Either the pineapple goes, or you do


And on the same day, in another part of the forest…

…another busy representative of another university Student Union meddled with another Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Society. Reading University this time, and RUSU and RAHS. This time not a Jesus and Mo toon on a Facebook page, but a pineapple named Mohammed.

The NSS quotes a statement by Tim Rouse of the Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society:

Among the material displayed on our stall was a pineapple. We labelled this pineapple “Mohammed”, to encourage discussion about blasphemy, religion, and liberty, as well as to celebrate the fact that we live in a country in which free speech is protected, and where it is lawful to call a pineapple by whatever name one chooses.

Towards the end of the afternoon, we were informed by a member of RUSU staff that there had been complaints about the pineapple, despite the fact that no complaints had been made at any point to anybody on the stall. Our commitment to freedom of expression meant that we refused to remove the pineapple from our stall. After a few minutes, we were told by another member of RUSU staff that “Either the pineapple goes, or you do”, whereupon they seized the pineapple and tried to leave. However, the pineapple was swiftly returned, and shortly was displayed again, with the name Mohammed changed to that of Jesus.

Shortly afterwards, the second RUSU staff member returned and ordered RAHS to leave the Freshers’ Fayre. At this point, a group of around five students, some of whom self-identified as Muslim, approached the stall and began to criticise us, asking and telling us to remove the pineapple. Though these students mainly engaged in discussion, one removed the label from the pineapple without our permission.

And on it went, wrangle wrangle, until they felt forced to leave, although they continued to hand out leaflets outside the event.

One fire is put out while another is set ablaze.

Comments

  1. Aratina Cage says

    This illustrates wonderfully how ridiculous religious belief is: a bunch of adults freaking out over a pineapple!

  2. Kes says

    “Either the pineapple goes, or you do.”

    Man. Why don’t I ever get to say stuff like that at my job?

  3. miraxpath says

    There wasn’t a nice multi-religious array of fruit named Krishna, Jesus, Moses and Sid on display? The shame of it! Islamophobics and racists!

  4. Sastra says

    Though these students mainly engaged in discussion, one removed the label from the pineapple without our permission.

    Foolish Muslim! Once the pineapple has been Named, the label is meaningless. The pineapple is now turned into Mohammed on the spiritual level, and his holy essence is diminished. What you do on this earth means nothing. Not unless you perform the proper ritual — one using real cream cheese, and not that neufchatel stuff. Do you not know the ways of science and religion?

    I would have liked to have seen some negotiation here. What if, instead of a pineapple, we used an apple? A pear? How about a kumquat? A lightbulb? Let’s get a Teddy bear and name it “Mohammed.” That would be friendly and cute, right?

  5. crowepps says

    Let’s get a Teddy bear and name it “Mohammed.” That would be friendly and cute, right?

    Actually, no —

    “A British teacher has been found guilty in Sudan of insulting religion after she allowed her primary school class to name a teddy bear Muhammad.
    “Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, has been sentenced to 15 days in prison and will then be deported.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7119399.stm

    Note that the teddy bear was named by the Muslim students, some of whom were no doubt named Muhammad themselves.

  6. eric says

    It bothers me more than it should that these are the student government organizations doing this. Not the administration. An organization founded on the concept that the students should have a voice in unversity affairs, using that voice taking away the rights of (other) students to have a voice.

    Makes you daydream (but only daydream) for a little poetic justice. Have the admnistration say something like “gee, we find your union’s ideas offensive. We’re going to enforce your own code by not letting you speak them.”

  7. Sili says

    So Reading has expelled Mohammed from the Student Union fair? Shouldn’t that be the story here? Denying the Prophet (peas be upon him) access is truly Islamophobic.

  8. Rodney Nelson says

    Sili #10

    So Reading has expelled Mohammed from the Student Union fair?

    RAHS should push this idea, asking about the Student Union’s objection to Mohammed.

  9. Rodney Nelson says

    Sastra #5

    Not unless you perform the proper ritual — one using real cream cheese, and not that neufchatel stuff.

    And none of that low-fat cream cheese either. Real artery-clogging, full strength, accept no substitutes, proper cream cheese is needed.

  10. Claire Ramsey says

    Jesus H Christ. I guess the deities might as well return to their piddly ass jobs finding parking spaces for the drivers of Earth. If they can’t fool around and direct the earthlings to worshop fruits at will. What exactly is the point of being a deity if you can’t have a little changling fun?

    “. . . the offending pineapple. . .” A felicitous construction but one I never thought I’d see in print!

