October 25, 2005
MY ADVICE TO CHRISTIANS, JEWS, HINDUS, ETC: Start blowing things up and beheading people. This will gain you enormous solicitude from the powers-that-be:
A West Yorkshire head teacher has banned books containing stories about pigs from the classroom in case they offend Muslim children. The literature has been removed from classes for under-sevens at Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley.
British banks are also abandoning piggy banks for the same reason. And though it's characterized as toleration, I think it's really out of fear of violence.
No, I'm not serious about the advice. But they need to think about the incentive that's being created here, or I fear that others will take the lesson. When you reward behavior, you tend to get more of it.
UPDATE: Several readers email to observe something that seemed obvious to me, but maybe wasn't -- that this sort of behavior is unfair to Muslims, since it stereotypes them as excitable and easily offended. That's a common vice of political correctness, of course, as it tends to belittle and demean the very people it's ostensibly concerned with. Meanwhile, reader Michael Murphy emails: "Well, I suppose we should be grateful that books containing references to Jews or which feature Jewish characters are not removed from the shelves lest they offend."
Give 'em time.