Coke’s Multilingual “America the Beautiful” Ad Sparks Conservative Outrage

February 2, 2014

 

A Super Bowl commercial featuring a polyglot America outraged right-wingers—some of whom thought “America the Beautiful” was the national anthem.

Coca-Cola is by no means a progressive company.  The soda maker has long been targeted for boycotts by some labor rights groups for undermining workers’ rights at bottling plants in Colombia–and being complicit in the deaths of the labor organizations.  There’s also the environmental waste their plastic bottles generate.

But on Sunday night, during the Super Bowl, they became a target of a much different kind of boycott lead by conservatives.  A Coca-Cola ad featured the song “America the Beautiful” in multiple languages.  Images of a Muslim woman, a Jewish man, and more flashed on the screen.

Right-wingers were none too pleased.  On Twitter, the hashtag #boycottcoke picked up steam, though some of that was progressives’ making fun of their outrage.

Outside of Twitter, the outrage was just as ridiculous.  Former Congressman and Tea Party star Allen West wrote that it was “a truly disturbing commercial,” as Talking Points Memo notes.

Coke used “a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity – in several foreign languages,” wrote Michael Patrick Leahy on Breibart.com, who added that it featured gay people–the horror!

Perhaps the funniest part of the whole affair was some Twitter xenophobes saying the ad desecrated the “national anthem.”  In case they’re reading this: it’s not the national anthem.
Link to Video: http://youtu.be/443Vy3I0gJs

Alternet.org: http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/cokes-multilingual-america-beautiful-ad-sparks-outrage
RNS.com: http://cathylynngrossman.religionnews.com/2014/01/31/cheerios-msnbc-race-super-bowl-ad/

La Presse considers non-Quebecois Canadian responses to the niqab

This article in La Presse suggests that the remainder of Canadian provinces would have been less likely than the provincial government of Quebec to expel a niqab-wearing woman in a language class for wearing a niqab. The journalist suggests that students in similar classes in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Colombia are permitted to keep their niqabs.

Canadian Muslim Journalist Kidnapped in Pakistan

Khadija Abdul Qahaar, a Web magazine publisher in British Colombia, along with her translator and guide, were seized at gunpoint while traveling in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan. Ms. Qahaar was known as Beverly Giesbrecht prior to her conversion to Islam, and publishes the website jihadunspun.com. Mark Federman, an expert in media studies at the University of Toronto, said he had not previously heard of jihadunspun.com. But looking at the circumstances of the reported abduction, “my skepticism detectors start flashing on this one,” he said. While Mr. Federman acknowledged the threat of abduction was very real in the region Ms. Qahaar was travelling, he questioned the timing of a website posting calling for money to deter abduction the week prior.

Lisa Monette, spokesperson for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs did not confirm the report, but did say a Canadian was missing in Pakistan. Monette added, “The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the High Commission in Islamabad are working with Pakistani officials right now and they are pursuing all appropriate measures.”

See full-text articles:

The Globe and Mail

The National Post

British Colombia’s Rights Commission Rejects Muslim Complaint about Magazine Article

The Human Rights Commission in the province of British Colombia has rejected a human rights complaint against Maclean’s magazine that claimed an article about Islam violated anti-hate laws. The commission found that an October 2006 article by Mark Steyn, “The Future Belongs to Islam,” did not violate such nor raise hatred against Muslims. It is the third dismissal by a human rights commission in Canada, all of which have responded to complaints by members of the Canadian Islamic Congress.

The article is an excerpt from Steyn’s book America Alone, and discusses the global ambitions of a growing number of Muslim youth, and suggests that the West “lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it.”

Full-text article continues here.(Some news sites may require registration)

British Colombia’s Rights Commission Rejects Muslim Complaint about Magazine Article

The Human Rights Commission in the province of British Colombia has rejected a human rights complaint against Maclean’s magazine that claimed an article about Islam violated anti-hate laws. The commission found that an October 2006 article by Mark Steyn, The Future Belongs to Islam, did not violate such nor raise hatred against Muslims. It is the third dismissal by a human rights commission in Canada, all of which have responded to complaints by members of the Canadian Islamic Congress. The article is an excerpt from Steyn’s book America Alone, and discusses the global ambitions of a growing number of Muslim youth, and suggests that the West lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it.

Officials in Calgary Allow Hijabs, Saris and Other Religious Clothing at City Pools

Residents of Calgary, Alberta will now be allowed to swim in city pools wearing saris, hijabs and other clothing deemed “religious” in a new policy designed to encourage the participation of ethnic and religious minorities. For safety reasons, saris will be banned from the deep end. The city´s superintendent for aquatics and fitness stated that the policy clarifies what before had been a grey area, typically handled on a case-by-case basis. Ms. Bruce stated, “We wanted to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and they can participate with dignity when they use our facilities.” Clothing must be clean and swimmers must shower in the garments before entering the pool.

Similarly, last winter, the Alberta Soccer Association changed its rules to, like in the provinces of British Colombia and Ontario, allow female soccer players to wear the hijab while playing. The headscarf is banned on Québec soccer fields.

See full-text articles:

The Globe and Mail

The Calgary Herald

Officials in Calgary Allow Hijabs, Saris and Other Religious Clothing at City Pools

Residents of Calgary, Alberta will now be allowed to swim in city pools wearing saris, hijabs and other clothing deemed religious in a new policy designed to encourage the participation of ethnic and religious minorities. For safety reasons, saris will be banned from the deep end. The city’s superintendent for aquatics and fitness stated that the policy clarifies what before had been a grey area, typically handled on a case-by-case basis. Ms. Bruce stated, We wanted to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and they can participate with dignity when they use our facilities. Clothing must be clean and swimmers must shower in the garments before entering the pool. Similarly, last winter, the Alberta Soccer Association changed its rules to, like in the provinces of British Colombia and Ontario, allow female soccer players to wear the hijab while playing. The headscarf is banned on Qu_bec soccer fields.

Muslim Man in Vancouver awarded $11,000 in Human Rights Case

A Muslim man of Arab descent was awarded $11,000 by the British Colombia Human Rights Tribunal to compensate for his co-workers’ paranoia that he helped organize the 9/11 attacks. Ghassan Asad was questioned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after co-workers at a high-tech firm reported that he’d visited New York and Washington a few weeks before the attacks, and his boss claimed he resembled the terrorists known to be involved in the attacks. The police spent three days questioning Asad, but no charges were laid. He is of Saudi Arabian origin but received Canadian citizenship one month before 9/11. The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal concluded that the management engaged in improper conduct that had a serious and substantial impact on Asad. The second part of his claim – that he was unfairly fired in March 2003 – was dismissed by the tribunal.