  11. Sili says

    I never got around to doing anything with my last Mohammed. I had to throw him out. A waste, really.

  12. jenniferphillips says

    Interestingly, Mohammed has been a symbol of hospitality since American Colonial times.

  13. Lofty says

    Next time set up the pineapple with a Mo(ustache) glued to it, let their fevered imagination do the rest…

  14. Select says

    People here are missing something that all dust-ups between free speech and Muslim sensitivities have in common and it’s this: The atmospherics that allow one, and only one religion in particular, to have its way are almost entirely the fault of progressive leftists, including that section of the group who proclaim their atheism

    Transgressives can do “Piss Christ” or paint some shitty anti-semitic mural in Brick Lane, but name a pineapple Mohammed and you get run RIGHT OFF CAMPUS.

    Why haven’t the leader of the Student’s Union and the entire Muslim Students group been run off campus??

    In Britian, and this in only the space of a mere decade, Islam has moved into a position of such power, that it can now completely define the limits of free speech.

    The noose is slowly tightening and we make jokes about pineapples.

  15. Steve Zara says

    “In Britian, and this in only the space of a mere decade, Islam has moved into a position of such power, that it can now completely define the limits of free speech.”

    No, it’s actually the other way around. It’s because Islam is seen as an ‘oppressed minority’ culture than there is such (silly) caution about causing offence, leading to absurdities such as this fruity failure.

    Ridiculous left-wing pandering to such religious beliefs arises from belief in the powerlessness of the believers, not because the believers themselves somehow have limited free speech.

  16. Select says

    No, it’s actually the other way around. It’s because Islam is seen as an ‘oppressed minority’ culture than there is such (silly) caution about causing offence, leading to absurdities such as this fruity failure.

    Ridiculous left-wing pandering to such religious beliefs arises from belief in the powerlessness of the believers, not because the believers themselves somehow have limited free speech.

    Yes, I agree. Silly left-wing pandering to theocratic fascists in the misguided belief those theocratic fascists are powerless and in need of defense.

    Progressives, who for years battled misogyny, homophobia and anti-semitism, have morphed into the midwives of a form of theocratic fascism that agressively promotes the most sinister and belligerant forms of misogyny, homophobia and anti-semitism the world has ever seen.

    I pine for the days when the only human refered to as a pineapple was Manuel Norriega of Panama.

    The people of Panama called him “Pinapple-face”.

  17. Steve Zara says

    “Progressives, who for years battled misogyny, homophobia and anti-semitism, have morphed into the midwives of a form of theocratic fascism that agressively promotes the most sinister and belligerant forms of misogyny, homophobia and anti-semitism the world has ever seen.”

    Some progressives, certainly. In the UK we have such well-known supposed progressives as George Galloway and Madeline Bunting. On the other hand we also have true liberal progressives such as Johann Hari and Francis Wheen. There is no unified group.

    I believe that much of this theocracy support is based on a combination of ignorance and stupidity with good intentions. I mean, it sounds like a good thing to do – to be nice to “the Muslims” because they are a minority and attacked by right-wingers. What such people do is to confuse culture and individuals. Cultures have no rights, and their worth should be judged on their values, and some minority cultures can be oppressive for many of those within that culture. It’s a quick and easy political approach to group people and deal with groups rather than the issues that are faced by individuals.

    It’s a dangerous laziness.

  18. davidhart says

    RAHS should try the same thing next year, except with a whole row of pineapples named Moses, Zeus, Huitzilopochtli, Mohammad, Ahura Mazda, The Holy Spirit, Hanuman, Gozanze Myoo etc etc, and see whether the organisers tell them to take away
    a) none of the pineapples
    b) all of the pineapples
    c) only the pineapples named after religious entities that people currently believe in (and we’ll see if they’re even able to work that out), or
    d) just the one called Mohammad.

    That ought to at least force them to clarify what their policy is.
    And after the fair is over, there is plenty of pineapple to cut up and share with the new recruits, so everyone’s a winner:-)

  19. jnorris says

    The students should have stayed and demanded to see the written eviction order signed by the appropriate dean or vice-president.

  20. John of Sydney says

    Aratina Cage got it wrong in saying that religious belief
    is ridiculous when some Muslims were silly and thin skinned
    about a pineapple.

    All religious belief can’t be properly condemned because of
    some touchy Muslims – Islam isn’t all religions, but only one
    among many.

    An education about religion would help Aratina’s ignorance.

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