International fast food chain Subway has just set a dangerous - and outrageous - precedent.
By knuckling under pressure from Muslims to keep all pork products out of its shops, it becomes easier for more of the same to occur in other restaurants, stores and who knows what else down the road.
To start, no more delicious BLTs, spicy Italian, or Italian BMT sandwiches loaded with pepperoni, sausage and ham. Gone will be the yummy steak and bacon, or steak and chorizo combinations that are so popular at Subway.
Their breakfast sandwiches consist of eggs, pork sausage and bacon. But because some people choose to be Muslim, they've ruined Subway breakfast for the rest of us. Pork substitutes just don't cut it! I want the real thing!
I'm so far beyond disgusted and outraged, there are simply no words for it.
Am I anti-Muslim? Of course not. But I am definitely against people cramming their beliefs down other people's throats to the point where such a decision as this has been made.
At the height of Mad Cow Disease in 1996, Oprah Winfrey was practically lynched after hearing the horrors of the disease and making an off-the-cuff comment about not wanting to eat beef again. Because of her considerable influence on the public, she was accused of potentially damaging the entire beef industry.
Yet with Muslims pressuring Subway into this ridiculous decision, they are potentially damaging a highly successful business - just as Oprah was accused of doing. She was taken to Court for it, but it's the Muslims' right to singlehandedly upset millions of Subway customers? How does that work?
And even if Oprah's followers decided to go off beef because of her reactive comment, it would have been their choice, whereas Muslims have taken away our choice to enjoy beloved food items - items that no one is forcing the Muslims to even eat!
Speaking for myself, and purely on principle, I know that there is no way I will be setting foot in a UK Subway again.
What worries me most is "What's next?" Are the Jews going to shut down every burger joint on the planet from Wendy's to McDonald's to Burger King for serving burgers with cheese? After all, it is against Jewish law to mix meat and dairy products to the point where Kosher homes use two sets of dishes, two sets of utensils and two fridges - one for meat products and one for dairy.
Or maybe the Hindus will outdo the Jews on the issue of eating sacred cows, going one step further and insisting that no beef can be served anywhere. Will English pubs be legally prevented from serving a long-standing British favourite, steak and ale pie? Will they force the extremely popular Keg Steak House to disappear from Canada and the USA? Will supermarkets no longer be allowed to sell beef products, right down to the last tin of consommé?
And if we're going to outlaw pork and beef, then it's just a heartbeat until we must outlaw eating any animal or fish or anything at all that used to draw breath. Vegetarians will rise against those of us who dare eat the flesh of a living being and in another heartbeat or two, the vegans will jump on the bandwagon and no one will be allowed to eat egg or dairy products either.
Imagine what all shops and restaurants will look like globally once everyone with a "beef" about eating - or not eating - certain products gets his or her say and the rest of us be damned. All of us will be forced to eat nothing but plants and nuts - although if the brilliant television producer Chuck Lorre is correct, that could be a significant issue too (see his hilarious and thought-provoking Vanity Card #536 here).
You can only go so far when stretching boundaries and eventually, you meet yourself coming back. When an issue that is supposedly about tolerance and accepting others' religious beliefs and rights reaches the point where it then impinges upon the rights of others, what began as an issue of inclusivity suddenly turns into exclusivity. A poor excuse for an attempt not to discriminate (if that's what we're calling this outrageous move by Subway) suddenly turns into one of the biggest potentials for racial and religious discrimination that this world has ever seen. Heaven only knows what kind of anger and violent repercussions this could cause...
Perhaps all the non-Muslims should start bullying their way into the Halal shops, food markets and restaurants. Seems fair to me that if they're going to insist that Subway (or anyone else) cater to their specific preferences, then I guess the rest of us should be able to do the same thing to them.
I can't imagine walking into a Halal shop or restaurant, accusing the owners of discriminating against me for not having my beloved bacon products, and demand that they bring on the pig. And I sure as hell can't imagine doing it to the point where eventually they cave and allow pork in all of their stores. Such arrogance is absolutely beyond me.
Why can't they just open their own damned pork-free sub sandwich shops with all the Halal products they like? There's no need to muscle the pork products out of an internationally established restaurant chain and force them to turf foods and menu items that millions of non-Muslim customers love.
Subway, you're now discriminating against all non-Muslims. And not only have you given Muslims a precedent by which they can pressure other restaurants and shops globally, you have opened the door to more and more intolerance and pressure by other religions against even more establishments. The word "Hitler" comes to mind...
You have just opened one giant can of worms and I fear what comes next because you buckled under the pressure.
I cannot imagine what on earth would possess you to make such an insanely stupid move...unless...most of your decision-makers are Muslim??
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