Lego Idolatry Riles Austrian MuslimsPosted by Jim Newman on January 28th, 2013 – 11 Comments – Posted in Islam, religion
Most people would be proud to have their architecture on display, even if as a toy. Some take offense and call it racism.
Lego has been accused of racism by the Turkish community over a Star Wars toy allegedly depicting a mosque.
The critics claim that the Jabba’s Palace model, part of Lego’s Star Wars range, offends Muslims as it resembles the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul – one of the world’s most renowned mosques.
Members of the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria group also accused the toy manufacturer of depicting Asians as having ‘deceitful and criminal personalities’.
We see how moderate Muslims are moderate. We see how Turks who flee to Europe bring their phobic cultural baggage with them. We see why Europe is becoming shocked with its huge immigration of Turks.
When a country is founded on a material ideology such as a constitution or bill of rights then its immigrants need to to become part of that country. Moving to another country isn’t just safe harbor from terror. If you leave because of oppression you are not allowed to drag the ideology of oppression with you.
Borders are not vapor. We are not free to roam the world as if it were one big country without culture or law. The UN would like to make us globally more free, less oppressed, less tyrannical but countries nevertheless maintain autonomy. There is a value to hybridizing and exchanging ideas but it is not a blind process of accepting anything.
Again. There is a cost to belonging to a country. A person born where they are is of that country without choice. While that is sad when they are born into oppression, and other countries should help as possible, the people cannot treat their new home as if it were the home they left, minus the oppression. They must buy into the ideology of the country they move to.
The group has released a statement calling for an apology from Lego for its cultural insensitivity.
The Lego set is based on the home of Jabba the Hutt, a central character in the Star Wars series, who lives in a domed palace, with a separated watchtower.
As well as bearing a likeness to the Hagia Sophia mosque, the Turkish group also claimed the toy takes its design from the Jami al-Kabir mosque in Beirut – while the watchtower is said to resemble a minaret.
Multiculturalism has turned into multiracism. David Rand has written on this recently.
Multiculturalism is a form of ethnic essentialism masquerading as a corrective for racism. It reinforces differences between groups based on ethnic and religious identities. It grants certain “group rights,” often to the detriment of individual rights. It favours tradition over modernism and community over fundamental human rights. It supports and emboldens traditional religious leaders and is closely related to accommodationism, the practice of granting privileges -– incompatible with universal principles -– on the basis of membership in a religious or ethnic community.
Conquest clearly has issues of how to deal with the material and ideological infrastructure of the conquered state (CF Native Americans) but immigration requires adherence to defined ideology. When one leaves their country they leave their country. It is not a light choice, a fashionable switch of equal ideologies.
But in reality, multiculturalism is itself a close cousin of racism because it exaggerates the importance of the community into which one is born, to the detriment of one’s individuality.
Islams who cry racism have their own agenda of replacing their new country’s ideology with the old without bothering to learn the ideology of the new country. It is not a simple process and just learning the often painful history of a country’s governance is not the solution.
While there is freedom, there is responsibility. If you move to another country you should learn the language, learn the customs, and learn the ideology. Once you have actually become part of the country then use the law (or conscientious civil disobedience) to make progressive change. Unless you learn it you don’t know what you’re trying to change. You don’t understand why the culture is in the first place.
Colonialism, imperialism, and cultural myopia work both ways. Only in this case it is not the foreign invader that can’t see.
What makes this more absurd is the building, the Hagia Sophia, was not even originally a Mosque but was changed to one after Islamic conquest.
“… is a former Orthodoxpatriarchalbasilica, later amosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodoxcathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.
Perhaps, the offended Muslims should consider why they conquered Istanbul in the first place or maybe if they are certain of offense return the building to the culture that built it.
The Lego building has resemblance because it is tan and has a dome. Anyone having seen the movies gets the thematic elements.
Katharina Sasse, a public relations manager working on behalf of Lego, denied any link between Jabba’s Palace and the mosque.
“The Lego Star Wars product Jabba´s Palace does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque,” she said. “The Lego mini-figures are all modelled on characters from the movie.
“We regret that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to come to a wrong interpretation, but point out that when designing the product only the fictional content of the Star Wars saga were referred to.”
Jim Newman, bright and well
BTW, days later: here’s Jabba’s palace from the movie.