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What if you don’t have a pineapple?

Sometimes, the British get very silly in their defense of religion. The Muslim groups got very very offended when the atheists slapped a label on a pineapple calling it “Mohammed”, and now the LSE has outright banned atheist groups, and is harassing them for wearing Jesus & Mo t-shirts.

I don’t have a pineapple, I am sad to say. I was tempted to run out and buy one. But I can do one better.

Meet Mohammed.

MO

As an added bonus, he’ll keep longer than a piece of fruit would.

Do you have a Mohammed at your house? You should get one.

Comments

  1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As an added bonus, he’ll keep longer than a piece of fruit would.

    Ah, devil-cat’s toy…

  2. consciousness razor says

    Sometimes, the British get very silly in their defense of religion.

    Yep, Muslims sure do go straight into burn-stuff-mode as soon as they don’t get their way. It’s totally not bigoted at all for the cartoon to say that. And having a problem with it is definitely a very silly defense of religion. Or at least it’s harassment and censorship (!!!1!!) to have policies aimed at preventing … harassment.

    Silly, silly Brits. Or just some people at LSE… but, well, fuck it: British people in general.

  3. Hatchetfish says

    Yep, Muslims sure do go straight into burn-stuff-mode as soon as they don’t get their way. It’s totally not bigoted at all for the cartoon to say that.

    Yeah, the cartoon totally said all muslims start burning things when they don’t get their way. And even if it didn’t, it’s still not ok to criticize the bad behavior of a portion of a group, because all of that group might be offended by association. And offense is the most evilest thing you can do.

    No.

  4. richvr says

    I won’t label anything in my house Mohammed because nothing in my hous raped a 12 year old girl.

  5. consciousness razor says

    Yeah, the cartoon totally said all muslims start burning things when they don’t get their way.

    Yes, you do actually need to read and understand it, not just look for specific words. That’s generally how it goes.

    And even if it didn’t, it’s still not ok to criticize the bad behavior of a portion of a group,

    You call that a criticism?

    And what proportion of a group seems reasonable to you? There are over a billion Muslims on the planet. Do you think there are, say, half a billion terrorists on the planet? Hundreds of millions? Tens? Is it even in the millions, or is it less?

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    …and now the LSE has outright banned atheist groups, and is harassing them for wearing Jesus & Mo t-shirts.

    The second half seems right, but for the banning, don’t you mean Reading University, and that it banned the atheist society for pineapple-related offenses, not atheist groups in general?

  7. ck says

    I’ve got to agree with CR. That “burn stuff” T-shirt poisons my opinion on wearing them to a function like that. If both had been wearing the “How ya doin’” shirts, I wouldn’t have much trouble getting upset at this happening, but the one that invokes (however indirectly) a common stereotype about Muslims isn’t right and it spoils them both. The pineapple thing is easier to defend, especially if part of a deity fruit basket complete with the Christ Banana, Loki’s Apple, Aphrodite’s Pears, etc.

  8. grumpyoldfart says

    With ten staff available (and keen) to harass two students, I’m guessing the atheists will endure a fair bit of passive aggression in the classroom.

  9. anuran says

    Eh, plenty of Muslims are intolerant. Plenty are tolerant. The ones from or with strong ties to countries that do not have a tradition of civil liberties or strong secular government are the worst. So are the Christians from those countries. Atheist from rigid, authoritarian nations tend to be rigid and authoritarian.

    Muslims in, say, the United States tend to mirror other Americans in their attitudes with a slight-but-measurable tendency to more closely identify with their country than their religion. In other words, they’re a lot like other first and second generation immigrants.

  10. Sastra says

    You know, when I started scrolling down to meet Mohammed I thought it was a giant pink … something else. And wondered momentarily where you got it.

    As it is, the squiddly Mohammed is very cute. Those paroxysms of collective outrage should all melt away in a cumulative Awwwwwww….

  11. says

    Wow – so it’s “fuck the British” – for what? Demanding that in an open meeting for all students people exercise civility and not rudeness? What would you think was OK – having them stand up yelling Pat Condell platitudes.

    Why can atheism not stand on its own by example and not have to behave like childish rude clowns?

    People on this site get detached from civil reality.

  12. says

    Wow – so it’s “fuck the British” – for what? Demanding that in an open meeting for all students people exercise civility and not rudeness? What would you think was OK – having them stand up yelling Pat Condell platitudes.

    Why can atheism not stand on its own by example and not have to behave like childish rude clowns?

    People on this site get detached from civil reality.

    There’s room to criticize Islam without falling into the den of PAt Condell. That said, I’m unclear why they chose the example of Islam for a general problem. That’s playing into racist structures in a majority Christian country.

  13. robro says

    I’m offended by all these cults. You run into their symbols everywhere. They have churches, synagogues, mosques, ashrams, et al messing up the views. You can’t go anywhere that you are confronted with these death cults. So, to keep from offending me they should just pack it all in. Do it at home all they want, but keep it off the streets and out of public places.

  14. says

    Seeing that photo helped me a lot. In a recent post, you mentioned a cat playing with one of your stuffed cephalopods, and in a Homer Simpson moment I vaguely thought to myself, “wow, they can do taxidermy on an octopus,” before taking another bite out of my lunch, and forgetting about it.

    Nice reminder to apply a bit more quality control to my inferences.

  15. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    chrispollard:
    Ever think you place too much importance on civility?

  16. anchor says

    I have a very old boot that has a very shabby inner sole.

    I think it will wear the title well.

  17. says

    I’ve long wondered: If one of your friends draws a stick figure and another one writes “Mohammed” and draws an arrow pointing to the stick figure – which one should you behead?

