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Choosing to be offended

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I'll say one thing for Islam. It's the ideal religion for people who don't take criticism well, but don't tell Muslims that. They won't take it well. Not all Muslims, obviously. I'm not generalising. I know the rules. I know that the only people we're allowed to generalise about in Britain are Ukip voters. It's a very safe and respectable form of bigotry that everyone can enjoy without fear of being called any nasty names. People often say to me: "Free speech is all very well, "but what you need to understand is that people's religious beliefs "are very important to them, and it's deeply offensive "to hear them insulted and ridiculed." Actually, no, I don't need to understand that. I already understand it very well, and I don't care. Nor should I be expected to care. Religious belief is a personal choice, and if somebody chooses to believe dangerous nonsense about reality it's not my responsibility to featherbed their delusions for them. Let me tell you something. If you find that your beliefs get insulted a lot (and let's be honest, if you do, chances are you'll be a Muslim) then you should look to those beliefs and to the behaviour they inspire for the reason why. Don't insult everyone's intelligence by claiming to be offended and calling it a phobia, because that doesn't work any more, and frankly it's a mystery to me why it ever did. Just as religious belief is a personal choice, being offended is a personal choice, and we can all choose to be offended about all kinds of things if we really put our minds to it the way some Muslims do. I happen to feel very strongly about animal rights, for example. I feel deeply offended, and I mean seriously offended, by any kind of human cruelty to animals - more offended than any offended Muslim could even begin to understand, especially during the truly sickening blood-soaked festival of Eid. I find it personally degrading as a human being to have to live in a society that condones the meat industry, which is completely unnecessary and unbelievably cruel, and for this reason I make a personal choice not to eat any meat. Obviously, I realise that in this I am in a minority and that most people do eat meat, so it's everywhere in my reality, whether I like it or not. It's just part of the culture. I know that if I walk down the high street I'm likely to be assailed by the smell of kebabs and fried chicken. If I go to a restaurant or to a supermarket there's a good chance that I'll find myself surrounded by meat, and if I don't like it, that's just my tough luck. My local supermarket trumpets itself as the meat retailer of the year. They can't shove enough of this stuff my way. My world might as well be wallpapered with it - much of it halal, of course, which means it has been fortified with extra cruelty for the sake of superstition. This stuff gets shoved into my face every single day. My feelings on the matter don't count one jot. Nobody gives a flying toss what I think about it. Society just carries on on its merry way, and I accept that without complaint because I realise that that's what being in a minority is all about. You don't get to have things your way, however offended you might be about it. Isn't that a shame? And I can assure you that I hold my beliefs every bit as profoundly, as passionately, and with as much unshakeable moral conviction as any Muslim on this earth holds their beliefs about the Prophet and the Koran and all the rest of it, but the difference is that I don't kick up a fuss and make it all about me by choosing to be offended if somebody eats a hamburger in front of me (which, by the way, I do find thoroughly disgusting - (both the sight and the smell - thanks for asking). I don't insist that they undergo sensitivity training, nor do I demand compensation for hurt feelings, or a special area where only I can eat, and nobody else is allowed. I don't sue for discrimination or cast aspersions on anyone's mental health if a waiter tells me there's no salad on the menu. Nor do I insist that salad should be on the menu for everyone because my beliefs come first. I don't cook up false statistics about a wave of attacks on vegetarians, or try to get jokes about them recorded as hate crimes. I don't call the police if my neighbour has a barbecue and stinks out the neighbourhood with the smell of burning flesh. I don't complain to the local authority whenever I pass a butcher shop with corpses hanging in the window. And if I took a job that involved handling meat I would do it properly and not complain about it like a big baby. As a consequence, I find that I don't get too many insults for my beliefs (although I'm sure that will change now) so I don't need to make up some crappy little word like "vegephobia" to shut people up about it.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 52 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 5,421
Posted by: patcondell on Nov 19, 2014

It's a Muslim thing.

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