There are apologies; there are grovelling apologies; and then there’s the kind of hair-shirt, mea culpa, “oh God, oh God, how can we ever make amends?”, self-abasing, crawling-to-beg-your-forgiveness-on-our-knees-on-broken-glass number just delivered by the toymaker behind TV kiddie animation series Fireman Sam to the entire Muslim community…
“A spokeswoman for the multinational firm Mattel, which owns the show’s makers Hit Entertainment, said ‘It has been brought to our attention that in an episode of Fireman Sam (Series 9, Episode 7), an image of the Quran is briefly depicted. ‘The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error. We sincerely apologise for any distress or offense it may have caused. We will no longer be working with the animation studio responsible for this mistake. In addition, we are taking immediate action to remove this episode from circulation and we are reviewing our content production procedures to ensure this never happens again. Again, we apologise unreservedly to our viewers.’
A still from the cartoon appears below. In a show called Troubled Waters, Elvis the firefighter slips on some pieces of paper while carrying a tray of hot drinks. One of the sheets flies past the screen and seems to be a page from Islam’s holy book, dealing with punishments for non-believers. Complaints followed of “promoting hatred against Muslims.”
What Mattel should have said – because let’s face it, this was what their statement actually meant – was:
Please don’t kill us. We want you to know that we are all totally shitting our pants about this incident and we want you to realise that there are many, many better targets out there for your savage violence. Jews, for example, why don’t you kill them because you really hate them, don’t you? Or, better still, some Yezidis – if there are any left. Or Christians. Or alcohol sellers. Or football players. Or apostates. Or kite-flyers. Or, well, anyone but us, really…
Apologies like that are what give the advocates of seventh century Arabia the cultural confidence to do things like threaten nudist bathers in Germany with ‘extermination.’ Mattel might think they are being politically correct and virtuous, but they are contributing to an environment that threatens us all.
Meanwhile Muslims don’t just accidentally tread on a page from the bible in a work of fiction, yesterday they walked into a church, took hostages, and killed the priest. I don’t hear the politically correct offendotrons who outraged about Fireman Sam complaining about Muslim behavior.