THE RIDICULOUS incident that was reported in INQ7.net on Tuesday, that Lanao del Sur Representative Faysah Dumarpa had allegedly pointed a knife at Virginia Altamirano, a waiteress of the Shangri-la Chine Cuisine, after she was served pork during a dinner with other lawmakers at the House on Monday, made me laugh it was so silly!
The waitress went to a local police station to file a complaint against Dumarpa for allegedly hitting her in the face, throwing a glass of water at her and waving a knife menacingly at her. The Muslim congresswoman denies hitting the poor waitress, but admits that she threw the glass of water onto the floor and that she indeed had a knife in her hand at the time of her outburst.
In a nasty letter to the owner of the restaurant, Dumarpa is demanding that the staff involved in serving the lunch all be sacked for serving her pork, either knowingly or through incompetence, even though she claims to have asked several of the staff whether any of the dishes contained pork.
“What I did after that was my natural reaction on a situation where I felt betrayed,” she said in her letter to the restaurant owner, Ramon Sy. “I was grossly insulted, and I assumed your crew members purposely caused that by intentional concealment of the fact herein set forth. If not at all intentional, then there must have been gross negligence on their part,” Dumarpa said. The lawmaker explained that for Muslims, eating pork and its derivatives was forbidden in Islam and considered a “grievous sin” in their religion. She said an intentional consumption of meat would hinder her from gaining entrance to paradise.
"Intentional" is the key word here. I can surely say that her eating pork in this instance was NOT intentional, so I don't see how her entrance to Heaven would be jeopordized by eating pork by mistake. I would instead suggest to her that slapping a defenseless waitress in the face, shouting like a crazed person and throwing a glass of water on the floor in a scandalous fashion, is what surely would keep her out of Paradise!
Fellow Lanao del Sur Representative Benasing Macarambon also attended this luncheon, and told INQ7.net that eating pork accidentally was allegedly more upsetting to him and other Muslims than catching their spouses with another person! What nonsense! How is accidentally eating pork now WORSE than catching your spouse committing adultery?! The logic escapes me here.
In a country where the majority of the population loves anything porky, and where the national dish is lechon de leche, I am not surprised that Muslim politicians often find pork lurking in the food that is served to them. As my father always told me, eating pork unknowingly was okay, as long as one stopped eating the dish as soon as we found out it contained pork.
Instead of slapping hapless waiters and throwing tantrums in public, Muslim politicians would do better to have someone inspect the kitchen while their food was being prepared, or better yet, bring their own halal, pork-free food with them to avoid any such mix-ups in the future.
In my opinion, the Congresswoman should be disciplined not because of the food incident per se but the way she acted violently after the incident. She acted in uncivilized manner unbecoming of an elected offical. She should have acted in a diplomatic way to prove that Islam is a religion of peace and not a religion of violence.
If I were be the congresswoman, my natural reaction is, I felt to be betrayed. But come to of think of, how if "PORK" is being carried here in Saudi Arabia? It's not only the moslems are being lambasted but it's the faith in general. Supposed to be, Saudi Arabia is the center of Islamic Faith but how come pork can come here without being noticed by the authorites. I dont want to negate our Christian fellows but they should know their limits. They should have to respect this place. You see, that incident that had happened to a congresswoman is a offensive act done by non-moslems, but it is even worst for these non-moslems bringing with them pork here in Jeddah. How I say this so, because I was a victim of eating pork here. So annoying and degrading.I felt I am betrayed.But I said next time, I should be careful. But the reality of their being insensitive to the feelings of moslems is what I've seen as obvious reason as their fault. I hope that the should be brought in proper action the bringing of pork here in the Kingdom. I heard that even in Riyadh is not being escaped from the presence of pork. But at least Riyadh is far from Makkah which Jeddah on the other hand is very close to the holiest place of Moslem World. See, Jeddah is very close to Makkah. I know Christians are good but please, you are here in Saudi Arabia, like me, what we ask is only a little respect. We dont want anything will be resorted in violence about this pork issue but what we need is the minute or little respect.
I am an avid fan of your column in the Arab News because of your unbiased opinion be it religious or political.Sometimes I feel you are more Filipino than some of our so called politician. That's one of the reason why I always read your column. Regarding this particular incident I agree with you 100% - religion or God in His good name should not be used as a tool to provoke violence. This Congresswomen should be disciplined by the ethics committee of the congress.
It seemed that the restaurant should be transparent and be observant on their clients. O know for the fact that most of the hotels or restaurant in Manila do not even care or simply silent on their prepared dishes especially like the pansit flavored with pork or vegetables flavored with pork. I think the congresswoman is not only the lone victim of that incident. There are many occasions in many hotels in Manila that serving pork is inevitable. I think you can not blame the congresswoman for that. Soome of the hotels in Manila are even insensitive to the off-limits or clamor of Moslems esp putting porks in prepared dishes like the incident the congresswoman had experience.
Truly appreciated your article "Eating Pork by Mistake Does Not Justify Violence". You made a very sincere and unbias statement. We are very happy to hear from a Saudi journalist condoning violence. May your tribe increase and God bless.
when i heard the news, i was aghast. i'm no religious person but i consider myself a christian. i have Muslim friends as well who are very devout, yet never in our meals together had they thrown a "tantrum" as you called it, for accidentally having pork in their plate. What we do is just have a separate dish for them or better yet, we all eat halal, which is not at all unwelcome for us non-Muslims. Come to think of it, do muslims eat at restaurants in Manila? you bet they do. And how sure are they that the wok where the supposedly halal food was cooked was not used to cook pork in? That congresswoman was completely out of the line. I don't think Islam should ever be used for justifying uncivilized, uncouth, barbaric behaviour.