There are few culinary treats that I find more satisfying than a thin slice of Genoa salami topped with a piece of aged provolone all sitting on a crisp bread such as that Swedish delight, Wasabrød. What a multi-national treat, blending textures and flavors in an exquisite and elegant manner. My mouth waters as I write this and I feel impelled to go out and purchase the ingredients to treat myself to one of life’s great pleasures. And perhaps I had better hurry.
A friend recently forwarded a purported response by the mayor of Dorval, a suburb of Montréal in the province of Québec, Canada to Muslim parents who had demanded that the schools in that city remove all pork products from the cafeteria lunch rooms of the city’s public schools. The mayor allegedly answered with the following message:
“MUSLIMS MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THEY HAVE TO ADAPT TO CANADA AND QUÉBEC, ITS CUSTOMS, ITS TRADITIONS, ITS WAY OF LIFE, BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE THEY CHOSE TO IMMIGRATE.”
“THEY MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THEY HAVE TO INTEGRATE AND LEARN TO LIVE IN QUÉBEC.”
“THEY MUST UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS FOR THEM TO CHANGE THEIR LIFESTYLE, NOT THE CANADIANS WHO SO GENEROUSLY WELCOMED THEM.”
“THEY MUST UNDERSTAND THAT CANADIANS ARE NEITHER RACIST NOR XENOPHOBIC, THEY ACCEPTED MANY IMMIGRANTS BEFORE MUSLIMS (WHEREAS THE REVERSE IS NOT TRUE, IN THAT MUSLIM STATES DO NOT ACCEPT NON-MUSLIM IMMIGRANTS).”
“THAT NO MORE THAN OTHER NATIONS, CANADIANS ARE NOT WILLING TO GIVE UP THEIR IDENTITY, OR THEIR CULTURE.”
“AND IF CANADA IS A LAND OF WELCOME, IT IS NOT THE MAYOR OF DORVAL WHO WELCOMES FOREIGNERS, BUT THE CANADIAN-QUÉBECOIS PEOPLE AS A WHOLE.”
“FINALLY, THEY MUST UNDERSTAND THAT IN CANADA (QUÉBEC) WITH ITS JUDEO-CHRISTIAN ROOTS, CHRISTMAS TREES, CHURCHES AND RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS, RELIGION MUST REMAIN IN THE PRIVATE DOMAIN.”
After reading the email I did some research and discovered that this interchange was a fabrication, a takeoff of a similar purported exchange between the Muslim community in a town in Belgium and its mayor – also a hoax. But that isn’t the point, because the sentiment which was supposedly expressed by Dorval’s mayor is exactly what should be said by elected officials at every level in every civilized country in the world when an immigrant minority makes demands of their host countries that they must accommodate the newcomers’ ethnic or religious beliefs.
Those who object to these demands, which are often although not exclusively voiced by immigrant Muslims are vilified as being Islamaphobes. This is, at the least, a mischaracterization of the motivating attitudes of such critics. A phobia is nothing more than a fear. And it is my view that it is not fear which directs the outrage against some in the Muslim community or Islam itself. It is anger, an anger that I admit to sharing, at the outrageous, barbarous and uncivilized behavior of any individual or group which says that, “I and I alone know the truth and if you disagree with my views you should die and I will be the agent of your death.”
Genoa salami is a creation normally made using pork. I presume the fact that I enjoy it, not to mention a few other thoughts, attitudes and beliefs which I hold dear are sufficient to qualify me as an addition to the jihadi hit list. I consider myself potentially a victim of what I can only describe as Salamiphobia. But if I get taken out for my food choices, I am completely confident that I will go to that big deli in the sky where I will be able to place an order for some Genoa salami topped with a piece of aged provolone all sitting atop a crisp bread. And I’ll say to myself, “Those fools don’t know what they’ve been missing.”