Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Close your day with a bitter laugh

Mark Steyn insightful but extremely funny weekly piece. Excerpts:

Of all the total non-stories reported by the British media since 9/11 - the brutal Afghan winter, the non-existent Jenin massacre - has there ever been a bigger waste of space than the column inches devoted to "Bush: God Told Me to Invade Iraq"? That was the Independent's headline.

The source for this story was essentially a BBC press release for a forthcoming documentary. Nabil Shaath, the so-called Palestinian "foreign minister", told them (the BBC) that Bush told him (Shaath) that God told him (Bush) to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.

The prohibition of England's flag in England's prisons was put in place by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, who is concerned about the "lack of cultural understanding" at Wakefield jail. As far as I can tell, specific examples of "lack of cultural understanding" were confined to an insufficient range of hair products for black prisoners and the display of the offensive national emblem: "We were concerned to see a number of staff wearing a flag of St George tiepin," she wrote in a report on Wakefield jail. "While we were told that these had been bought in support of a cancer charity, there was clear scope for misinterpretation."There always is, isn't there? The other day, a state-funded imam at Werribee Islamic College in Australia told his students that the Jews were putting poison in bananas and that Muslims shouldn't eat them. Allowing Aussie greengrocers to continue to display bananas offers "clear scope for misinterpretation", too. But misinterpretation is in the eye of the misinterpreter, and pandering to it ensures there will be a lot more.

Thus, Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, already feels Ms Owers's ban is insufficient. The cross of St George, he explains, is offensive to Muslims because it was carried by English crusaders in the 11th century. Hmm. Would that be the 11th century that ended nine and a bit centuries ago? When a fellow's got hang-ups about things that happened a millennium ago, there's no point trying to assuage them; he'll only unearth some earlier grievance, demanding the Natural History Museum be dismantled because some stegosaurus was disrespectful to Muslims back in the Jurassic era.

No doubt the bien pensants will still be hooting at born-again Texans on the day the House of Lords gives a second reading to the Sharia Bill.

Poor Europe.

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