What's the Deal with Muslims and Pigs
I realize that pigs are unclean in Islam, but...well, lets start with this event:
Police Investigate Ham Incident At School
April 19, 2007
LEWISTON, Maine --Police are investigating as a possible hate crime an incident in which a ham steak was placed in a bag on a lunch table where a group of Somali students were sitting.
A Lewiston Middle School student was suspended after the incident, which happened April 11.
Superintendent Leon Levesque said the incident is being treated seriously and police are investigating. The center for the Prevention of Hate Violence is working with the school to devise a response plan.
The incident is the second of its kind in Lewiston in recent months. Last summer, a man rolled a pig's head into a mosque in Lewiston, which has a large Somali population. A court later ordered the man to stay away from the mosque.
Here is an article in the local Lewiston newspaper, which I think places the incident in a larger context of harassment toward the Somali students based on their religion.
Still, how an act can be a "hate crime" if it wouldn't be a crime at all otherwise is beyond me, but I never understood hate crime laws anyway.
Which brings me to the question of Muslims and pigs. Why is it that people from Islamic cultures so famously can be so gulled by pigs and pig by-products. Ham is also forbidden to Jews as well, but only for eating. No one would think to offend a Jew with a pig. He would use symbols like swastikas that carry an underlying threat of violence. There isn't the notion that Jews become unclean before God because a pig (or a pig effigy) is near them.
I offer the famous British Piglet ban.
In Texas, a Muslim congregation built a mosque next to a pig farm and then tried to drive the farmer away. So he responded by holding pig races every Friday.
These are a few among many minor incidences (we'll leave aside for now the major ones) that founds the bias among Westerners that people from Islamic cultures are irrational (that they attach a magical import to symbols and offenses), and treat them appropriately ("Don't offend them, they might kill someone.")
If I'm missing a larger issue, I sure wish someone would point it out to me.