Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 19/07/2001

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Thursday July 19, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down!]

Someone who wasn't prepared to identify himself sidled onto my SOLO web site forum yesterday to berate me for lack of respect for the beliefs of Muslims. I wouldn't normally dignify an anonymous post with a response, but this one presents an opportunity to clarify something important. Here's part of it:

"I get very confused these days, sorry. Having listened to the Politically Incorrect Show yesterday, I am even more so now. Let me see if I have this right? A Muslim purchases a vegetarian pizza but is given a pizza that contains the meat of a sacred animal. The Muslim demands that the company concerned fund a religious pilgrimage for spiritual cleansing. With 98% of the callers to the yesterdays P.I Show, I am now convinced that Rednecks not only come from Texas. ...

"The biggest thing that confused me is the apparent ignorance and disdain of Mr.Sameem's faith. I always like to practice 'I defend your right to say what you will even though I disagree with it'. I am often confronted by those who would try to preach to me on a certain religion. I always say 'I disagree with most religions but I respect your right to observe what you will'. I respect the reverence of a person's faith. Where was the respect for Mr.Sameem's reverence of his faith? There was none. It makes me wonder if people took the time to even consider just how devout a Muslim Mr.Sameem was?? Maybe Mr.Sameem held his faith in such reverence that he considered the only thing to do was to return to Mecca?"

First, Mr Sameem is at perfect liberty to go to Mecca if he thinks it necessary - but not at Pizza Haven's expense. Pizza Haven offered an apology & free replacement pizzas, as any decent trader would. That should have been the end of it. Second, more importantly, respect for one's right to one's beliefs does not require respect for the beliefs themselves. I would defend to the death Mr Sameem's right to be a Muslim, but I have absolutely zero respect for Islam itself. I think it's nonsense. I also think Christianity is nonsense. And Hinduism. And New Ageism. And communism & fascism. And "sacred" animals. And ghosts & goblins & angels & demons. And modern art. And much of modern psychology. I have no respect for belief in any of these things, but I have absolute respect for a person's RIGHT to such believe in these things. I ask the same of him for mine; I do NOT expect or require of him that he pretend to agree with, let alone express respect for, my beliefs, if in fact he doesn't.

Apparently this makes me a "redneck." If by that is meant a person thinking & behaving unreasonably, the true redneck in this situation is actually Mr Sameem - if we are to take him at face value - in demanding a paid trip to Mecca because of an inconsequential & innocent mistake which the perpetrators were quick to rectify. He has a right to be distressed over a bit of bacon if he's that silly (& frankly, I doubt that he is - I suspect this is not so much redneckery as a rip-off attempt); he does not have a right to $65,000 worth of air fares. He has a right to his beliefs - but not to be paid to hold & practise them by someone who doesn't.

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