Monday, December 20, 2010

Austria: Judge Rules That Yodeling Offends Muslims

Elad Benari

It seems as though in Austria, the popular yodel is an insult to Muslims.

An Austrian court has recently fined a citizen for yodeling while mowing his lawn, according to a report in The Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

The citizen, 63-year-old Helmut G., was told by the court that his yodeling offended his next-door Muslim neighbors, who accused him of trying to mock and imitate the call of the Muezzin.

In Muslim tradition, the Muezzin is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets. The yodel is a song which is sung with an extended note which rapidly and repeatedly changes in pitch and makes a high-low-high-low sound. Developed in the Central Alps as a method of communication between alpine mountaineers or between alpine villages, the yodel later became part of the region's traditional lore and musical expression. The technique is used in many cultures throughout the world and Austria is one of the countries where it is most popular.

Unfortunately for Helmut G., his neighbors were in the middle of a prayer when he started to yodel. The Kronen Zeitung reported that he was fined 800 Euros after judges ruled that he could have tried to offend his neighbors and ridicule their belief.

Helmut G. clarified that “It was not my intention to imitate or insult them. I simply started to yodel a few tunes because I was in such a good mood.”

and from dear Chana:


Will this dementia ever end

Or is this but beginning ?

It seems to be in Austria

That yodeling is sinning!

Alas! to native yodelers ~

Some Muslims take offense ~

To people -like the Austrians

The situation's tense.

Who knows how far this thing can go

What next they will demand

And why we freedom loving folks

Must yield to their command?

Like checkered cloths in restaurants -

(Italians like a lot)

Resemble the kefiyya

As worn by Arafat!

Could wigs some women choose to wear ~

(Some ladies like a 'snood' ~)

Be likened to their own hijab

Then banned for being lewd?!

Taboo on Camel cigarettes

That naughty people smoke ~

To us it might seem ludicrous ~

To them it's not a joke!

Or Yodels - tasty little cakes ~

(That really is the name)

Be off the shelves forever now

As fitting in their claim?!

Or bathing suits - so brief today ~

On them they'd put a hex!!

They seem to think that kind of wear

Would surely lead to sex!!!

Each nation has its fav'rite things~

Its culture and its pride ~

Let no one mock it - force a change

That isn't bona fide!!

It's time the West stood up and said

With lines drawn in the sand~

"You integrate or else you leave -

You can't invade our land!!"

"We won't accede to your extremes

To heart take every threat.



No comments: