Friday, October 21, 2005


Meet [H-]Omar Shamshoon

It would seem that the ever tolerant Arab world will be embracing a cartoon which has been part of the staple diet of most western countries for the last decade or so. Of course, there will be changes. After all, Homer was far too much of an infidel to have been allowed to be shown uncut in the Islamic Arab states. Pork, beer and Moe's tavern will be cut from the cartoon, as may some of the "infidel" characters.
What surprises me the most though, is that our eagle eyed western media has failed to point out that fact that they have "de-westernised" the cartoon because, as usual, Muslims would find it offensive. Could you imagine the shouts of racism if we'd adopted an Arabic cartoon and de-Arabised the show and the characters because us non-Muslims found it offensive. Of course, if we did do that, we might have another Jihad on our hands, not that I think many in the west would find "Family Terrorist" or "My Little Martyr" suitable viewing for their kiddies.
Well, as a well known springfield chief of police would say, "Move along, there's nothing to see here."

the Arab satellite network MBC is bringing the cartoon saga of Springfield to the heart of the Arab world. "The Simpsons" has been exported overseas and is now called "Al Shamshoon."

With Omar instead of Homer, and Badr substituting for Bart, MBC hopes to win coveted young viewers. After all, 60 percent of the Arab world is 20 years old or younger.

So MBC is making some changes as the characters go from American to Arab. They will remove references to things forbidden by the Koran, such as bacon, beer, and other references that might be construed as offensive.

Homer Simpson's ubiquitous Duff beer will now be soda in the Arab version of the show. Hot dogs will become Egyptian beef sausages, and donuts will become popular Arab cookies called "kahk." Moe's Bar has been completely written out of "Al Shamshoon."

With characters who are Jewish (like Krusty the Clown), Hindu (like Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu) and Christian (like the family's pastor, Rev. Lovejoy), Al Jean — "The Simpsons" executive producer — says those changes mean they aren't "The Simpsons" anymore.

"If he doesn't drink and eat bacon and generally act like a pig — which I guess is also against Islam — then it's not Homer," Jean said.

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