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Malcom Lagauche

May 6, 2009

A few days ago, I wrote an article called "Mexican Influenza or Israeli Stupidity?" I mentioned the hypocrisy and stupidity of Israeli Deputy Health Minister, Yakov Litzman. An article published by Al-Jazeera News on April 27, 2009 stated:

The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed "Mexican" influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday.

Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and "we should call this Mexican flu," he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel.

The entire article is in my archive section. Two items piqued my attention. First, that the words "pig" or "swine" are offensive to Muslims. I called several Muslim acquaintances and they told me that this is not true. Second, I researched and found that Porky Pig, the U.S. cartoon character, is popular in Israel. There are myriad companies who sell Porky Pig comics and videos in Hebrew. Also, Israeli children sometimes adorn Porky Pig outfits for parties. The porkster is popular in Israel, yet Litzman alleges the word "pig" is offensive to Jews and Muslims.

How sad it is that few people take a remark like that of Litzman and check out the facts. About 99% of the people who read his statement (Muslims and those of the Jewish faith excluded) will actually believe this drivel and it will stick in their minds forever.

In my quest for information for the article I called Professor Khaleel Mohammed of San Diego State University. He is a well-known Islamic scholar whom I know and address questions to about the religion when my own knowledge is deficient. Unfortunately, he was out of town and I called his office number. Today, I received a call from the professor and asked what he thought of the hypocrisy of the Israeli spokesperson. He told me that Litzmanĺs remarks were extremely racist. Then, he added that he doubts any Muslim would ever be offended by the word "pig." Professor Mohammed said that Muslims do not eat the meat of a pig, but they consider it to be a mammal that is part of the animal kingdom.
But, it was the professorĺs final remark that stood out. I could tell he was quite emotional about such accusations by Litzman that were racist in nature and that Litzman appointed himself to be the spokesperson for Islam. He then remarked, "It was an insult to the pig."

Maybe we all looked at it wrong. Litzman denigrated Mexicans and lied about the derivation of the swine flu. Professor Mohammed hit the nail right on the head with his description of the most offended entity from Litzmanĺs diatribe: the pig.

:: Article nr. 53997 sent on 06-may-2009 04:03 ECT


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