That the supposed insignificance of the cross was the chief executive’s only defense represents a much larger problem: the double standard whereby Western and Christian traditions and symbolism are meaningless and therefore expendable in order not to offend, but all others must be afforded the utmost reverence. One-way accommodation in this respect is not accommodation; it’s subjugation.
“Cartoon strip aimed at under-12s depicts Christian boy as Islamaphobe thug,” by Jonathan Petre for the Daily Mail, April 5 (thanks to all who sent this in):
A Government-funded charity was at the centre of a row last night after a magazine it publishes for children appeared to depict Christians as Islamaphobes who regard Muslims as terrorists.
In a cartoon strip, a boy wearing a large cross around his neck is shown telling a friend that a smiling Muslim girl in a veil looks like a terrorist.
He later confronts her and shouts: “˜Hey, whatever your name is, what are you hiding under your turban?”
She replies that the garment is called a hijab and it is part of her religion, “˜like that cross you wear”.
The girl is then shown standing up for another boy, who is being bullied, and her behaviour is contrasted with that of the boy wearing the cross.
The cartoon story, entitled Standing Up For What You Believe In, appears in the latest issue of Klic!, a quarterly magazine aimed at children in care aged from eight to 12.
Published by the Who Cares? Trust, a charity set up in 1992, it is described on the cover as “˜the best ever mag for kids in care” and is widely distributed by town halls.
The charity received Â£100,000 from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, headed by Ed Balls, in both 2007 and 2008, and Â£80,000 this year.
Although the cartoon does not specifically refer to the boy”s religion, it has angered Christian groups and MPs who fear it sends out the wrong message.
Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, said: “˜What about Christian children in care who received this magazine? How will they feel to see themselves mocked as narrow-minded Islamaphobes?
“˜It is a clumsy caricature, symptomatic of a culture which says it is OK to bully Christians in the name of diversity.”
Philip Hollobone, the Tory MP for Kettering, said: “˜I think it is very unfortunate that the lad who is pointing the finger is wearing a cross.
‘You can hardly imagine anyone producing a magazine in which the roles were reversed and it was the Muslim girl who was behaving badly.”
Gary Streeter, the Tory MP for South West Devon, said the religious parody was “˜unacceptable”, adding: “˜If it is being done with public money, it should be investigated and the magazine withdrawn.”…
But Who Cares? Trust chief executive Natasha Finlayson said she had no intention of withdrawing it, describing the cross as “˜bling” rather than a religious symbol.
Impeccable timing, with Easter coming up.