I don’t like kebabs… does that make me Islamophobic?

Seekh Kebabs (Pakistani Spicy Grilled Ground Meat Skewers) Recipe

I was out on a rare visit to a shopping mall the other day. I was wandering around the food court, trying to decide what to eat. I don’t often ‘eat out’ – it is too expensive, and more often than not, I worry about the hygiene of the food handlers. But on this rare occasion, I ventured to lash out and live dangerously.

There was a very tempting Macca’s express outlet. I was mulling over the choice of burger and whether or not to get a small fries or a medium. And would an ice cream soft freeze be really really wicked? Decisions, decisions. My eye was caught by the KFC dinner box or even the Chinese all you can eat on a plate deal.

There was a young lass standing beside me and I smiled and said: “At this rate, I won’t choose anything for lunch!” She replied, “What about a kebab?” I shook my head and said, “No, I don’t like kebabs.” Her eyes narrowed and she said ” Why not? “Without giving it a second thought I said, “ I just don’t like Middle Eastern food.”
Oh dear. Bad mistake.

With no warning and no idea of what was about to come, I continued to smile cheerfully and ponder the quarter pounder and cheese with a small fries and an ice cream chaser.
My little chum looked at me accusingly. Her loudly spoken words astounded me. “You have offended me and thousands of Muslims. You are an Islamophobe. You are a racist.”
With that, she stormed off, leaving me surrounded by what seemed like a thousand eyes boring into me with hatred and unmasked venom.

Needless to say, I decided that I wasn’t hungry after all and I made a hasty retreat to the safety of the car park and the sanctuary of my own four walls and kitchen.

Is this the level of stupidity and narrow mindedness that we have come to? Seriously? Because I don’t like spicy food?
I was so angry with her, but more importantly, I was angry with myself. I turned tail and acted like a guilty person. I was ashamed only of my hasty retreat, BUT there is one thing I can say, hand on heart. I was not offended.
I was angry, I was shocked, I was taken aback, I was more than a bit gobsmacked. But I was not offended. But that young lady was. She was offended that I dared to not like Middle Eastern food.

You see, this is the big problem with governments trying to legislate and ban things; websites, blogs, words or actions because “someone might be offended”. Everyone is offended by something or someone. But I don’t expect the government to quickly pass a law to ban her from being a narrow-minded bigoted half wit.

To me, a woman of ‘more mature years’, the whole concept of being offended is relatively new and hard to come to grips with.
In past decades, that foolish young girl would never have dared to speak to me in that manner – she would have shown that long lost virtue called respect. Secondly, I would not have fled. I would probably have laughed at her.
Anyway, I still don’t like kebabs, and if that offends people, I don’t care. After all, it isn’t against the law…yet.

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