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Melantrys’ Page » prejudice

Archive for the ‘prejudice’ Category

A sad day for Europe

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

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The Swiss were asked today to vote on a referendum that was mainly brought in by the nationalist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) concerning whether the building of minarets should be forbidden and this ban added to the constitution.

Early polls showed a 37% minority in favour of the referendum.

All other political parties called upon the Swiss people to vote against the referendum.

Today 57.5% voted in favour of the minaret ban.

The four (!) minarets that are already in existence (and don’t broadcast the call to prayer outside of the mosque, mind you) are allowed to stay, but there will be no new ones.
This goes against the Swiss constitution (freedom of religion, human rights anyone?), but the will of the Swiss people as expressed in a referendum carries more weight than even the constitution, someone explained on tv today.

The only hope for a reversal of this decision would be if the Swiss supreme court or the European Court of Human Rights ruled this illegal.

If not, this will be used by anti-Islamic groups all over Europe (I could name a few here….) to further their cause.

The vague fear of the Islamisation of the western world that’s been flowing through Europe has borne the first ugly political fruit.

This is a very sad day for Switzerland, and it will have repercussions in the whole of Europe.

I am saddened, shocked and appalled.

Got any lawn to mow?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

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What with the Federal Elections looming on the horizon at the end of this month, all parties are busy holding rallies to catch more voters.

All parties?
Yes, all parties, unfortunately so, including the far-right NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands - National-Democratic Party of Germany).

As so far all plans and/or attempts to forbid the NPD have led to nothing1 holding rallies is their protected right as a registered political party.

So on the 28th of last month the NPD was holding a rally in Kochel am See in Bavaria.
The original plan had been to simply ignore them, mayor Thomas W. Holz (33, CSU) told newspapers in an interview.
This was proving difficult though, as the NPD came “armed” with megaphones and huge loudspeakers, effectively drowning Town Hall and the surrounding area in their right wing drivel.

Not easy to ignore such a racket.

And then…2

… a resident started mowing his lawn.

Another one “remembered” he had some urgent work to do that required the use of a buzz saw.

This inspired another to do some serious work in his garden with a chainsaw.

Other residents got out their lawnmowers and chainsaw as well.

Yet others drove by Town Hall with their tractors and cars, honking their horns.

According to the mayor the NPD could not interest anyone in their flyers either, and “Kochel has never been mowed so tidily before”.

:applause: :unworthy: :rofl:


Sources (in German):




  1. only due to
    1. some formalities, not to the party not being a danger to our constitution and
    2. the thought that a registered party is easier to monitor than the members of a forbidden party gone underground [back]
  2. says mayor Holz [back]

And yet another (not so) boring work story

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

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The first I noticed of a customer today was my colleague A. trying to usher him out of the store.
He was arguing with him about something (in a friendly way), which I didn’t catch. I thought it was about the reason for my colleague sending him outside - he had brought his dog inside with him.
Black, might have been a bulldog.

My colleague later told me that the guy had replied that there was no sign at the door saying dogs weren’t allowed. There was, but as the new boss we got1 had torn off and only partly replaced the signs the old boss had hung up, A. thought he might not have printed that one yet and believed the customer. He told him that nevertheless we were selling foodstuffs, and that no dogs were allowed in a store then, which he surely could understand.

The young man let himself be steered towards the exit, but not without stopping at the register and putting forth the same request he’d been discussing with A. earlier.
He wanted us to order Lonsdale2 jackets, or at least acquire one for him from somewhere.

I really hate the Nazis for adopting regular stuff as “theirs”. When you see someone in Lonsdale clothing, you’re left guessing. Sometimes his hairstyle or behaviour will tell you all you need to know. But often you’re simply wondering “Fucking piece of nazi filth, confused person from Mars who simply bought him-/herself some expensive sports clothing or clueless tourist?”

Although the combination of Lonsdale jacket (he was wearing an elderly one), faux army pants and bulldog (or similar) on a leash was already pretty much of a giveaway, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and answered him neutrally and politely.
I told him that we can’t order stuff that’s not listed. The only thing he could do was to call our central and suggest that they try to order it.
He insisted that we surely had the means to get the order number and order a Lonsdale jacket.
I said we didn’t and that - although I very much doubted they’d be interested in an expensive clothing brand like that - the guys at central were the only ones with the means of adding to our product range.
That was the plain and simple truth, but he didn’t quite seem to buy it.

