by John Hawkins | January 24, 2008 4:00 am
This is what the political correctness crowd in America would be doing if they were as strong as they are in Europe,
A story based on The Three Little Pigs has been rejected by a Government-backed awards event because it might offend Muslims… and builders.
The digital book, retelling the classic children’s tale, was criticised by judges who said “the use of pigs raises cultural issues”.
They also claimed the award-winning CD-rom, entitled The Three Little Cowboy Builders, might “alienate parts of the workforce (building trade)”.
The “virtual” book is designed for use on computers and interactive whiteboards and aimed at primary school children.
Its publishers, Shoo-Fly, insist there is nothing offensive in it.
But judges for the annual BETT awards, which recognise excellence in educational technology, claimed they had “concerns about the Asian community” and insisted “the use of pigs raises cultural issues”.
As a result, they “could not recommend this product to the Muslim community”.
Anne Curtis, of Newcastle-based Shoo Fly, said the idea that including pigs in a story could be interpreted as racism was a “slap in the face” and described the criticism as “inflammatory”.
To be honest with you, I seriously doubt that Britain is teeming with Muslims who get horrifically offended by seeing a cartoon pig. That’s not to say that there aren’t Muslims who feel that way, but my guess is that they represent a small percentage of Muslims in that country — which brings up an important point.
In the West, which has a tradition of free speech, people have to deal, often on a daily basis, with things that offend them. That includes conservatives, liberals, gays, straights, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Christians, atheists, and yes, that applies to Muslims, too.
So with that in mind, if you are a Muslim who is so horrifically offended by seeing a cartoon pig that you can’t make it through a digital book, then maybe the West just isn’t for you and perhaps you should consider moving somewhere like Sudan or Saudi Arabia, where you’ll be more comfortable with the local culture.
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