by Hugh Fitzgerald
At a conference held in Berlin on “Islam in Germany” (Deutsche Islam Konferenz), sponsored by the Ministry of the Interior, on November 28 and 29, and attended by both Muslims and non-Muslims, a buffet offered a variety of foods. Of the thirteen different foods on offer, twelve were halal or vegetarian options. Exactly one was non-halal — blutwurst, a sausage made of pork products. All of the foods at the buffet, German government officials explained, were clearly marked, so that no Muslim might by mistake help himself to the non-halal offering.
But Muslim outrage was nonetheless whipped up by the inclusion of that single non-halal offering. A Turkish-German journalist, Tuncay Özdamar, wrote on Twitter: “What signal does Seehofer’s interior ministry want to send? A little respect for Muslims, who don’t eat pork, is needed.”
This became An Outrage Against Muslims That Required An Apology. The Ministry of the Interior promptly did so, contrite over its apparently inexcusable non-halal error, explaining that the food selection had been designed for the “diverse religious attendance” at the German Islam Conference. It apologised “if individuals felt offended in their religious feelings.”
But the Ministry was wrong to do so. If Muslims are to be integrated successfully into Germany which, after all, was a main point of the conference, they should have been able to tolerate a single non-halal offering. Their outrage was itself outrageous.
The Ministry should instead have issued the following statement:
“The buffet at the Conference on Islam in Germany contained 13 dishes. Only one was non-halal. All the dishes were clearly marked. It did not, and does not, seem unreasonable to us that there be one such dish, which was intended to satisfy the tastes of the German non-Muslim attendees, including representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, at the conference. We believe that any outrage about this is unacceptable, and we reject, and deplore, the demand by some for an apology.”
Of course instead of that forthright and uncompromising reply, we had the Ministry’s expression of regret at having caused offense to Muslims. This is, after all, Angela Merkel’s Germany, where the Muslim appetite for apologies is never sated, but always whet.
First published in Jihad Watch.