Wednesday, December 22, 2010
A MUSLIM’S BEEF OVER PORK
Now pork is high on the political agenda in the USA where the term applies to add-ons to various bills from the Senate and Congress. These give financial benefit to organisations, businesses or the authorities in the Districts or States which the Congressperson or Senator represents. Whilst many Americans object to this practice I have yet to hear of a Muslim, American or otherwise, taking offence to the term pork.
So let us go to the Menéndez Tolosa school in La Línea where a teacher was trying to demonstrate various forms of weather and climate to his class. As an example he referred to the cold climate to be found in Trevélez in Granada province. Now Trevélez is famed for its cured hams which are dried and cured in the cold mountain air.
It was at this point that a Muslim pupil in the class stood up and asked the teacher not to talk about hams as it was offensive to his religion. Your first reaction may have been the same as mine, a wry smile, then dismissing the interruption as ridiculous.
Ridiculous it may be but at the end of school day the pupil went home and told his parents what had happened. They have now reported the teacher making an official legal complaint against him for amongst other things racism and xenophobia.
The CC.OO union’s educational representative in the Campo de Gibraltar, Sebastián Alcón, is upset that a teacher with a 20-year career behind him should be dragged over the coals in such a manner. Not surprisingly the teacher is said to be fed up with the situation.
However the family is intent on receiving its pound of flesh – although presumably not pork. They say the official complaint is being processed and they are awaiting an apology. They have also asked for a change of school for their son to avoid “more problems” and have also accused the teacher of calling their son “useless” and telling him to “go back to your own country.”
The case will rest with the prosecutor who handles cases involving minors. It remains to be seen whether the prosecutor takes further action or decides to leave the matter to hang out to dry like a ham in the mountain air of Trevélez.
(I should add that in recent days the Muslim association in the Campo de Gibraltar has stated that there is no problem with pork being mentioned before Muslims or by Muslims - they are simply, like Jews, not allowed to eat it!)