We recently learned that a British children’s concert banned the three little pigs, renaming them the three little puppies, for fear of offending Muslims. The perpetrators of this insanity backed off in the face of public ridicule, but the attitude that prompted their initial decision is still very much with us. Some may recall, for example, the brouhaha a few years ago, discussed at this website, about the suggestion made in England that all “Saracen’s Head” pubs be renamed so as to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities. (Google “Saracen’s Head” and “Jihad Watch” for more.)
But this Three Little Pigs affair poses a much bigger problem. All over the Western world, and no doubt even in Tokyo, there are restaurants that in tribute to the Parisian original at Les Halles (and possibly to pick up some reflected gourmet glamor), go by the name Au Pied de Cochon. The original Paris restaurant, though it may not have three Michelin stars, is or was memorable. It certainly enjoys as much fame among tourists as, say, Le Train bleu, that celebrated restaurant in the Gare de Lyon.
Those who, just as they would make a point in London of going to that roast-beef-and-Yorkshire-pudding establishment that does such a land-order business with tourists because of its having more than two centuries ago been frequented by Samuel Johnson, in Paris simply must eat at Au pied de cochon, will not take kindly to attempts to change its name.
Of course, all of this both emblemizes and yet at the same time misses the point. The point is not the word “pig” or the word “Saracen.” The point is that everything about Islam, its teachings, its inculcated attitudes, its atmospherics, is collectivist where we place great store on the individual and individualism. Islam discourages free and skeptical inquiry, which is the great and main reason for the West’s astonishing achievements. Islam limits artistic expression, while the West is deeply reluctant to do so. The West believes that the legitimacy of government is not to be found in despotism, or a theocracy, or the Divine Right of Kings, but in the expressed will of the People, while Islam locates political legitimacy not in the expressed will of mere contemptible mortals, whose duty is to be “slaves of Allah” and to submit to his will, but in the will of Allah as expressed in the Qur’an, and further glossed by the Hadith and Sira.
There is nothing that connects Islam to the Western world, or almost nothing, except centuries of aggression by Muslims, first in the Middle East and North Africa (which shared the same early Christian civilization with Western Europe), and then in the Iberian peninsula even into France, and then in the east, in the unsuccessful early assault by Arabs on Byzantium, followed centuries later by a much more successful assault by Turks (Seljuk and then Ottoman), and then deep into Europe as far as the gates of Vienna, unsuccessfully laid siege to twice, the second time in 1683. And all during this period Muslims raided up and down the coasts of Europe, even as far as Limerick, in Ireland, and once in Iceland. They raped, they destroyed, they captured and took back as slaves perhaps a million people from Western Europe. They did something of the same in the Caucasus and Russia, with several million more European victims there. And this does not include the tens of millions of black African victims of Arab slavers, who preferred to seize young boys and castrate them in the jungle, and then march those who survived (about 10%) to the slave markets of Islam.
“Three Little Pigs” are merely a symbol. And they are a symbol, if they stay and further such concessions are not made, of a refusal to change one whit for the Muslims who happen to have managed to settle deep behind what they themselves are taught to regard as enemy lines. And if they go, if not in this case but in others, they will be a further symbol of a desire to please that merely masks a dangerous, and self-defeating, pusillanimity. No concessions should be made — anywhere in the Western world — to Islamic demands. And here, where the demands are merely anticipated and proleptically yielded to — “for fear of offending Muslims” was the phrase used in a “Daily Mail” article — by Westerners cravenly eager to please, it becomes intolerable. No, it doesn’t become intolerable. It is intolerable.