I was recently reading a story on FOXNEWS about a group of Muslims in Scotland who were ‘outraged’ by a post card which featured a very cute puppy. Apparently, this post card was sent to homes showing the small dog as a police recruit to promote the fact that new canine recruits were being trained for the force. The Muslims were offended (‘outraged’ was the word that was used) because they consider dogs to be ritually unclean. This reaction was met with the requisite apologies and hand wringing that has come to be common place when anyone says that they are offended by anything, because lord knows we cannot have anyone offended anymore.
I want to say first off that I am done with all of this. It is time for people to stop reacting to every little thing that every special interest can dig up to bitch about. Our current reactions only serve to legitimize and encourage more of this activity, but I will pick apart this case for the sheer enjoyment of the exercise.
There is an old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” I say this not to imply that a person entering another culture must cast aside his religious beliefs, but I do believe that when you enter that culture, you should not come in swinging your beliefs around like a bat, expecting the existing cultural mores to conform to your own.
I was planning to go to Europe for 24 days when I was in high school (suffice it to say that my grades, and party attitude at the time conspired to have these plans cancelled). To prepare for the trip, we were required to go to after school classes held by the sponsor. I remember learning a term in these classes that I had not heard before: ‘Uglo-American.’ The sponsor explained that this term described an American who went abroad and acted as if he owned the place with no regard for the culture or values of his host country. Even though I did not get to go on that trip, the sad thing was that I found out she was right. There are indeed a lot of self-obsessed, jingoistic Americans running around out there embarrassing the rest of us. However, I live in America, and I have seen a relentless parade of foreign nationals come to this country and attempt to impose their cultural mores upon our culture.
Our culture (and I assume Scotland’s also) has a long tradition of dog-loving. I do not currently own a dog, but I have in the past, and I know they are great companions. If our culture chooses to promote that fact that we, as a culture, love dogs, then those who choose to live within our culture, especially those who find themselves hypersensitive to cultural issues, should respect this and as Clint Eastwood says, “Shut their faces.”
As far as I know, there is nothing ritually unclean about a photograph in the Muslim religion. No one brought an actual dog to these peoples houses. It was a simply photograph. Do the televisions of these people become ritually unclean every time there is a Dog Chow commercial shown? Are they similarly outraged? If an advertisement with a picture of a dog comes in the mail, is it time to call out the Mullah to perform some hocus pocus and purify the mailbox? I doubt it.
Where do we go from here? Obviously, the only way to completely avoid possible contact with dogs, their hair, their doo, etc., would be to completely ban dogs from our society. In doing so, I’m sure these complainers would express their eternal gratitude. Looking further down their list of mores, I see restrictions against women showing flesh in public. I guess we need to break out the scarves, ladies. And, looking behind them, I see a slightly less popular religious group that feels it is ritually unclean for men and women to copulate at all. Ouch.
Another point is that these dogs are being used as an official means of law enforcement. Many jurisdictions treat these animals, legally, as official members of law enforcement. If these Muslims are so easily offended by a picture of a dog, how are they going to feel when they go to an airport, and there is an actual dog there trying to keep everyone safe. Or, what happens when a particular Muslim is suspected of a crime, and a police dog is called upon to seek evidence of the crime? I expect this will cause an international incident.
Several decades ago Psychology foisted one of it many lies upon intelligent society. It is the idea that ‘all feelings are legitimate.’ Hogwash. There are tons of illegitimate feelings. I know of a person who has racist feelings. These are neither legitimate, nor should they be allowed to stand as if they are when they are voiced. Some people have perverted feelings. These are not legitimate. Some have murderous feelings which are also bad. And, others carry with them a hypersensitivity and a myopic cultural outlook which leaves no room for the culture of another. This is not legitimate either.
I believe there are three culprits at the root of this problem. The first is a group of minorities (I am not using this term in a racial sense) with a licentious attitude that motivates them to bitch about anything and everything they see. The second is a willing media that promotes a sense of political correctness and cultural relativism about every issue regardless of its ridiculousness. And third, is a silent majority that continues to take it in the shorts every time a group whines about anything.
It is time for the majority to start saying ‘So what!,’ and ‘Shut your face!’ It is time for the media to become more discerning and respectful of all cultures even that of the majority. And, it is time for these small whiny groups to grow up and realize that they have to subject themselves to the same sort of tolerance that they expect others to show them.
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