and become dhimmi.

Make no mistake, the Court has done Islam and Dutch Muslims no favor. To effectively ban criticism of Islam is to leave the intellectual field to the advocates of jihad and Islamic supremacy. By acting out of a kneejerk multiculturalism and a fear of Muslim violence –and that’s the root of this decision– the Court undercuts the arguments of any moderate, peaceful Muslims looking to reform their faith and find a place in the liberal, democratic societies of the West. It strengthens those who seek to recreate a seventh-century society by imposing sharia law, first on other Muslims, then the non-Muslims around them. It strengthens them because the Court’s decision shows fear and a lack of faith in the foundational principles of democratic society and can be used by jihadist imams as an argument for the natural superiority of Islam and its law.

And, after this, how could any moderate Muslim argue against them?

LINKS: Exercise your freedoms and watch Fitna for yourself. More from Fausta, Gateway Pundit, Samizdata, Islam in Action, Sweetness and Light, Jihad Watch, Ed Morrissey, Richard Fernandez, Michelle Malkin, and The Jawa Report. Mark Steyn as usual, is glorious: Dutch Courage.

 


Merry Kwanzaa

December 24, 2008

Interesting article at Reason Online on the fading of an artificial holiday.

 


And next, the Queen in a burqa

December 4, 2008

This is so farcical, it should be a Monty Python skit. But, no, a school in he UK really did cancel its Christmas celebration because it would inconvenience the Muslim students:

Greenwood Junior School sent out a letter to parents saying the three day festival of Eid al-Adha, which takes place between 8-11 December, meant that Muslim children would be off school.

That meant planning for a traditional pantomime were shelved because the school felt it would be too difficult to run both celebrations side by side.

The move has left parents furious.

Janette Lynch, whose seven-year-old son Keanu attends the school, in Sneinton, Nottingham, said: "The head has a whole year to plan for Eid and so she should be able to plan for both religious festivals.

"I have never heard of this at a school. It is the first year my son has been there and a lot of the mums like me were really looking forward to seeing the children on stage.”

She said a letter, sent from “The staff at Greenwood Junior School’, said: "It is with much regret that we have had to cancel this year’s Christmas performances. This is due to the Eid celebrations that take place next week and its effect on our performers.”

Following outrage from parents, the school was forced to send out a second letter saying that the Christmas play would be done in January.

Sent by the head teacher, Amber Latif, and Yvonne Wright, chair of governors, it apologised for “any misunderstanding” but said it had to respect “the cultures and religions of all the children”.

Funny, isn’t it, how that same consideration doesn’t apply to the Christian children: their holiday has to make way for the Muslim festival. This, of course, is in line with the doctrines of Islamic supremacy and the submission (dhimmitude) of non-believers built into the Qur’an, the hadith, and Islamic law. In the West, we call it "multiculturalism."

Later in the article, a very reasonable Muslim parent, Sajad Hussain, said he couldn’t see why the school couldn’t have done both celebrations at the right times, so call this a case of unilateral submission on the part of school officials, becoming dhimmis without even being asked. One wonders, however, if he would have felt the same had his holiday celebrations been first canceled, then moved to wrong month. Given the demands of cultural jihadists in Canada, Europe, and here in the US that everyone else accommodate Muslim sharia strictures, but that Muslims be exempt from rules the rest of us must obey, I doubt organizations like MPAC-UK would, even if Mr. Hussain was willing.

What’s next, the banning of popular characters from children’s literature in case they offend Muslims? Oh, wait….

 


Good question

March 12, 2008

Question: If I were to write something like "I’m excited for my baby to be born white," wouldn’t that mark me as some sort of white-power racist?

Answer: Yes it would, and the flack I’d take would be justified.

Discuss: How then is Jessica Alba different?

(hat tip: PJM)

 


Worth reading

February 3, 2008

It’s been a busy weekend with little time for blogging, so I’ll limit myself to a few things I think you should read. Yes, including you over there in the corner, hiding behind the comic book! Pay attention to the world around you!

At Pajamas Media, Bruce Bawer looks at the increase in violence against gays in Europe and sees the creeping influence of sharia law and aggressive Islam. First they came for the gays:

It’s very clear what’s going on here – and where it’s all headed. Europe is on its way down the road of Islamization, and it’s reached a point along that road at which gay people’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is being directly challenged, both by knife-wielding bullies on the street and by taxpayer-funded thugs whose organizations already enjoy quasi-governmental authority. Sharia law may still be an alien concept to some Westerners, but it’s staring gay Europeans right in the face – and pointing toward a chilling future for all free people. Pim Fortuyn saw all this coming years ago; most of today’s European leaders still refuse to see it even though it’s right before their eyes.

Also at PJM, one of my blogging heroes, Australia’s Arthur Chrenkoff, returns from his exile in Australian politics to note how the mainstream media’s reporting on Iraq has changed since 2005:

What does it all tells us? There has clearly been a very significant decline in reporting from Iraq. For some it will be an indication of the news exhaustion: after five years, people are simply tired of Iraq and the decrease in reporting merely reflects that fact that everyone has moved on to other issues. For others, it will be further evidence of the media bias: once the situation in Iraq has shown signs of unequivocal improvement, the media has stopped reporting, because the news simply stopped fitting into their favourite anti-war narrative. As for the changing ration of bad to good news, has the situation improved so drastically, or has the good news finally become too conspicuous to ignore? I will leave that to others to decide.

I hope this means Arthur will be reopening his blog. It’s been sorely missed.

Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez’s nemesis, Fausta, reports on evidence of European connections to the coke-head’s drug dealing, as well as ties to Colombia’s major rebel group.

Finally, Lance Thompson asks potential McCain voters, "Are you sure," and points out some things they might like to think about.

UPDATE: Forgot one. Via Blue Crab Boulevard, read all about the Navy’s test of a shipborne rail-gun. I want one. We have all the best toys.


First they came for Piglet….

January 27, 2008

Mark Steyn‘s at his satirical best in this latest article on the multiculturalist, politically correct nonsense gripping official Britain:

So, henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated “anti-Islamic activity.” Britain’s Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, unveiled the new brand name in a speech a few days ago. “There is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief,” she told her audience. “Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic.”

Well, yes, one sort of sees what she means. Killing thousands of people in Manhattan skyscrapers in the name of Islam does, among a certain narrow-minded type of person, give Islam a bad name, and thus could be said to be “anti-Islamic” – in the same way that the Luftwaffe raining down death and destruction on Londoners during the Blitz was an “anti-German activity.”

But I don’t recall even Neville Chamberlain explaining, as if to a 5-year-old, that there is nothing German about the wish to terrorize and invade, and that this is entirely at odds with the core German values of sitting around eating huge sausages in beer gardens while wearing lederhosen.

Still, it should add a certain surreal quality to BBC news bulletins: “The prime minister today condemned the latest anti-Islamic activity as he picked through the rubble of Downing Street looking for his 2008 Wahhabi Community Outreach Award. In a related incident, the anti-Islamic activists who blew up Buckingham Palace have unfortunately caused the postponement of the Queen’s annual Ramadan banquet.”

And, if we close our eyes, the elephant in the living room will go away.

Be sure to read the whole thing.


Holland grows a spine. Britain misplaces theirs.

January 23, 2008

Two items today from the cultural jihad front, both courtesy of Little Green Footballs.

In the Netherlands, government officials have decided not to participate in or legitimize misogyny: Dutch to ban burqas in schools and government offices

The Dutch government is set to impose a ban on the Muslim burqa in schools and government offices, media reported on Wednesday, in a retreat from the previous cabinet’s plan for a general ban.

The cabinet has decided against a broad ban on burqas in public as that would violate the principle of freedom of religion, news agency ANP said, citing unnamed cabinet sources.

The Muslim community says only about 50 women wear the head-to-toe burqa or the niqab, a face veil that conceals everything but the eyes. They said a general ban would heighten alienation among the country’s about 1 million Muslims.

An interior ministry spokesman said there was no final decision on the subject yet and the issue is expected to be discussed at the weekly cabinet meeting on Friday next week.

This doesn’t begin to address the plight of women trapped by Sharia law in the Netherlands, and it could be reversed if the government loses its nerve, but it’s a welcome start.

Meanwhile, desperately seeking new groups to apologize to, educational authorities in Britain turned down a digital book that retold the story of the Three Little Pigs because it might offend Muslims and builders:

A story based on the Three Little Pigs has been turned down from a government agency’s annual awards because the subject matter could offend Muslims.

The digital book, re-telling the classic fairy tale, 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 schools award.

The judges also attacked Three Little Cowboy Builders for offending builders.

The book’s creative director, Anne Curtis, said that the idea that including pigs in a story could be interpreted as racism was "like a slap in the face".

‘Cultural issues’

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, run the government’s technology agency.

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?"

Have they lost their multicultural minds over there?


The death of free speech in Canada?

January 19, 2008

The right to free political speech means nothing if it doesn’t include the right to say and write things that make others uncomfortable, even offended. When otherwise democratic governments begin persecuting people for their political opinions in the name of multicultural "respect" and "tolerance," that’s a sign that free speech and democracy itself is in danger.

That danger most recently manifested itself in Canada, where our Islamist enemies have furthered their ideological and cultural jihad by manipulating Canada’s Human Rights Commissions to serve as an Orwellian thought-police. In the case of Mark Steyn and the publishers of Maclean’s, the Canadian Islamic Congress has filed a series of complaints with the federal and two provincial HRCs to punish Steyn and Maclean’s publishers for comments made in an article excerpted from one of Steyn’s recent books.

 

 

You can get an overview of Mr. Steyn’s trip into Kafka-land here and here.

But that’s not the end of it (nor, I fear, even the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning). Ezra Levant, publisher of the now-defunct Canadian magazine Western Standard, in 2006 was one of the few North American editors who dared to run the dread Muhammad cartoons in the face of riots and death-threats from peaceful, tolerant Muslims worldwide. Now he has been hauled before Alberta’s provincial HRC due to a complaint by an imam who advocates the imposition of sharia  law in Canada. (Any representation of Muhammad is forbidden under sharia.) Heather Cook covers the affair for Pajamas Media: The Suicide of Reason in Canada

On the very day that the Western Standard with the infamous cartoons was being printed, Levant appeared on Calgary radio to debate Syed Soharwardy, an imam trained at an anti-Semitic Saudi university, who advocates Sharia law in Canada. The debate centered around the cartoons and all the accompanying shouldas, wouldas and couldas. Soharwardy did not know that Levant was about to publish the cartoons (a.k.a. offend Mohammed), but that did not matter. Levant was the clear winner in the debate and that offended Soharwardy, who marched down to a Calgary Police station and demanded that they arrest Levant for offending him during the debate and simply discussing the cartoons in the media. 

After the officers explained that they didn’t do that in Canada, Soharwardy filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The Commission is made up of individuals appointed by the government to hear human rights complaints. The commissioners are a mish-mash of lawyers, nurses, politicians, engineers, who may or may not have direct legal experience. It costs nothing to file a complaint, so Soharwardy could avail himself of it at no charge while the defendant bears the cost of his defense.

While journalists were barred from the proceedings, Levant was allowed to videotape his encounter with the dhimmi bureaucrat human rights officer, in which he gives a stirring defense of the right to free speech. Here’s his opening statement:

 

Ms. Cook links the rest of Levant’s videos in her article and discusses the implications for civil society inherent in the suppression of free speech.  Like they say, read the whole thing.


Monday links

November 26, 2007

Too much to do to provide a full post today, but I wanted to link to some stories of interest, leading off with the (nonexistent) plot to attack Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The Washington Times first broke the story:

Fort Huachuca, the nation’s largest intelligence-training center, changed security measures in May after being warned that Islamist terrorists, with the aid of Mexican drug cartels, were planning an attack on the facility.

Fort officials changed security measures after sources warned that possibly 60 Afghan and Iraqi terrorists were to be smuggled into the U.S. through underground tunnels with high-powered weapons to attack the Arizona Army base, according to multiple confidential law enforcement documents obtained by The Washington Times.

"A portion of the operatives were in the United States, with the remainder not yet in the United States," according to one of the documents, an FBI advisory that was distributed to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, Customs and Border Protection and the Justice Department, among several other law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. "The Afghanis and Iraqis shaved their beards so as not to appear to be Middle Easterners."

