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Changing Names to Placate Muslims
by David J. Rusin • Mar 9, 2009 at 11:52 am
Ukraine's Mecca nightclub is the latest institution to take part in what has become a well-rehearsed ritual: changing its name to avoid offending Muslims. In this case, Kiev bureaucrats "persuaded" the owner to drop the name after local Muslims objected:
Among the many similar examples:
What do we make of this trend? On the one hand, it is part of a broader pattern of changing names and symbols to soothe protected minorities. The movement to retire American Indian mascots is a leading example. Just ask Chief Illiniwek.
On the other hand, while organizations are free to name and rename themselves as they deem appropriate — and best for business — one cannot help but wonder if fear plays a role where Muslim sensibilities are involved. Did images of the Danish cartoon riots or the firebombing linked to Sherry Jones' novel The Jewel of Medina spring to mind when Mecca's owner heard his establishment called a "provocation"? Exactly what might be provoked?
Thus we see how the acts of violent Islamists can advance, rather than inhibit, the mission of nonviolent Islamists. Soft-spoken men demand that certain practices be outlawed or otherwise extinguished — as memories of terrorism lurk in the background, providing the "or else."