If I told you that Apple (the company that brought you the i-Pod) had a whole group of people mad at the company, who would be your first guess as to the offended party?
If I told you that Apple (the company that brought you the i-Pod) had a whole group of people mad at the company, who would be your first guess as to the offended party? Microsoft employees who are continually being forced to rise to Apple standards? Fans who object to the commercialization of U-2 songs?
If your mind is drifting toward the Middle East, you're getting warmer....
Yes, from those wacky Islamic fundamentalists who don't like books, cartoons and certain papal speeches comes the latest complaint: Apple's store on Fifth Avenue in New York City is an insult to Islam.
This latest furor is unfolding just in time to be included in the Taliban's latest published work, Things That Piss Us Off. (This handsome 14-volume set is being released for the holiday season and makes a great gift for that hard to buy for politically-correct friend who continues to refer to Islam as "a religion of peace.")
What is Apple's big offense? Are they offering downloadable Salman Rushdie e-books? MP3s of the collected speeches of George Bush? No, it's even more sinister than that ...it seems that Apple's Fifth Avenue store resembles the sacred Ka'ba which is a large structure that sits inside the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca.
To be fair, the Apple store does resemble the Ka'ba. But so do a few other things you can think of because the Ka'ba is shaped like ...wait for it ...a cube.
So, if you own an X-Box, a Rubik's cube or have a fuzzy dice hanging from your car's rear view mirror, you should be aware you could be the target of a fatwa at any time.
In order to avoid needlessly inflaming Islamic extremists, you'll also want to avoid using traditional trays for making ice, paintings by Pablo Picasso (famous cubist) and most upholstered ottomans.
And, for Allah's sake, do not go to work today. You are in immediate danger if you are seen with an extra-large stack of Post-It notes or if you work in your own cubicle. Or you could just go with the flow and try getting your co-workers and office temps to bow down in homage to you six times a day.
The problem here is not that Islamic extremists have yet another beef with the rest of the infidel world. The real problem is that it's making other fundamentalist religious groups jealous. It's only a matter of time before religious zealots of all stripes are expressing outrage at the co-opting of their religious symbols ...
Christian fundamentalists will profess to having a bunch of reasons to be upset at blasphemous uses of the cross. This means we can expect there will be threats to blow up traffic intersections in gay neighborhoods as well as severe retribution against anyone who uses the letter "t" inappropriately. As evidence of the offensive heresy that is all around us, right-wing Christians point out that a disgusting word like "prostitute" has three ts. Interestingly enough, there are none in "Congressional page."
In an exception to the recurring theme of religious aggression, hard-core Buddhists advocate non-violent demonstrations at the homes of fat people and pregnant women. Of course, some people might suggest setting yourself on fire in protest is a form of violence but this apparent paradox is addressed in the famous Zen saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear with a match."
Not to be outdone, devil worshippers have vowed revenge on anyone caught dressed in red or using a fork. Of course, you can count on the fact that pretty much anything you do is going to piss off the Amish.
Does religious extremism necessarily lead to violence? I'm not going to tell you there's a pattern here but, somehow, the only people who don't seem to have a chip on their shoulders these days are the atheists.
**Link to the Apple/Islam story here: