Three little pollitically correct animals...
March 5, 2003 8:45 AM   Subscribe

The BBC reports that a school in West Yorkshire has banned stories like the Three Little Pigs and Babe because "for Muslims talk of pigs is offensive." Strange that the Muslims don't agree.
posted by twine42 (22 comments total)
Ho ho. Sounds like this particular headteacher is a bit of an idiot.
posted by Summer at 8:56 AM on March 5, 2003

In other news "Goldilocks" has been banned incase it offends the Scots, "Little Red Riding Hood" must now be called "Little Red Sports Jacket" because it promotes the enslaving of free animals as labour for the domineering humans, "The Owl and the Pussy Cat" must now be called "The Owl and the Pretty Cat" incase it sparks a rash of rape cases and "Hey Diddle Diddle" has been banned until the can find an animal with no religious significance who is willing to volenteer to jump over the moon. All applications are beening handled by Peta to ensure NASA doesn't take advantage of them.
posted by twine42 at 9:03 AM on March 5, 2003

When we had our thread on the 9/11 anniversary, I submitted 3 Little Pigs. Know I apologize to anyone I offended. As the use of the story was something that could be shared with all ages & groups about the responsibility in making your home secure. I was trying to share preparation for unforeseen future events, not religious beliefs.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:04 AM on March 5, 2003

Is this a private of public shcool? I could not tell.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:09 AM on March 5, 2003

But Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "This is bizarre. There is nothing to stop children reading about pigs. The ban is simply on the consumption of pork and pig products."

watch the lgf contingent pounce on this despite the above referenced common sense.
posted by donkeyschlong at 9:10 AM on March 5, 2003

Thomcatspike : If only things were that simple. Both 'Public' and 'Private' schools are schools that involve paying tution fees. This is a 'state' school - a bog standard Junior school.
posted by twine42 at 9:15 AM on March 5, 2003

It's funny how so many PC decisions get made on behalf of other people who haven't even complained.
posted by orange swan at 9:20 AM on March 5, 2003

Thanks, twine42. Well then here is my reason as this is wrong. First the article said from ages 7 under is this a ban.
Why wrong? Because what the heck is a child suppose to know what animal they are not to eat if then not allowed to learn about it at school. Heck teach enough about a pig I may not eat too.

It's like people teaching their children other words for genitals than what they are. I've heard for a girl, yahoo used, but that is also a chocolate drink that comes in a bottle. Now how can this girl know what an adult is not to touch if she sees it too in a store.

So you hide it from the children, your really lying to them in my book.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:27 AM on March 5, 2003

Heck teach me enough about a swine I may not eat it too.

Server error anyone...?
posted by thomcatspike at 9:29 AM on March 5, 2003

Political correctness has geared up into "fully stupid" mode... in a sense this serves as a good example of how people who wish to appear "enlightened" are in fact even more ignorant than your average man on the street.
posted by clevershark at 9:30 AM on March 5, 2003

It's equally funny how unimportant decisions in obscure places manage to make it into the national press, unless someone with an axe to grind tipped off the papers. The book hasn't been banned at all. The decision not to keep it up-front seems well-intentioned because, despite the selective rent-a-quote denial, many Muslims *do* find pigs offensive per se (there's an example here of someone asked by police to remove a window display of pottery pigs after complaints by Muslim worshippers). "Political Correctness" is, as always, a convenient gibe by those whose real agenda is a dislike of giving even the smallest consideration to other cultures. They wouldn't dare say, "Why should we consider the feelings of Muslims?" so out comes the usual "Stupidity of PC ... blah blah".
posted by raygirvan at 9:57 AM on March 5, 2003

Shya, right. Was it that Muslim*S* found the pig display upsetting, or just one particular nutjob? I'm betting the latter, just like there are idiot Xtians who get all offended by teachers using an "X" to mark students' papers because, hey, that X looks almost like a cross turned sideways.

My point being that while we should act in consideration for others, there are some rational limits. Banning 3LP when no one has complained is one such instance.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:06 AM on March 5, 2003

wow. such strong opinions from people who've never been to batley. who have no idea what it's like, or what the people think there. there's no way of knowing, from what i read on that link, whether the head teacher received complaints or not. no way of knowing anything about the context - the history of the school or its environment.

and why are people assuming that all muslims think the same? why classify any that have an objection we don't understand as fundamentalists or "nut jobs"?

i have no idea what has happened at the school - there's not enough information to form an opinion. the only thing this thread does shed light on is the people posting...
posted by andrew cooke at 10:18 AM on March 5, 2003

And those of us offended by book banning?
posted by woil at 10:31 AM on March 5, 2003

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:27 PM on March 5, 2003

Guess that rules out Animal Farm. Perhaps that was the pretext here. Getting kids not to think about despotism and snarky governments.
posted by ed at 2:08 PM on March 5, 2003

And those of us offended by book banning?

unless that somehow grants them (us) telepathy or a west-yorks upbringing then even people offened by book banning don't have enough information to make much sense of the situation.
(what other possible answer where you expecting? that because you "care more" you're allowed to assume the worst? waphsfs?)
posted by andrew cooke at 5:06 PM on March 5, 2003

raygirvan offends me.
posted by clevershark at 5:09 PM on March 5, 2003

The headteacher responsible was on BBC News today (tv, no link available), and explained that the book was 'banned' for very young pupils as it may cause confusion (her word) with the religious beliefs they are being taught at home at that age.

The school has apparently been commended for catering for multiple religions, and the muslim parents interviewed seemed full of praise for the school.

As stated in the first link, the book is still in the school library, any pupil can read it. This isn't political correctness gone mad, it's over zealous concern. Stupid, too, but not evil.
posted by toby\flat2 at 5:16 PM on March 5, 2003

it's over zealous concern

Quite probably. However, the idea that Muslims might object to pigs is not some fantastical idea drawn out of a hat; it's a reasonable possibility with documented precedent. Given the general stroppiness of parents of whatever denomination (my wife used to work in a primary school, and I was constantly dismayed at the crap complaints that parents made local-paper issues of) schools tend to work on a highly cautious best guess.
posted by raygirvan at 6:38 PM on March 5, 2003

People in Batley might go to the Batley Frontier Club*, or they might max their car. I think this is a fantastic Batley website.
*'Fully AirConditioned'. Note the lack of external photographs, but plenty of karaoke. Check out the video clips if you have the bandwidth. Who do you think made the website?
posted by asok at 6:42 PM on March 5, 2003

There's a more detailed account here. Teacher says she did it based on knowledge of Batley parents' attitudes. Spokesman for the MCB - broadly liberal Muslim - says "the headteacher has acted sensitively, because there are parents and families who believe that portraying the pig in books is wrong" but argues that there's no scriptural authority for this view. A more complex picture than the original claim that the teacher acted misguidedly over an issue that Muslims don't care about.
posted by raygirvan at 4:53 AM on March 6, 2003

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