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Leave My Funny Hat Out Of This
2006.06.02 (Fri) 20:13
Religious ritual is meaningless to us. It really, truly is. But that doesn't mean we don't recognize the importance that some folks place on what, to us, are empty gestures. The importance of the gesture itself doesn't penetrate our scowling Masks o' Skepticism — oh, no! — but the importance of a believer's right to practice that gesture is paramount. As always, if you've got a silly belief, rock on with your bad self, as long as you're not causing harm to anyone else, or to their identical right to rock on with their bad selves (which includes celebrating their own silly beliefs).
So, assuming the truth of her story at the moment — as we have little reason to doubt it — our sympathies are fully in this little girl's corner:
Alana Scott's family is calling for a formal investigation into Alana's claims that her teacher ridiculed her throughout the year. The Scotts say the music teacher at Pine Forest Elementary made fun of her for wearing a Hijab (ha-job), a traditional Muslim head scarf.
Alana say's he even kicked her off the bus during the big music event of the year. Alana's mother said, "She came off the bus tears flowing, sat on the bench, I said 'what's the matter', she said he told me to get off the bus or he'll call the cops and have us both arrested."
CNN has video of the news story, which shows just how fucking stupid and, frankly, childish this teacher seems to have been. (Side note: apparently, the article quoted above gets the name of the scarf somewhat more correct, while in the video, Ahmed Bedier of the Council on American-Islamic Relations does not. Nice to bone up on your material, Ahmed. In his defense, Semitic vowels are not the most consistent of animals to those of us in the West.)
Back to the issue at hand. First off: how much do you want to bet that this teacher is a religioso himself, perhaps...oh, we're just spitballing here...from a cult that worships the brutal torture and execution of a reportedly gregarious first century philosopher? Seriously, in this country — and in Jacksonville, Florida, for fuck's sake — the odds are that this guy's a Christian. Secondly: do you think he gets how absolutely inane it is to make fun of somebody else's funny hat (funny hat tip to classic GifS) without removing his own, figuratively speaking? Hey, we're willing to bet his hat has an extra-tall plus sign on it. How many atheists, agnostics or humanists do you know who would crap on a child's religious practices with no provocation? Hell, we Two Percenters can be total assholes sometimes, and we certainly wouldn't do something like that.
At a glance, this girl seems friendly enough, and eager to please — she appears absolutely devastated that any teacher would treat her so callously and unfairly, and it breaks our hearts that she can barely find the words to describe this motherfucker's bullying tactics. Alana and her mother also seem extremely Americanized, certainly not any sort of threat to a fine upstandin' Bigot americanus. He'll "call the cops" and have them both "arrested"? For what, dipshit? "Not vociferously sharing your stupid belief system"? As hard as it may be to believe, that's not against the law...not yet, anyway.
And this fucko will probably never understand why protecting this little girl's rights and safety in a public venue is the only way to protect his own. Hey, fucko: when we rationalists finally rebel and start rationally lining fuckos up to rationally hit them in the head with three-foot lengths of galvanized pipe, folks like you will be the first against the wall. Don't worry, though — you'll have lots of company. And we won't even ask you to take off your funny hat first.
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[ Filed under: % Religion ]
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