Monday, November 24, 2014

A Muslim Doesn’t Want to Sell Pork or Alcohol – and Apparently Civilization is Now Doomed

About a week or so ago the London newspaper the Daily Mail had a big story about a hotel that was no longer going to serve pork or alcohol. You can read the article and the comments for yourself but here's a quick (humorous) summary:

Muslim: I just bought this hotel. Because I am a devout Muslim I don’t want the hotel selling pork or alcohol.


Many Daily Mail readers: OMG!! Muslims are going to turn Britain into an Islamic country! Soon there’ll be Sharia courts everywhere!! *runs to grab torches and pitchforks*

Muslim: uhhhhhhhhhhh, what?

It's both funny yet disturbing that such an innocuous thing would cause such Islamophobic mayhem. The Daily Mail wasn’t the only one to run this story, if you search Google News a number of newspapers and websites reported it. Some of the comments posted under the Mail article, and there were more than 2000, were really quite shocking but I won’t reprint them here. Instead here’s some of the “worst rated” comments, the comments that readers flagged down [sic].

• Do not believe what is written, this is not a sharia hotel. For example, unrelated men and women can still sit and eat together. The owner has made many suuch compromises to ensure westerners can visit it. We should applaud such a compassioate approach not criticise it. One day all hotels will be like this.

• Good on him, sticking to his beliefs, going to cost him a lot of money though

• His hotel. His law. Calm it people, this will not change Britain.

• If there is a call for it then let it be.. I am sure it would do well.. I not in favour of Sharia Law but running a restaurant the way the owner wants is no ones business but theirs.. We don't go to a woman clothes store and complain it does not sell men's trousers?

• As somebody who has no interest in booze or bacon, I have no problem with this. If these two things rule your life - then just stay in a different hotel, it's simple. Variety is the spice of life. But you can't expect everything you like to be available everywhere you go. That's just silly. lol

Apparently saying that it’s no big deal did not go over well with many Daily Mail readers.

I can’t help but think that this furor is mostly due to the current tide of Islamophobia spreading in many Western societies. What’s important here is not that the menu is changing but that it is a Muslim doing it. Change Muslim to something else and you can see how ridiculous this gets. Would newspapers even be bothering to write an article about:

-- a hotel purchased by a Hindu who doesn’t want the hotel selling beef?
-- a hotel purchased by a vegetarian who doesn’t want the hotel selling meat?
-- a hotel purchased by a Jew who only wants the hotel to sell kosher food?
-- a hotel purchased by a Seventh Day Adventist who doesn’t want the hotel selling alcohol?

Highly unlikely. I don’t think most people would actually care. WELCOME TO HOTEL BROCCOLI just doesn’t have the same ring to it. (I’d probably go to it though, I love broccoli.)

When I told my friend Murat he laughed, as I told him a story years ago about a similar issue. An incident in 2010 where making concessions to Muslims caused a wave of nationalistic fury . . .

Kraft Foods decided to make halal Vegemite! (OMG!)

A blogger responded with a great post titled, “Vegemite is now certified as halal. Apparently, this is the end of civilisation as we know it.” I liked his title so much I did a similar thing for this post. Yep, halal vegemite resulted in OMG from many Australians.

Well apparently four years on the outrage never entirely died down. In 2014 there was a resurgence and some online petitions and social media wanted the halal certification stripped. Paying for a halal certification apparently supports terrorism (huh?!)

I sure hope Kraft sticks to its guns and keeps vegemite halal, a Qatari friend of mine loves the stuff (not me though, ick).

Listen up everyone, you all need to calm down and not freak out when a Muslim wants halal food or to not sell alcohol. It’s not hurting anyone. If you are the type to get upset about these things I think you should cut back watching and reading reactionary news articles. Maybe go to a nearby mosque or Islamic Cultural Centre and spend a bit of time learning about Islam, you’ll find most Muslims are moderates who just want to live normal lives.

No comments: