We will not change our culture!!

9 Aug

Okay, I’m not quite sure where my haphazard blog is going right now, but another opinion inspired by an article.  My Aunt sent me an article in French, which I had to get translated by Google Translate, my good old buddy. Going off on a tangent, so she sent me this article: http://www.dreuz.info/2013/01/soutien-a-jean-leonetti-maire-dantibes-il-refuse-de-supprimer-le-porc-dans-les-ecoles/nm_298167_px_512_/

untitledI may be wrong, correct me if I am, but what I got from it was that it is an article about the refusal to remove pork from schools. This refusal is linked to the protest from Muslim parents who either do not want pork served in schools or do not wish for pork to be served to their children, making the situation rather different if one or the other, but I am not entirely sure to confirm either. The refusal comes from the mayor Jean Leonetti, who apposes these changes for immigrants as religion should be a private thing and immigrants who come to France should adapt to the Judeo-Christian country they are choosing to immigrate to, if they wish for their own culture they should stay in a Muslim country where they can be accommodated. Basically to summarise that they are not going to change their culture.

That is fine and dandy, I agree that a whole nation should not have to change for immigrants that come in. People should understand that they will need to adapt a bit to live in a new society and it may not fit their social norms. However if it is refusal of accommodating a significant number of the population, its not something I agree with. So I don’t see why pork would need to be totally removed from a school unless it was full of mainly Jewish and Muslim children, but if the argument is to accommodate Muslim children in schools, for example having a halal or vegetarian option then I believe they should be considered. If there were French nationals that wanted a vegetarian option, should their belief’s be shunned and be given meat because it part of the generic culture to eat meat? No of course not. Maybe I live in a society where we are overtly accommodating which is why I don’t have a “have what is given to you” mentality.

People are so often mistaken that all Muslims are immigrants, if all the non-French Muslims left the country there would still be ethnically French people who are Muslims, its just as diverse of a religion as Christianity, which people often do not consider. Religion is often a lifestyle choice, should we not all be entitled to that? And not have a generic lifestyle of the country forced upon people. This applies anywhere, the right as a human being to choose how we live our lives as long as there is no harm to others. Whether it is pork being forced upon Muslims in France or non-Muslims not being allowed to eat during Ramadan in a Muslim country, I disagree with imposing beliefs and practices on anyone. Before anyone goes down the “but you couldn’t do it in their countrpaintemy” route or “they wouldn’t give you the rights” is a bit of a silly statement, its like saying oh this person is a twat so I’m going to be one too. I believe in being the bigger person regardless, I believe that we should treat other people how we want to be treated and therefore give the rights to others that we would want for ourselves. How can you create a better environment whilst pointing the finger at someone and then doing exactly the same thing, we must be the best people we can be first.

Yes everyone can just go back to where they came from and live the life they wish with ease, but that promotes racial and ethnic segregation which I do not believe in. Should we not all be able to interact with each other and appreciate our differences, different beliefs, values and lifestyles and be able to live amongst each other, why not? Stringency of culture doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest, after all how long has that specific culture lasted? Cultures, languages, dress, food, social etiquettes,  have always changed over the years in accordance to the changes within the population. You may think that can be used as an argument for people to change themselves, but in history most, if not all countries have changed from external influences and even internal adaptions. For example if we even look back in  recent history merely 60-100 years ago it was a very different lifestyle having an Italian, Indian or Japanese restaurant in the UK was unheard of. Miniskirts and skinny jeans would have looked completely ridiculous and immodest etc. What is acceptable and normal now would probably not have been then, or vice versa, change is inevitable.  Which is why I don’t understand this newfound need to hold on to culture exactly as it is out of fear of change, things will always change. At the moment the west lives in a culture of choice and individuality, so why then is there a need to impose our views on others if it doesn’t fit ours.

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6 Responses to “We will not change our culture!!”

  1. justoneatheist November 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    The article says that some muslim parents called for a pork ban in a particular school, but doesn’t say if muslims people are a minority or the big majority.Anyway, France is supposedly a country where the church and the state have no ties.if those parents don’t want their children to eat pork, its their problem,but they can’t simply ask to impose a pork free diet on every child, muslim or not.Personally I think that if their enquiry is based on religious beliefs alone and if they don’t have a serious reason such as legitimate healthcare concern then it should be rejected.Religion is nonsense.If you believe unicorns and elves are real and have established customs to celebrate your beliefs then feel free to act foolishly in the privacy of your own home.

  2. charliejibbs November 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    As I did not know if it was the majority or the minority I gave my opinion on both. If the school has a majority of Muslims or Jews it just seems illogical to feel the need to have pork as the school meal. If it is the minority the children can simply bring a packed lunch. I don’t believe the Muslim parents have a right in either case to have pork banned, because its not a Muslim school and like you said you can’t impose a pork-free diet on all children, the same way you wouldn’t impose a vegetarian diet on other children because some are vegetarians but if there was a school with majority vegetarians it would be illogical to serve lots of meat. Its not stopping children from eating what they want any other time. However I’m not sure if they do or not but I believe schools should have vegetarian alternatives to cater to different children, as it is also not fair to impose pork meat on someone. My aunt had taken the view that the children should eat what they are given because they chose to come to France and I don’t support that whether its a fairy and goblin belief or not. It is their lifestyle choice, some people are vegans or vegetarians and that is their right, some people are pescatarian and that is that right, some people only eat white meat and that is their right, and a lot of them are totally unrelated to a legitimate reason.

    It may be simple to you that religion is a load of BS but its a lot more complicated to those with those beliefs, it consumes a big part of your life and mentality, it is a reason for living for most. Many people who come to the conclusion of atheism or agnosticism after sincere faith struggle with severe depression, some even end their life. Which is something to be considerate of.

    • justoneatheist November 10, 2013 at 1:38 am #

      I would say the brainwashing they had before is to blame, not the fact that they became atheists. And if some of them become suicidal it’s probably because they have deeper complex family/social problems, not just because they are struggling with a philosophical question about the origin of the universe.
      On the pork-free VS vegetarian question, well, people become vegetarians by choice. Either because they don’t want to make animals suffer or simply because they don’t trust the meat industry, or whatever reason that motivates them to choose a diet. Most of muslims don’t eat pork because they’ve been told to do so early in their childhood.They didn’t have the choice.The vast majority of muslims don’t even know why pork is banned anyway.Ask around.The only answer I had everytime I asked a muslim was that “because pigs feel right about lying in their own feces so we don’t eat them because they are disgusting”. I guess that was a sensible attitude some whatever thousand years ago when nobody knew what microscopes and bacterias were, but in the 21st century I think it’s safe to say that we can produce clean and feces free pork meat.
      Anybody comparing the muslims choice of a pork-free diet with being vegetarian or vegan is consciously or unconsciously creating confusion and puts the question into a perspective that reduces the debate to a lesser degree than it really is: “They don’t want pork just like vegetarians don’t want meat, what’s the biggie?”. Well being vegetarian hardly gets people into communalism. Religion on the other hand, does.And that’s its purpose. What is at stake here is more than a simple choice of food. It’s completely political.If the school agrees to ban pork to accomodate the muslims pupils (whether they’re the majority or not) then why not indulging their parents other requests such as for instance, the replacement of science class by clerical studies? How about replacing the biology books with copies of the Qu’ran if that makes them feel better? And if you think I am just doing scaremongering without the slightest evidence then you should check on Youtube Richard Dawkin’s video about his visit to a muslim school in England.He said that the Qu’ran is considered as a more scientifically accurate source of truth than evidence and that according to the pupils, fresh water and salt water don’t mix because the Qu’ran says so.I also heard of a islamic swimming pool in London where girls were asked to wear specific clothing (even non muslim ones). This can take proportions that go far beyond something as innocent as a preference for beef or lamb over pork.
      I see where you’re coming from when you say that it’s better to grant people from a foreign background the freedom to live their lives the way people do in their country of origin so they live better in their community and I agree on principle. Me too I want to live in an open and tolerant society and I embrace multiculturalism. I embrace it as much as I despise communalism (as in allegiance to an ethnic/religious group rather than to society in the wider sense). Some immigrants try to blend in and therefore deserve respect and full support from the rest of the society as well as a real protection against racism and discriminations of all kinds. But some other people just gate themselves into their community and reject the way of living of the country they moved to using religion as the main input in order to control new “territories” such as schools or worship places or public areas.I believe the school shares that perspective hence why they refused to ban pork.I don’t think anybody said to the muslim parents “listen, if your children don’t eat pork willingly then we’ll force feed them.”They will always have the option not to eat pork.At the end of day I am wondering if the parents made their enquiry just because they knew they’d start a debate and they saw an opportunity to get their moment of fame in the press..If the only thing they care about the scholarship of their children is the threat of a ham baguette then I’d suggest they focus on things like … literacy for instance! That is a much bigger and more important problem isn’t it?