  18. zenlike says

    The union then updated their behavioural policy to forbid societies from causing “offence” to other students or even to members of the wider local community. The policy offers no definition of offence, creating in essence a blasphemy ban. The policy remains unchanged, forcing Reading Atheists to choose between signing the document and leaving the union altogether.

    The religious privileges that have censored atheist societies have also allowed religiously inspired bigotry to march on unheeded on UK campuses. Christian and Muslim societies regularly invite speakers with deeply homophobic and sexist views to their events, including those who have advocated the death penalty for homosexuals.

    The solution seems simple enough: since ‘offence’ is in the eye of the beholder, every time a theistic society invites a bigoted speaker, every atheist student should send a letter that they are ‘offended’. Every time a theist society makes mention of religion, every atheist student should send a letter that they are ‘offended’. Every time a theistic society puts out flyers pushing their moralistic world-view, every atheist student should send a letter that they are ‘offended’.

  19. brucegee1962 says

    I mentioned over at Maryam’s and I’ll say again here — as I recall, the fracas here earlier with Pat Condell was over whether or not feminists (and liberals in general) weren’t critical enough of Islam. PZ responded by mentioning several feminists of his acquaintance who were quite critical of Islam. But the majority of the ones he mentioned were American, so this may indeed be a cross-Atlantic difference — stories like this do seem to indicate that liberals in England are more likely to invoke things like anti-blasphemy statutes and other silliness.

    I sure don’t want to defend Condell, but maybe if the liberals over there didn’t do this kind of harassment against ideas they don’t approve of, he and his ilk wouldn’t be able to make so much headway.

  20. Louis says

    The British vs some people at LSE?

    Haha this from an American. Americans are all fat, gun toting, religious stupid persons.

    Do better, PZ.

    Louis

  21. tbtabby says

    I play Outernauts, a free-to-play RPG which is essentially Pokemon in space. Next time I catch a monster, I know what I’m naming it.

  22. zenlike says

    I sure don’t want to defend Condell, but maybe if the liberals over there didn’t do this kind of harassment against ideas they don’t approve of, he and his ilk wouldn’t be able to make so much headway.

    So the LSE student union? All liberals? The security and staff of LSE? Liberals? You have some proof of that?

  23. Gregory Greenwood says

    Sometimes, the British get very silly in their defense of religion.

    As a Brit, I would have to agree with this – we sometimes do get a bit silly about many things, religion included*. Not as silly as our transatlantic cousins, perhaps, (the Conservatives are pretty bad, but they aren’t the full on, bible-thumping arsehats that the Republicans are) but pretty silly all the same.

    The Muslim groups got very very offended when the atheists slapped a label on a pineapple calling it “Mohammed”…

    And again I agree; the stance the University of Reading took with regard to that – effectively silencing atheist groups by implementing a grossly disproportionate and unworkably wide ranging knee-jerk response that tried to outlaw the giving of the poorly defined concept of general ‘offence’ (not exactly an encouraging sign in a seat of higher learning) – was a massive and unreasonable over reaction that should be justly abhorred.

    …and now the LSE has outright banned atheist groups, and is harassing them for wearing Jesus & Mo t-shirts.

    But this is less clear cut. Britain has a serious problem with deeply racist Far Right groups like the English Defence League and British National Party whose standard schtick is to claim that all muslims are evil ‘furrin’ suicide-bombers-in-waiting hell bent on burning alive anyone who doesn’t agree with them and forcing all women into burkas on pain of death. In this context, a T-shirt that carries a joke about a caricature of Mohammed, that seems to be standing in for islam in general here, suggesting that the response to not getting his way is to start ‘burning stuff’ is questionable at best, especially in an event intended to welcome a new year’s intake of students who would have among their number individuals who have many different religious beliefs and those who have none.

    The response of the University authorities was unquestionably poorly handled and heavy handed, but in this case the objection raised was not entirely unreasonable.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    * And even more so about football (or soccer as you Americans would probably refer to it) and alcoholic beverages, particularly beer and lager. I have never understood the attraction myself, but I have been reliably informed that, as a teetotaler who does not follow the… interestingly entitled ‘beautiful game’, I am probably not properly British. Revocation of citizenship may be on the cards…

    ;-P

  24. anuran says

    In fact, there was a long tradition of Islamic art that featured pictures of angels and various important religious figures including Mohamed and Ali, although the generally blanked out those last two faces. I attended a couple exhibitions of Persian miniature paintings which were almost exclusively on religious themes. As times and taboos changed, so did that. Now pictures of people were ALWAYS forbidden.

    You can’t separate a religion from the culture it evolved in or the culture from its religious institutions. And they both change over time.

  25. praestans says

    it’s “Muhammad” not Mohammed etc. can we at least get his name right?

    the ‘u’ is lin ‘put’; the the two as as in ‘alive’.

    the arabs/persian think the the ‘o’ is the sound in ‘put’ ; and e is the sound in ‘fit’.

  26. seversky says

    Perhaps it wasn’t reported, but I was disappointed that the atheist students apparently did not defend their actions as protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights as incorporated into British Law in the Human Rights Act of 1998.

    It may seem like legal nitpicking but, in practice, statutory rights only subsist in the exercise and defense thereof. Americans seem to be much more knowledgeable about their rights under the First Amendment – and more willing to stand up for them – than are the British about Article 10.

  27. lpetrich says

    Has anyone thought of naming a pig Mohammed? Because of all the ham, of course.

    On more serious issues, it seems that Britain is caught between the Islamists and the far-right Muslim-haters. I think that the latter has found a new villain after being deprived of one by the fall of much of Communism and the capitalist roading of much of the rest.