Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Wednesday, September 2, 2015
oldbearnews editor

 There is this thing doing the rounds on social media
see below:

Muslim parents have demanded the abolition of pork in all the school canteens of a Montreal suburb. It seems it is offensive to the Muslim families and shows much disrespect.
The mayor of the Montreal suburb of Dorval, has refused, and the town clerk sent a note to all parents in the municipality to explain why.

The following is what the note stated:
“Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Canada and Quebec, its customs, its traditions, its way of life, because that is where they chose to immigrate. They must understand that they have to integrate and learn to live in Quebec. They must understand that it is for them to change their lifestyle, not the Canadians who so generously welcomed them.” “They must understand that Canadians are neither racist nor xenophobic, they accepted many immigrants before Muslims (Whereas the reverse is not true, in that ALL Muslim states do not accept non-Muslim immigrants.).
“They must also understand that, no more than other nations, Canadians are not willing to give up their identity nor their culture. And if Canada is a land of welcome, it is not just the Mayor of Dorval who welcomes foreigners, but the Canadian-Quebecois people as a whole. “ “Finally, they must understand that in Canada (Quebec) with its Judeo-Christian roots, Christmas trees, churches and religious festivals, religion must remain in the private domain. Therefore, the municipality of Dorval was right to refuse any concessions to Islam and Sharia.” “For Muslims who disagree with secularism and do not feel comfortable in Canada, there are 57 beautiful Muslim countries in the world, most of them under-populated and ready to receive them with open halal arms in accordance with Shariah law. If you left your country for Canada, and not for other Muslim countries, it is because you have considered that life is better in Canada than elsewhere. So, ask yourself the question, just once, “Why is it better here in Canada than where you come from?”
“A canteen with pork is part of the answer.”

I went and did some research and it turns out first of all that there is an earlier version of this letter for a Belgium town.  This  mayor in Belgium is on public record that no letter of request has ever been received by their council  let alone a reply sent. This was some 3 years back.

So I been thinking why is this still doing the rounds on social media??

Immigration is a hot topic - not just for Europe who at this point in time certainly faces a flood of willing immigrants. Other countries suffer from this too and it is no co-incidence that this is a problem by modern western and shall we say 'well-to-do' (not wanting to call them rich) countries?!
America is having issues with Mexico and here down under we have migrants from the Pacific / Asia countries as well.
Nor is it a particularly NEW issue. For decades Greeks and Turks  have wanted to live and work in Northern Europe - simply because the economic situation (or the ability to earn more money there then "at home"!

I guess this particular hoax touches on a deeply buried nerve on universal Hospitality.  Take out the specific words like Muslim and replace with a generic version and so forth and the issue becomes a bit clearer.
In the olden days - those days when humans where less then a hart-beat away from its monkey ancestor, there would have been huge gaps of land before you would meet the next local tribe - regular connections between other humans was just - well - rare.  Thus the concept of hospitality was gradually forged - one of offering food and shelter to another human being that crossed your path no matter what.  This was done on an instinctive understanding that one day you might be in the same position - of being "on the road" and in need of shelter / food / comfort.

In the process both parties gained new insights and perhaps skills, an exchange of ideas on how to make things better - such as your bow and arrow -  or hunting techniques - or well, whatever.   Thus the offer of food / shelter was seen not only beneficial to your immediate needs but also to your knowledge base.
Very seldom was hospitality denied.  Obviously if your tribe of 20 people faced a horde of mean looking to the teeth armed army of 200 plus then the situation might be a bit different . . . 

However = usually both parties gave freely, and accept uncritically "other-ness" as being equally valid.

We get into difficulty if one party is starting to set terms.
Terms such as - "only my way of doing things is the correct way"!
When one party demands that their needs / customs are to be respected above everything or anyone else.  It doesn't matter which party this is - host or hostee!
It does work both ways - for the thing it touches on is respect for the other person, on validating the other party OR lack thereof.
For example when you ask me to take my shoes of when entering your house you are asking me to respect your space and customs.  When you hold a gun to my head and say shoes off or else - then you want my submission - and there is a big difference.


the article above (hoax as it is) is touching on hospitality and respect and acceptance for or better of each other.  The moment one side demands concessions,  it has lost the plot.  Guess that is why it still doing the rounds on social media . . . . .  

If this was a real life situation I would expect that there would be a school canteen that serves not only pork but also Halal meals and then both sets of communities have a equal choice . . . 


seems so simple

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