      • charliejibbs November 10, 2013 at 10:51 am #

        Well yes, but its more to do with their world feeling like its falling apart, not knowing what their identity is anymore, and having to rediscover life, it can be rather overwhelming. Which is why I don’t think the “snap out of it, its bullshit” attitude given by most atheists is very considerate.
        The suicidal attempts can be as a result for the above reasons, its a big transition and can be overwhelming, imagine discovering that all that you believe and know is untrue, its not necessarily related to family and social problems, for example converts who have been in a religion can experience this depression to, and their family’s and social circles would probably welcome them back with open arms.
        I think comparing having religious books instead of science book to having a choice in what you eat is going off on a bit of a tangent, the arguments are quite different. I am simply talking about the choice of food, and I am aware of the situations in religious schools, however even if they were going to a normal school, the influence from home would still bring them to the conclusion that the religious book supersedes any scientific theories.
        In regards to the salt water and fresh water, that’s not a generalisation of the mixing of water, its reference to a particular part of the sea.
        The example of the swimming pool you gave, I don’t agree with, religious customs being forced on others.
        I understand where you are coming from and why you think one allowance can escalate to others, but different circumstances are assessed differently.
        Yes there are more important things to consider, but in the eyes of the faithful their faith is the most important thing, and for many the disturbing thoughts of punishment arise from not being able to follow it.

  3. justoneatheist November 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Atheists are too mean to religious people? Too bad..
    Here is a quote from Anthony Grayling:
    “Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are agressive and hostile
    in their criticism of them.
    I always say: look, when you guys were in charge,
    you didn’t argue with us,
    you just burnt us at the stake.
    Now what we’re doing is, we’re presenting you with some arguments
    and some challenging questions,
    and you complain.”

    To religion mobs it’s not simply a choice of food. If I go to a Mc Donald’s in for instance Morocco and ask for a hamburger with bacon they’re gunna say sorry we don’t do that here. When in Rome, do like the romans.Now how far would my complain go if I’d claim to have the choice for pork in an islamic country?

    At some point you have to draw a line and choose a side mate. I’d always stand on the side of those who draw caricatures of prophets rather than those who are stupid enough to send life threats because of a pencil sketch, telling people what to do and what to believe all the time.

    Personally and coming from a muslim family from my father side and a christian family from my mother side it’s crystal clear that religion is the problem.I am glad I had exposure to opposed religions early in my life so I could fully appreciate the non sense of religion as a whole. So did my father actually, when he accidentally heard his father and uncles plotting on his back, choosing his future spouse amongst his cousins for him when he was about 10 years old. Yes, that’s how it works. But you don’t tell a child raised in Europe (his family left Algeria for France when he was 3), who goes to school in Europe and therefore took the European lifestyle as his role model in life that the plans for his future family life is simply an inbred relationship with somebody chosen for him.That doesn’t work.What if we’d try that on you? And by the way, for the record, when my father was at the school canteen in France they saw him coming and somebody said “no pork for you, right?”, but my father protested and wanted pork because he simply wanted to be treated the same way as the other kids and wanted to have the same food as his fellow little friends.Children want to blend in and know no boundaries of colours or religion or race.So the fuss about that press article really is more of a dumb,frustrated attitude from the parents than anything.I am sure their muslim children don’t give a damn whether pork is at the menu or not as they have better things to think about as children such as winning scissor paper stone games …