Eventually he brought his dog outside and came back in to do some shopping.
While he was paying he asked me “Oh, come on, you surely used to wear Lonsdale too in the past?”
That was just too much, so I politely informed him that - due to the scene that brand too often got associated with - I didn’t and won’t wear any Lonsdale clothing - ever. While I was saying that about the scene, he emphatically plucked at his jacket, flashing me a wide smile. He insisted that I must have, as I had a “Lonsdale face”. Here he slipped, and accidentally used the more personal and not the formal German way of addressing people, which he had been using earlier. He immediately apologized for his rudeness and corrected his way of addressing me. My inner self had finally gnawed through its gag and leash and popped up to - politely - inform him that I was having no problem with that but with allegedly having a “Lonsdale face”.
Our business was done - “Here’s your change.” - “Thank you.” - Good-bye.”

About an hour later he was back for some more booze shopping, and apparently had reflected upon my reaction and decided that I am not a closet neo-nazi but a stinking lefty.
He was still as cheerfully polite as before, but when I was done counting the coins he had handed me and looked up at him to tell him that he had given me a bit too much money he said “Ich weiß, ich nix schwarz” before I could even open my mouth and sashayed out of the store.
Brilliant wordplay, considering.
“Ich weiß” alone would in this case (and did to some extent of course) mean “I know.”
The added part though turned it into a sentence in broken German, saying “I white, I no black.”

I have never seen this young man; I hope he was merely passing through or something, and didn’t just move here or so…


  1. Yeah, even more exciting news… [back]
  2. If you haven’t read the Lonsdale link I provided, do that right now, then continue with the text. [back]

Secure country?

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

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Dear Audience, you may or may not have noticed the link in my blogroll to a German Omar who - surprise - mainly blogs in German.

He now posted that he recently married a Muslim woman - Kathrin - whom I remember seeing commenting on his blog.
What does one do after a marriage? Right. Go on a honeymoon.
So they rented a house for a week in a small village in the Lüneburger Heide, which is supposed to be a very nice region in Germany. (I wouldn’t know; I have never been there.)

On the evening of day 5 someone was suddenly hammering on their door. The wife had been lying on the sofa (probably dozing off; she didn’t elaborate) and was too stunned (her heart was beating wildly, she wrote) to move and open the door.
Omar came hastening from the bathroom and after a shout of “Police! Open the door!” opened said door just in time, or else it would have been kicked in.

Several police officers pushed past him, without a warrant, the second one vaguely waving a badge in his face, pushing his arm and his plea to wait while his wife finishes dressing aside.
In spite of this Kathrin had succeeded in covering her hair in time and approached the leading officer who was entering the living-room with Omar and offered him her hand in greeting, which he pointedly ignored.

All in all there were four officers searching the house, while a further four had the house surrounded. All of them in bulletproof vests.

After they were done searching the house they told the couple that they had received the information that an Oriental looking couple had arrived on Saturday night without a car and in the dark.


So??? :-??

Apparently that combination already makes you look like terrorists.
The police officers themselves had been dragged from bed to perform this anti-terrorist measure.
Omar and Kathrin had to explain why they had arrived at that late time and without a car, and the officers called in to have their passport numbers checked for any convictions against the two.

The wife demanded to know what this whole affair was supposed to mean and was told that this was a routine check, comparable to checking for drunk drivers….

Finally the phone rang with the info that the two had a clean record. The officers made ready to leave, now being able to shake their hands.
Kathrin asked the final question “What kind of country are we living in?”, to which she got the reply “A safe/secure one”.


If you understand German, you can read a short summary on Omar’s blog and a longer version on Kathrin’s.
Newer post by Omar here.

And yet another day at work

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

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While I was away from the till, tidying up some shelves, my colleague A. kindly took care of some of the customers so I didn’t have to run to and fro.

An older man merrily announced “Ooh, it’s the boss himself at the till!” then asked him where he was from. A. avoided a direct answer by claiming that he had forgotten, hahaha.
“Well, which language do you speak?” He should have said “German,” but my colleague somewhat truthfully replied “Kurdish.”
The man then launched into a diatribe against all those foreigners who just come into our country to do nothing and get paid for it by the state. (As opposed to my good, busy, dutiful colleague.) “Isn’t that so?” “Yes, yes, you sure have a point there,” my poor colleague agreed.
“In Thailand people asked me where I was from, and when I said “Germany,” they always said “Ah, the country where you get paid for doing nothing.” It’s all the fault of Die Grünen1.”

Finally - after repeating himself a few times - he took his purchases and left. I drifted over to my colleague and asked him how anyone could be so far removed from reality to talk that way to a foreigner and expect him to actually agree. A. said he really couldn’t say, “… and what was that man doing in Thailand anyway?”

:think: Good question. A very good question indeed. Why do most German men go to Thailand? :think:


  1. lit. “the greens”, ecologically (and socially) oriented political party that only recently had any political influence, and certainly none concerning welfare for unemployed immigrants [back]

hijab or not hijab

Sunday, November 13th, 2005

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Without a doubt the Muslim headscarf - or hijab - has been used as a symbol of oppression and inequality through the ages. Fundamental Islamistic states have forced their women to hide their hair and often their faces as well from the outside world, whether those women wanted to be “protected” that way or not. This was and is wrong. Every person has to have the right to wear - or in fact, not wear - what he or she pleases.

This misuse of the hijab is what remains in people’s heads most strongly though. Even I have to admit that I have a certain feeling of… reservation towards this symbol.

But we should not forget that it is also a religious symbol.

Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish state, wanted the Turkish women to have equality. One way of achieving this was for him to forbid the hijab, declaring Turkey to be a secular state.
Today there’s a move by some of Turkey’s politicians to try and reverse this, but they will face some major difficulties.

This November the European Court for Human Rights in Straßburg/Strasbourgh rejected the suit of a 32-year-old medical student who had been forced to leave her studies at a university in Istanbul.
The court argued that the ban of the hijab was not against the basic rights to education and religious freedom.
In their decision the judges referred to the protection of democracy and pluralism and the equality of the sexes. Yet they admitted that the plaintiff had been barred from showing her religiousness and from taking part in lectures.
Somehow contrary to that they still judged the ban to be constitutional. It would keep the Turkish state from favouring one religion and would therefore ensure freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.
As the ban would forbid people to publicly display their belief, people of a different faith and non-believers would be protected from repressions by the state or religious fundamentalists.

(In 1999 already the young woman went to Vienna, Austria, to continue her studies…)

For a few years now politicians in Germany have been advancing the idea that teachers should be forbidden to wear hijabs at state schools and universities.
Turkey was always named as a glorious Muslim example. “See, if they are forbidding it, it can’t really be a religious symbol, or a Muslim country would never do that!”

School rules and lesson plans being decided by the counties rather than by the state, the decision about the hijab was left to the respective counties as well.
Some politicians advanced the idea to not make any general decision at all but to decide in each case. Basically not such a bad idea, but how exactly does one find out whether that new teacher wants to wear a hijab because of religious reasons or because of being a fundamentalist?? If she is the latter she will very likely be clever enough not to say so.

If I am not mistaken (either Google doesn’t know everything, or I’m asking the wrong questions ;) ) five counties so far have passed a law to forbid the hijab, among them Baden-Württemberg, Niedersachsen, the Saarland and Hessen. My own county Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) has just set the process in motion, endeavouring to become number six.
I find it very interesting that they manage to forbid the hijab while not even explicitely naming it. The reason for that is said to be that this way the law sounds more like something that international courts would approve of.
Here’s the bit they want to put into the school laws (there’s two different words for male and female teachers in German, and I want to keep that in, so excuse the awkward translation):
The new passage will forbid female and male teachers the use of symbols that endanger “the political, religious or ideological peace at school” through “giving the impression that a female or male teacher will take a stand against the dignity of man, equality (…), the right to freedom or the free democratic basic order”. Only in the attached formal explanation they actually state that what they mean is: No hijab for female teachers in NRW.
If no miracle happens in the meantime this will be the law from the beginning of the schoolyear 2006/07 on.
The choice of vague words has been well thought through. They are meant to forbid the hijab, while at the same time allowing the wearing of the Christian cross or the Jewish kippa, as for many the hijab is - so the additional law text states - a symbol of the inferior status of the woman in society and family or a demonstration of a fundamentalistic theocracy. The Christian-occidental tradition though is a fixed part of the regional constitution.

