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'Pakistanophobia' Grips France

Islamonline.net reports that there has been an unprecedented wave of "Pakistanophobia" in France since the July 7 attacks in London.

Pakistani leaders there are said to complain that since the London bombings the French people have started looking down on them.

"A right-wing newspaper, for instance, launched a ferocious campaign against Pakistanis in France and placed them in one basket, calling them a 'cause for concern,'" said one Pakistani leader, adding that his group is considering legal action against the newspaper.

Islam online also has a scoop that has apparently eluded every other news organization in the world: "Police have found that the bombers acted on their own and had no link to Al-Qaeda," it says.

Free Speech, Florida-Style

A schoolteacher in Orlando, Fla. has been suspended and is under investigation for allegedly writing a letter to her congressman complaining about immigrants even though school officials haven't seen the letter in question, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Jan Hall, 59, has been suspended without pay while officials attempt to track down the letter. They know about it only from an article in a local Spanish-language daily newspaper.

The paper said the letter complained that Hispanics and other Caribbean newcomers are taking all the jobs and that "foreigners are the largest users of taxpayers' money." It also charged that non English-speaking Hispanics and immigrants in general were hurting the quality of schools and dragging down educational achievement.

School officials have apologized profusely and said they will not tolerate racism or discrimination. They have posted counselors at the school in case any children are so upset about the letter that they need professional help.

Merry Winter Break!

Officials at a Washington State school district have spent the past two months arguing over whether to name the two-week break at the end of the calendar year "winter break" or "Christmas break," according to the Kitsap Sun.

Members of the South Kitsap board are under pressure to reverse an earlier decision to change the name to Christmas break. Non-Christians in town complain that Christians already have the only federally mandated religious holiday, so there's no need to point it out on a calendar.

But Conservative Christians and some members of the board argue that the term "winter break" is a politically correct attempt to avoid offending people of other faiths.

Dixie Days

Some newcomers in Hanover County, Virginia want the name of the annual Civil War commemoration changed from "Dixie Days" to something less reminiscent of the South, according to the Washington Times.

Jamelle Wilson calls Dixie Days "problematic," says that calling a Civil War commemoration by that name "tends to represent the past." If the D-word stays, she says, the county schools shouldn't promote or endorse it.

But Grayson Jennings, commander of the Cold Harbor Guards Camp division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans of Virginia, says they'll hold the event on private property or even outside the county before they change the name.

"It's our event. We can call it what we want," Jennings says. "This is our heritage. We are not changing the name."

Poster Problems

The Hampton Roads Daily Press says a teacher at a high school in Virginia is suing his district because it removed Christian symbols from a bulletin board in his classroom when he was out sick for a couple days.

William Lee, who teaches Spanish at Tabb High School in York, Va., says school officials violated his right to free speech when they removed a poster with a picture of a small crucifix on it and another publicizing the National Day of Prayer.

Lee says things that didn't involve Christianity or weren't related to another religious belief or secular viewpoint were left alone.

School official said they didn't want to "give the mistaken impression of a governmental endorsement of a particular religious point of view," and had to act after a parent complained that the posters were offensive.

Incoming!

The New York Post reports that a state panel will soon study whether schoolkids in that state learn enough about the "physical and psychological terrorism" inflicted on Africans during the slave trade and will then recommend changes to text books and curricula based on its findings.

Dubbed the Amistad Commission after the slave ship commandeered by its captives, the 19-member panel will consist of political appointees who don't necessarily have a background in academia.

"Whatever we're doing in our school system right now to teach slavery is not enough," said Manhattan Democratic Assemblyman Keith Wright, who championed the bill creating the panel. "It's America's deep, dark secret, and for too long, it's been swept under the rug."

Others, however, express concern.

Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, called the creation of the panel "sheer racial breast-beating."

"I think it's errant nonsense to trust curriculum matters to a blue-ribbon panel of racial grievance," he said.

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.

Mailbag:

Nathaniel C. in Denver writes:

It's heartening to see that some socialists have finally released how sometimes incompatible their feminism is with their multiculturalism. When I look at these extremist societies of the east (and they're not all Islamic - witness some of the "pagan" or even "Christian" cultures of Africa), the thing that disgusts me more than anything else is the way they treat women. If there is any hope for these countries to survive, they must change their fundamental views and realize that men and women are equal. After all, the terrorists do not hate us because of Iraq; they hate us because we let women wear bikinis, marry whomever they wish, and vote.

Marv J. in Alabama writes:

With all of the uproar over team names and cultural sensitivity issues, I am surprised that no one has objected to the New York Yankees. Here in the south the word "Yankee" is often used in a derogatory and - I might add - insensitive manner. I am a native New Yorker who has lived in the south for over two decades. I am now very confused. Should I be offended and demand a name change for my home state team? Please help me work through this crisis.

Tom in Marietta writes:

If they were challenged, I suspect Va. Tech. would learn that they do not have the legal right to enforce the Saudi's sexually segregated culture in this country. Can you imagine the outcry if they had allowed racially segregated classes to appease an apartheid South Africa? I wonder if Va. Tech.'s "cultural sensitivity" allows the Saudi men to physically abuse the women as they do in Saudi Arabia?

Diemer N. in Southern Iraq writes:

All jokes aside, I thought that we in this country had been striving for years to "end segregation" not encourage it by creating separate classes for any student(s). As for impressing our culture on them I would state that they are here because of our culture and the education. If they are so offended by our culture they would not come to us for the education. On top of that where are all of the people that usually rant and rave about how the rights women need to be improved upon by our Middle Eastern allies?

Jason K. writes:

Having read the stories posted in the 8/15/05 edition of Tongue Tied, I am very saddened by the news coming out of Britain, as far as free speech and the free press is concerned. Can you British leftists tell me something? When did stating the obvious become a crime? I didn't see evidence of the editor urging violence against any person or group, but I'd imagine that making a statement based on fact, logic, history, and reasoning is beyond of the pale of British sensitivities.

Jerry W. writes:

I've been reading your article for some time now. And one thing that always makes me laugh is the hate mail that you get. The stories that you present are usually not editorials, but just state facts. The facts of the story themselves make the people in them look ridiculous. And yet, you get hate mail for taking a conservative position. Again, I don't see you taking a position one way or the other. The facts of the story are what make these people look stupid…not you.

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