    Religious people don’t hesitate to label you as “racist” when you stand against them (although god believers are not a race) when in fact they are the intolerant and racist people. What is even more shocking is that some of them can be stupid enough to migrate to another country all the while knowing in their hearts that they will never blend in and will remain reluctant to any form of socialization with the (infidel) locals.”We come to Europe to get a better income and a better lifestyle but that’s it.”I heard. Oh do you? well there might be a good reason to justify the better lifestyle! Like..the separation of church and state perhaps? Or that moronic thing you’d normally condemn called freedom of speech? What they don’t grasp is that if they’d be more open in their countries of origin they would get a great benefit and become more prosperous and wouldn’t need to come to Europe to endure the sarcasm of secular people so much so that they’re pushed to suicide according to you.

    Last time I went to London I saw the big mosque, I saw that sumptuous, huge polished and vernished oak door being the entry for men and further to the right a small, discreet door with a sign on top of it labelled “women”. Personally I can’t help thinking that people who need to do that are totally insecure and quite frankly from the past. Religion, not just islam but the belief that there is a God and heaven and hell holds us back as a species. This is ridiculous. A 10 yo could tell how much this is flawed. Islamic countries urgently need to separate the state from the church and free themselves for religion, like western countries did centuries ago, and not the other way around.Why? because it’s a matter of life and death for some, particularly women who have no rights, especially if they’re single, it’s no healthcare, nothing.

    There is a connection between ditching religion and social progress.The countries not ruled by religion today have freedom of speech, healthcare,social progress, gender equality, sustainable social peace and economical growth. The countries under a strong religious domination however are amongst the poorest on earth, some of them barely have drinkable water and the population is wiped out by either war or disease.

    People need to make a distinction between cultural identity and religion once and for all.Standing against the ban of pork is standing against religion, not cultural identity or folklore.
    I don’t think anybody would have a problem with arabic music or arabic litterature or arabic cuisine and since the debate is around food, couscous or tajins, or that widely spread belief in arabic culture that if you pull up the tea pot when you pour tea to make bubbles in the cup will make the tea better.That’s culture, that’s folklore, and I don’t think any school director in France or anywhere else in their right mind would say “no we don’t want couscous in our cantine”.

    Since nobody in their right mind would condemn foreign cultures, and since no kids would really care about food as long as they like it, I don’t really acknowledge the so called identity crisis they claim to be in. Or, put it this way, if they feel that their identity is at stake because of a slice of pork then yes they do have a problem but then again it’s their duty to find a solution to accommodate the rest of the society, not the other way around. That would be impossible otherwise and we’d run into contradictions we couldn’t resolve.

  4. charliejibbs November 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    You sound quite angry at religion, have you had some bad personal experiences? There are atheists that are assholes and religious people are just as big assholes,I find them to be more similar in characteristics than different, and both preach just as hard. May I point out arrogance and lack of empathy doesn’t demonstrate a higher level of intelligence.

    Morocco probably wasn’t the best example, yes mcdonalds is halal but you can get ham on your pizza or in your pasta in quite a few of the local cafe’s I was quite surprised. Well in Marrakesh anyway. Those who cater to tourists in Muslim countries often supply things such as pork and alcohol that appose their faith, examples being Turkey, some countries in North Africa and UAE as long as its not done walking around in the streets.

    The drawings and death threats is a totally different level of things, and a different argument again.

    I myself come from a similar religious background, Muslim family on my fathers side and Christian on my mothers, both are not too serious about religion and its rules and it is simply a label, however my grandparents on both sides were more religious so I did experience the conflict myself, I was trying to stay away from discussing the concept of religion in my blog because its a sensitive areas for others and myself for different reasons as I can see it is for you.

    Lol not pushed to suicide from ridicule, pushed to suicide from everything you know falling apart, I just feel people are insensitive to what they may be going through, just because it isn’t of importance to you it doesn’t mean that religious customs are easy things to let go of.

    I’m not arguing for religion to rule, I’m simply supporting individual choice. I understand your perspective, but I don’t fully agree with all your statements. You seem very emotional particularly against Islam, I would be interested to know about your experiences with religion.

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