It’s not enough that the food is free.
It’s got to be pork-free, too?
Muslim activists in Minnesota – that’s the heartland state that’s sent at least two men to fight on the side of Islamic fascists in Iraq – are demanding their own section in the local food bank so illiterate families can pick up free food that lives up to their expectations.
According to WCCO, the CBS affiliate in the Twin Cities, a group of first-generation Somali-Americans marched into Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin’s office last week to demand he do something about the pork and beans and other free foodstuffs that are contaminating the provender.
Because some people think free food is some kind of charity.
“It’s about human rights also, basic human rights to get the proper food and also healthy food,” said Hassan Mohamud, the protesters’ imam.
Sure it is. It’s also about $150,000 or so, the amount of money WCCO reports would be needed to establish a free food bank that catered – literally – to the recipients’ religious tastes. And that’s just to get started. How much it would cost to keep it going hasn’t been determined yet.
“Some food shelves are trying to meet the need, but some of them already got canned beans that have already been mixed with pork — and there is a literacy issue here,” said community activist Fartun Weli.
Actually, there are a couple more issues here.
One might be literacy — though the word “pork” should be fairly straightforward for the offspring of immigrants who grew up with access to American public schools. It’s only got four letters and appears to be something they’re pretty touchy about.
Another one is gratitude and common courtesy. If religious dietary restrictions are really that big of a deal, there should be a way to address the issue quietly — or maybe even just having volunteers or “community activists” on hand to make sure everyone knows what “p-o-r-k” means on a can of free food.
Frankly, the idea of a bunch of public aid recipients marching into a public office to demand changes in food they’re being given for free is a little unseemly. Making sure the local television cameras are there to make a public spectacle of the whole occasion is even worse.
Another issue is self-reliance – and maybe a cultural flaw.
Jews and Muslims have pretty similar dietary restrictions, but Jewish temples generally don’t make the news by storming county offices to demand free kosher food for their congregations.
(There might be a clue here about how it is that Israel has flourished over the past 66 years, while oil-rich Muslim states around it fluctuate between cultural stagnation and outright savagery.)
WCCO reports the Hennepin County Commission is going to take up the question Nov. 13.
It’s a safe bet right now there’s going to be halal food shelf in the Twin Cities.
In America, beggars can be choosers.