Apart from kippa and cross the hijab-free counties still allow the habit of the nuns, some even defining the habit as work clothes.

An FDP politician stated that the point was not the evaluation of religions but the self assertion of our order of values against the Islamic fundamentalism.

A Die Grüne politician quoted Johannes Rau (SPD; “The illegal use of a symbol should not impair its legal use.”) and added “How do I recognize a fundamentalistic male teacher anyway?”

I will conclude my fact finding - again - with a little passage I found on the web, on the main page of the Institut für soziale Dreigliederung to be correct:
The issue here is not the question whether one approves of the hijab or not. The decisive factor is that one cannot forbid the hijab without betraying freedom oneself. And the question arises whether one is much better then than those who work for enforcing the hijab in Islamic countries.

Well, like in the good ol’ school essays, time for my own words here at the end.

Like I said in my opening paragraphs I myself am having mixed feelings about the hijab. We do have a problem here with Muslims taking the ancient “traditions” too far, be that by keeping their women from learning German (or to read and write, for that matter), forcing them to wear hijab in public and keeping up the time honoured values of family honour by killing their daughters and sisters who dare go against that.
There I do agree with the - also time honoured - cry of: If they want to live here, they have to accept our social and democratic values. Period.

But if we are a free and democratic country, offering religious freedom, then we can’t do that with one blind eye.

We can’t allow the habit and crosses because they’re part of our “Christian-occidental tradition”. I am a Christian - although admittedly from the point of view of the Pope the wrong kind of - and all the crosses on the school walls I encountered annoyed the heck out of me.
The habit of a nun defines her as a nun, so in a very broad sense you could maybe argue that this makes the habit her working clothes. But as her “job” is religion that renders the whole thing null and void again. Besides, a lot of nuns active in youth work often do not wear their habit at work. Interesting, hm?
Besides, I’ve always felt that the habit serves exactly the same purpose the hijab does in some places (except for the bride thing of course): A nun is the bride of Jesus (I think. Or was it God? Can somebody tell me?) and every earthly man has to keep his hands off her. So she dresses up in some drab uniform, even hiding her hair from people. Hm, that does sound familiar, doesn’t it?

As for the Jewish kippa being a part of our Christian-occidental tradition… Since when? So, ok, Jesus was a Jew and all the rest, but we are a Christian country, not a Jewish one. And maybe it is just this region (I’m not going to google for population percentages now), but a male teacher with kippa would have surprised me more than a female one with hijab. You see hijabs everywhere!
For any Jew happening across this humble blog I’d like to add that I don’t have any problems with either Jews or teachers wearing the kippa; it’s the principle here that I’m having a serious problem with.

And talking about religious freedom at schools, I’d like to take you back to my youth.
In grade school our main teacher prayed with us once a week before school started. I don’t remember her sending out our two Muslim pupils, or there ever being a word about them having a different faith and these prayers not concerning them. Unfortunately I was caught up too much in my own confusion and misery (and ignorance) to notice whether or not they were in the same awkward position I was.
Because, you see, we always had to cross ourselves.
I didn’t even know how to do that! I am not Catholic; I did not have to!
Only after having a word with my parents - and they with the teacher - did I stop trying to keep up with that crossing thing. But I still felt out of place.

In Germany we teach religion at school. I know that in some places more is offered, but here it’s just Catholic and Protestant religion lessons taking part at the same time. To keep our two Muslims busy it was offered to their parents to let them take part in one of those lessons (one family declined apparently). But was there a choice for the parents who sent their son to religion classes at grade school? No. It was a given that Muslims would attend the Protestant course.

Much later, at the end of the fourth grade, a fellow pupil told me that in Catholic religion class - held by that main teacher lady by the way - they had been told that Protestants were heathens. Furthermore we were also said to be stupid.

Thankfully this is not happening in the local grade school anymore, but back then - and further back - these were not single incidents.

