There is woke and then there is a joke. That is what Burger King in South Africa has become. The global fast food behemoth recently announced it is dropping the word “ham” from its menu in its South African restaurants. The chain is removing the first three letters of the word “hamburger” from menu listings in its South African outlets “to be more respectful” of Muslims and their halal diets which forbid the consumption of pork. Even though hamburgers contain no pork whatsoever and the word “ham” is not banned under Sharia Law. For example, the “Double Spicy Hamburger” will now be listed as the “Double Spicy Burger.” I don’t know about you, but I feel better already. Let’s all join hands and sing “Kumbaya” now, shall we?
Seriously, how dumb does BK think Muslims are? Or maybe I’m mistaken. Perhaps most Muslims in South Africa are so easily offended, that simply seeing the letters “h” “a” and “m” strung together will cause them to boycott an eatery…or worse.
Maybe we should strike the word “hammock” from the English language too, in proactive solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters. Henceforth any suspended bed of canvas or rope mesh used for repose should be referred to only as a “mock.” If any of you have a pet hamster you might want to consider calling it a “ster” instead. At least if you wish to be seen as progressive enough in the eyes of the urban, coastal elites that determine these things for all of us. “Hammer,” “hamstring,” and “hamper” should all be expunged from the English language so that we may not inadvertently offend someone of the Muslim persuasion.
I must admit, however, that when I started thinking about “Hamas,” the Palestinian Islamic movement founded with the goal of establishing a Palestinian state incorporating present day Israel, I became confused and conflicted. Hamas is, apparently, an acronym for Harakat al-Muqãwama al-Islãmiyya’Islamic Resistance Movement. (I don’t know, either). So, if an Islamic organization brands itself “Hamas,” who are we to judge?
Upon reasoned reflection, Burger King South Africa’s actions were utterly unnecessary. I would even say they were…ham-handed.