Monday, July 30, 2007

If Muslims revered cattle, Shambo would still be mooing

"Shambo, the sacred Hindu bull, was executed by lethal injection on Thursday night and reincarnated the next morning, quite possibly as a member of the Welsh assembly or indeed a spiteful Welsh farmer. [...]

There were fervent protests across the Hindu world but the Skanda Vale sect, which both harboured and revered Shambo, was rather more sanguine. One monk said: “This will simply add to the drama of his life cycle and he will come back again.” In which case, what was all the fuss about?


It was isolated from other livestock and, being divine, was unlikely to find its way into the food chain. The campaign to have it killed seemed motivated at least in part by pure vindictiveness on the part of those angry, badger-strangling Welsh farmers. And a sort of paralysis on the part of the authorities, terrorised by their own health and safety legislation and indeed by the baying farmers.


The only conclusion is that by this stage they wanted the creature dead and there’s an end to it.

But I wonder too if the members of the assembly would have dared to make their decision if it were Muslims rather than Hindus who chose to revere cattle? And what would have happened if they did? By now there would be priests set alight from Jakarta to Rabat, effigies burnt, fatwas issued. Cardiff airport would be missing an international departure gate.

The assembly would probably have come up with a compromise: okay, the bull lives but it has to wear a burqa when it goes out. I suppose Britain’s Hindus can console themselves with the thought that having their sensibilities trampled on suggests they are a community with whom the rest of us feel at ease and can thus victimise with impunity."

Rod Liddle, The Sunday Times, July 29, 2007

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