My sister often had to walk back home from her grade school in the place we used to live before 1980 because if the last lesson for the day for some reason did not take place at the Catholic grade school, their dean called the bus company and cancelled the last bus for the day, totally forgetting about the fact that they shared the bus service with the adjoining Protestant grade school. And that was quite a march, or else there would not have been a school bus in the first place…

Weekly filthy foreigners update?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

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Today a Turkish couple was shopping at the store.
Very, very regular customers.
Anyway, they wanted to buy four folding chairs, and I had a lot of fun already following their argument about whether to get blue or black ones.
While he was following A. into the direction of the cellar (and the chairs), she stood there, rolling her eyes, announcing to the world in general that blue chairs would not match anything in their kitchen at all.
Returning with the chairs he had to admit that his wife was right and that the black ones definitely had more style.

Then he asked me if he could leave the chairs at the register while they continued shopping instead of breaking his back with them. I told him that - quite on the contrary - he might even tone his muscles by carrying ‘em around for half an hour.
He said he’d rather pass, as he had seriously been having troubles with his back, and today was the first day that he felt able to attempt carrying anything again. “And already I have to carry these chairs; I think my wife is after my life insurance.”

When they were almost done, hubby stopped to look at a couple of watches. Like any undecided customer would do it. Handle this package, handle that one, approach me with a question about one watch (which I couldn’t answer the way I would have liked to, as the boss chose that moment to make an appearance; but the dude didn’t pick that watch then anyway, phew!), put that package back, stare thoughtfully at another one…..
… while all the while the boss was watching him very, very intently.

Yes, I know, even nice and funny people might attempt thefts. Even regular customers might attempt thefts. I just wish he’d stop watching every Turk, “Arab”, Russian, Sri Lankan or black person like a hawk…

A couple of months ago a former colleague was shopping at our place with her husband (both Russians), and he told me to follow them and make sure they didn’t steal. Hello?! All the time she worked there, there was never any reason to suspect her of anything. There just isn’t. She’s way too moral!

Bah, bah, bah…..

Still no sign of Orlando by the way; this is starting to worry me. ;)

What else is “new”?

I still don’t know what “asshole” means in Arabic; shame on the Kid for suddenly having to log off. As my sister put it, one should never miss an opportunity to broaden one’s horizon.

The mutilated knuckle of my thumb is red and swollen and hurts; I think I really deserve some pity here… *pouts*

Oh, and I’m bored, so some more senseless picture posting:

Behold Birger, the Saxon…

… teaching me a bit of swordplay

Damn them filthy thieving Arabs!!!!!

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

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Today was another one of those days….

Late in the morning two veiled women entered our store together with two kids. They weren’t quite wearing burkas, but were dressed and veiled in a way only one step beneath that. All black, flowing garments, only the smallest possible oval of a face peeking out of the huge black, flowing headscarf.
That is very rare around here so I couldn’t help but seriously notice these women when I passed them on my way to upstairs. Didn’t see their faces then as they were both studying merchandise and had their heads turned away from me.

Upstairs, shortly after that, the boss’s wife deposited something she had brought along, then informed her husband that two deeply veiled Arabs had just entered the store, and that she was heading downstairs now. Or - to put it in less ambiguous words than hers - that she was going to make sure those women did not pocket any of our merchandise.

Which meant that Mrs G. vanished for about 1.5 hours, as the ladies seemed to be slow shoppers. Furthermore it seems no attempted theft could be reported. ;)

Shortly before my lunch break I heard a girl in the till region loudly and repeatedly calling “Anne! Anne!” and whining a bit as anne supposedly didn’t buy something the kid wanted.
When I finally left the store and headed to my car I heard the same girl on the parking lot, whiningly inquiring something of her anne, who turned out to be one of the veiled ladies.

“Anne” is Turkish and means “mommy”.

Seems our “Arabs” always come in all disguises…..

On a slightly different Turkish note, A. is a bad boy!
He had dropped by on his free day to open the store as the boss was being fashionably late, and upon leaving again mockingly invited us to have breakfast with him should we get bored (I’m sure the boss would appreciate our heading out to breakfast at A.’s….) so I asked him if Ramadan did not apply to everyone. His - admittedly brilliant - answer was that Ç. and S. were fasting, which was enough. So our Muslims are on fast sharing, lol.

On a personal note, I look like a grubby Christmas decoration. My shirt was all covered in bits of cardboard and silver and golden glittery dust. I brushed myself off as best as I could but you never get totally rid of that glitter stuff, short of showering. But at least I managed to check and correct a lot of the prices of last year’s Christmas stuff.