http://www.rediff.com/news/report/pak-25-jailed-for-eating-in-public-during-ramadan/20110805.htm Now, as I said previously, that’s Pakistan’s right. But there have also been reports in previous years – and I will post any incidents for this year – of Muslim in Infidel countries trying to impose this Ramadan restriction on native non-Muslims, through personal intimidation. Yes, such reports have been sporadic for the past three years I have been monitoring this, but I suspect that incidents will increase this year, and every year thereafter what with everything what’s going on – Arab Spring, the Breivik thing, etc. I just really want to know – am I racist for wanting to eat a ham sandwich in the park with my dog in the afternoon during Ramadan, just because a bunch of foreign Muslims decided to settle in Canada and refused to acknowledge that Canadian culture allows me to do this? Ok, that’s awkward, let’s reword that. Would I be racist for telling them to go to hell when they demanded I stop eating the ham sandwich, and to get rid of the dog? Remember, I’m in Canada, not Pakistan. Yet, I am not allowed to say “Merry Christmas” in a city. I do where I live, because it’s a small, still relatively culturally-homogeneous farming town.
And yet I am allowed to observe Christmas any way I want, or even not to at all, with no interference from others. I appreciate Christmas, as an atheist, for the concept that communities must band together in the winter, and ensure that everyone can survive the season of extreme cold and snow. That would be the Northern European/Celtic way of observing the Winter Solstice – but that idea is still hidden within the Christ story that gives the current holiday its name.
As an aside, holidays need a name, just like anything else in the human psychological world. Christmas is as good a name as any, and people are familiar with it. We here in Canada – at least in some provinces – have a holiday the first Monday in August, which has no real name. Old-timers called it the “bank holiday”, which is what it started as. Torontonians call it “Simcoe Day”, after Canada’s first Governor-General. Otherwise, it’s simply marked “Civic Holiday” on the calendars. That’s pretty lame. At least when Ralph Klein introduced “Family Day” in February, he gave it a proper name. I’m sure he’d rather have named it “Drinking Day”, but I can see people objecting to that.
Anyway, that boils down to the difference. A vegetarian could skip the turkey if he wanted to, and no one would be upset. Eat a ham sandwich during Ramadan, though, watch out!