The pig? - Some slices of bacon
The sheep? - Some Muslims in a mosque
The clothing? - Their shoes
This is the story about a drunken man who thought it would be funny to put bacon inside the shoes left outside a mosque. Frankly, I agree, this is rather funny. Of course the man was arrested and charged with crimes relating to "racial hatred." Here's where the problem lies. This is not in any way racial. It is religious. The offended Muslims aren't restricted from eating pig due to their race, so in what way could this ever be considered racist? The fact that the people are in a mosque in England gives very little clue as to the races of those inside, they could be from any number of countries. They were mostly Somalian by the way. Are Somalians not allowed to eat pig? Well yes, if they also happen to be Muslim. It makes me very angry that religion is so often confused with race. Racial hatred is inexcusable. Religious hatred makes sense. Not that I'm saying we should cause harm to religious people, but they should be mocked, they are a joke. They are an embarressment to humankind.
Anyway, I was interested to see how offensive you all thought this was. Or more precisely, what level of offence is appropriate for this act of religious mocking.
In a sane world, the offended Muslims would simple chuckle "ha, that's funny because we can't eat pig, oh you clever sod!" and maybe be a little peeved that their shoes now smell of bacon.
In this world, I'm suprised it wasn't followed by a parade of angry imbeciles demanding a gruesome execution.
NOBODY deserves to be mocked. The psychopathic among us (which this guy is decidedly NOT) need to be controlled so that they don't hurt themselves or others, but harassing other people because they believe something, EVEN if it is wrong, is anti-human, unethical, and reflects more badly on the perpetrator than on those being mocked. You SURELY believe things that will turn out to be wrong -- does that mean YOU deserve to be mocked?
Being a "rational thinker" or a non-theist does NOT preclude having a concern for kind and appropriate treatment of our fellow human beings. The moral teachings of religion are specific about this, but you DON'T have to be religious to know that they are right, at least in this area. As a non-theist, you acknowledge that this concept does not come from an exterior deity, but from the essence of being HUMAN. I'm not sure you ARE human if you refuse or are unable to empathize with the feelings of others.
It wasn't very nice, but it was kind of funny. It wasn't racist. It seems hypocritical to me that so many people can rant on and on about killing Muslims and that is free speech, put a little bacon in some shoes and go to jail for 6 months. Which is worse? Threaten to kill someone or ruin their shoes? Let the punishment fit the crime. Some community service and sensitivity training.
Let the punishment fit the crime
Make them wear shoes with hummus in them for a month.
I think it is easy for religion to be confused with culture. Muslims not being allowed to eat pork is not cultural. It is a direct result of their faith. If Islam can be considered a culture, then it is a disgusting culture which demands no respect at all. Accepting differences is good, unless those differences are barbaric and oppressive. Not all cultures are equal, and to think so is naive.
I remember reading a story about an island in which the culture was to have sex with underage girls. This was perfectly acceptable in their culture, even normal. Would you accept the differences of this culture?