According to the FBI advisory, each Middle Easterner paid Mexican drug lords $20,000 "or the equivalent in weapons" for the cartel’s assistance in smuggling them and their weapons through tunnels along the border into the U.S. The weapons would be sent through tunnels that supposedly ended in Arizona and New Mexico, but the Islamist terrorists would be smuggled through Laredo, Texas, and reclaim the weapons later.

A number of the Afghans and Iraqis are already in a safe house in Texas, the FBI advisory said.

Pretty serious stuff: believable and predictable, something like what people (including me) concerned with border security have been warning of since 9/11. Trouble is, it was a false alarm:

A plot by dozens of foreign terrorists who purportedly planned to attack Fort Huachuca with rocket propelled grenades and mines has proved unfounded, an FBI spokesman said Monday.

Ooops. While this is embarrassing for the Times (and those border-hawk bloggers who started shrieking at the first news), it doesn’t change the possibility that something like this could one day happen, nor does it change the fact that our porous borders are a major weakness. Al Qaeda and Hizbullah (the latter at least being a proxy for Iran) are in Latin America, and only a fool would think they won’t try to exploit the border’s weakness to attack us.

The plot against Fort Huachuca was a false alarm, but it was not a Chicken Little moment.

(More at Captain’s Quarters, LGF, Power Line, and Hot Air.)

Meanwhile, I want to say, with deepest respect for the Anglican Church, that the Archbishop of Canterbury is an ignorant fool. Victor Davis Hanson explains why.

What is it about left-leaning Western intellectual elites that makes them hate their own civilization so much that they act as if they believe it should apologize for everything it’s ever done and go out of existence?

To quote French intellectual Jean Francois Revel: A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.

The Archbishop often acts like it isn’t even worth defending.

(More at Blue Crab Boulevard here and here. Melanie Phillips asks "With defenders of western civilisation like this, who needs enemies?" Indeed.)

Finally, is the prison-camp regime in North Korea about to collapse? It’s been predicted before and hasn’t happened, and, frankly, our intelligence agencies have pretty miserable records when it comes to prognostication (they missed the fall of the Soviet Union, for example), so I’ll believe it when I see it. But, there are some tell-tale signs that the regime of Psychopath for Life Dear Leader may be planning for life after the fall. When dictators and thugs start squirreling money away, you know they’re worried. And if rumors of American and South Korean troop movements are true, then the West may be taking it seriously this time, too.

(More at Blue Crab Boulevard.)


Brussels burns

October 25, 2007

Deep in the heart of the suave, sophisticated, nuanced, and devoutly multiculturalist European Union, Muslim riots are tearing apart the capital, Brussels:

Tonight (Wednesday evening) heavy rioting erupted in Turkish quarters of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. Buses and trams were attacked. Several cars were torched and shops destroyed. Police forces were unable to restore law and order in the boroughs of Sint-Joost-ten-Node and Schaarbeek where since last Sunday the animosity among Turks is running high. Turkish flags are omnipresent. In some streets the Turkish crescent and star adorns almost every house.

The Turks’ anger was provoked by rising tension with Kurds along the Iraqi-Turkish border and by the debate in the American Congress about the Turkish genocide of the Armenians in 1915. On Sunday night Turkish youths in Sint-Joost destroyed the pub of Peter Petrossian, an ethnic Armenian who had to flee for his life. Apparently, some Turks think that by attacking the Armenians in Brussels they can convince the world that the Turks never committed a genocide of the Armenians.

This follows in the wake of ongoing car-b-ques in Amsterdam, where police committed the racist sin of shooting a non-Buddhist "youth" who had stormed into a police station and stabbed two cops. The non-Lutheran, non-Hindu "youths" then demonstrated their commitment to peace and tolerance by making things so bad that fire services now need police escorts to put out fires in areas controlled by the denomination-we’re-not-allowed-to-name "youths."

Europe has got one hell of a problem on its hands, and the desperate efforts of the governing class not to see the jihadist elephant in the living room are only going to make things worse, until a reaction comes that will endanger European democracy itself.

LINKS: More on the Amsterdam situation at The Van Der Galien Gazette, a very good Dutch blog.


Sunday reading

October 21, 2007

It’s been a busy weekend, so there’s been little time for blogging, but I wanted to leave you with a couple of articles of interest:

First, Victor Davis Hanson takes Congressional Democrats to the woodshed for trying to run their own foreign policy:

…too often we see frustrated senators posture in debate during televised hearings, trying out for the role of chief executive or commander in chief. Most could never get elected president – many have tried – but they seem to enjoy the notion that their own under-appreciated brilliance and insight should supersede the collective efforts of the State Department.

So they travel abroad, pass resolutions and pontificate a lot, but rarely have to clean up the ensuing mess of their own freelancing of American foreign policy.

Congress should stick to its constitutional mandate and quit the publicity gestures. If it is unhappy with the ongoing effort to stabilize a unified Iraq, then it should act seriously and vote to cut off all funds and bring the troops home.

Dr. Hanson was writing with regard to the stupid House resolution condemning Turkey for the Armenian genocide, but his words are applicable to any number of lame congressional attempts at diplomacy since 2006.

Next, reader John H. of Shikoku (See? We’re international!) points out a BBC article on rioting by non-Lutheran “youths” in Amsterdam:

Police in the Dutch city of Amsterdam say several cars have been set on fire in the sixth night of unrest after officers shot a Moroccan man dead.

The 22-year old was killed after entering a police station where he stabbed two police officers.

Eleven cars have been set on fire this week in the Slotervaart district of Amsterdam, which is mainly populated by immigrants.

Bruce Bawer and Ayaan Hirsi Ali have repeatedly pointed out the Netherlands’ massive problem with unassimilated and radicalized Muslims. One wonders how many more Dutch car-b-ques will be needed before Holland wakes up from its multiculturalist opium dream and notices the elephant in the living room.


Religion of tolerance, except if you try to quit

September 13, 2007

Freedom of religion means not only the right to practice your religion without being persecuted, but also the right to practice no religion at all. It also includes the right to change one’s faith, abandoning one for another. Western nations have long recognized that freedom of religion is crucial to a free society.

But not Islam. In Islam, the penalty for apostasy –leaving Islam– is death. Ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose brilliant autobiography details her journey from Somalia to Holland and from Islam to apostasy. For daring to criticize Islam and Muhammad, she’s in fear for her life and under constant guard. Ask Abdur Rahman, the Afghan convert to Christianity. He barely escaped a death sentence.

Now a group of former Muslims agitating for religious freedom in Holland is once again at the center of a storm, as its leader is forced to go into hiding because of death threats:

A group of young Muslim apostates launches a campaign today, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, to make it easier to renounce Islam.

The provocative move reflects a growing rift between traditionalists and a younger generation raised on a diet of Dutch tolerance.

The Committee for Ex-Muslims promises to campaign for freedom of religion but has already upset the Islamic and political Establishments for stirring tensions among the million-strong Muslim community in the Netherlands.

Ehsan Jami, the committee’s founder, who rejected Islam after the attack on the twin towers in 2001, has become the most talked-about public figure in the Netherlands. He has been forced into hiding after a series of death threats and a recent attack.

The threats are taken seriously after the murder in 2002 of Pim Fortuyn, an antiimmigration politician, and in 2004 of Theo Van Gogh, an antiIslam film-maker.

I’d take issue with the characterizations in that last paragraph: Fortuyn was not anti-immigrant per se, but deeply concerned about admitting large numbers of people who were and are resisting assimilation and who cling to beliefs irreconcilably hostile to the core tenets of Western civilization. Van Gogh was not anti-Islam so much as he was a professional gadfly who helped Hirsi Ali make a short film criticizing the treatment of women in Islam. For exercising his right to freedom of expression, he was murdered.

Regardless, the Times article highlights one of the great questions facing Europe: Will Europeans rise to defend the rights of the individual and the achievements of the Enlightenment, or will they agree to submit to Islam and benighted Sharia law? Will Europeans defend the right of Mr. Jami choose his own stance regarding Islam, or will they keep wearing their multiculturalist blinders, hiding behind a false tolerance in order to pretend the problem does not exist?

Much more than on guns or tanks, it is on questions like these that the outcome of the Long War hangs.

(hat tip: LGF)