Tuesday 29 January 2008

You REALLY couldn't make it up...

Another one for the “You couldn’t make it up” brigade to masticate on – a children’s story based on the Three Little Pigs has been refused nomination and funding by a Government education agency, on the grounds that "the use of pigs raises cultural issues".

BECTA, the Government’s Educational Technology Agency, claimed that the digital book “Three Little Cowboy Builders” also offended those in the construction industry – a slight which the book’s creative director Anne Curtis described as being "like a slap in the face".

Like most individuals who basis of opinions is not the front page of the Daily Express, I have never once heard of Muslim, Jew or member of any other faith claim that the recitation of a fairy tale is offensive to their beliefs. Indeed, many have expressed disquiet at the antics of such interfering busybodies in patronisingly declaring what is offensive to religious and/or ethnic minorities for stirring up resentments at what has been manipulated into apparent hectoring on the part of British Muslims (apparently a favourite tactic of the National Secular Society).

Such accusations however are as erroneous as the usual responses are misguided. Take for example the Muslim Council of Great Britain’s speed in condemning the petulance of a Marks and Spencer (Muslim) employee who refused to handle the sale of a copy of a Children’s Bible, claiming this was “unclean”, as being both “very offensive and unacceptable. Many Biblical stories complement the teachings of the Koran. We hope that M&S will investigate this incident."

Swift, accurate, and to the point.

Perhaps if Conservatives spent more time listening to UK Muslims instead of hearing what so many of them seem to want to hear, we would find that they are actually our most natural allies on a whole host of issues which Nu-Labour would be only too happy to brush under the carpet.

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