more offensive than kiddie porn
Chinese New Year is approaching. This New Year will be the year of the Pig. According to the cycle of elements, it is the year of the Fire Pig. And looking further into Chinese folklore, it is also the year of the Golden Pig, which occurs only once every 600 years and brings prosperity with it (or to those born in it, or something like that).
Chinese New Year is a big deal in China and in Chinatowns all over the world. It is a holiday of parades, fireworks and feasts. The animal symbol of the New Year is used everywhere in the celebrations – in decorations, foods, souvenirs and toys for the kiddies. And in advertisements. Think of Christmas and images of Santa Claus drinking Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola advertises in China. So do Nestlé, Disney, Starbucks and Procter & Gamble. All of them had advertising campaigns planned around the year of the Pig. They had television commercials produced and ready to go. And then Chinese Central TV dropped the bomb. Advertisements featuring pigs are to be censored so as not to offend Chinese Muslims.
Everyone knows that Muslim law forbids eating pig. So when dining out with Muslim friends, we don’t attempt to hide pepperoni under the cheese on their pizza. But where in Muslim law (on which I admit I am not an expert) does it prohibit seeing images of pigs on television?
Muslims may find the idea of eating pig meat repulsive. I understand that. They may even find the animals themselves disgusting. Okay. Personally, I would be a lot more grossed out in the year of the Rat, but whatever.
So Muslims may be offended by real live pigs and some Muslims may even be offended by televised images of real live pigs. But I cannot believe for one minute that one single Muslim anywhere could seriously be offended by a cartoon pig. I acknowledge that Porky Pig is pretty fucking annoying, but pick up your remote and change the damn channel or go to the kitchen for a
beer cup of tea.
The Muslim population of China is estimated at 20 million, which is only about 1.5% of the population. That leaves, by the way, over a billion non-Muslims. Whilst we can all see that minority rights are generally a positive thing, there is absolutely no justification for allowing them to interfere with the beliefs and traditions of the majority population. So in conclusion I would just like to say that, once again, the Chinese government has demonstrated that it sucks pigs’ bottoms.