I don’t know how widely it was reported on TV (I get all my news from the Internet), but most readers are undoubtedly aware that the U.S. embassy in Jakarta moved its 4th of July celebration a month earlier, to June 4th, to accommodate Ramadan. It seems that the ambassador wanted to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities by holding festivities during their holy month.
I said at the time: Why not change the name of it to “Submission Day”, and hold it just before Ramadan every year? That would be ideologically appropriate and would make the holiday convenient for everyone.
The following video on the topic was taken from Todd Starnes’ program on Fox News. Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading and annotating this video:
As Vlad says:
“Submission to irrational religious authority forges the chains of your own servitude. Your very existence will be at the whim of your masters, for they will not love you for your obsequiousness.”
Below are excerpts from Todd Starnes’ opinion piece from the Fox News website on the same issue:
US Embassy in Jakarta moves Fourth of July celebration to June to accommodate Muslims
The United States Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia celebrated Independence Day a month early — to accommodate the country’s Muslim population.
It seems the Fourth of July is right smack in the middle of Ramadan this year so the embassy decided to move America’s birthday to the Fourth of June.
“We are celebrating a month early to respect the holy month of Ramadan,” Ambassador Robert Blake told a gathering at the embassy.
It sounds like every day is April Fool’s Day at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. I wouldn’t be surprised if they observe Good Friday on a Tuesday.
The Jakarta Post reported on the holiday swap. I suppose that Muslims would be too busy with their fasting and prayers to enjoy an all-beef frank and fireworks.
And as the Obama administration constantly reminds us — we simply cannot offend Islamic sensibilities.
The State Department downplayed the change during a June 9 press briefing by pointing out that official Fourth of June celebrations are not meant for the average American living in Jakarta.
“These are not events for the American citizen population that’s resident there,” spokesman Jeff Rathke told a reporter. “It’s not like a picnic you have with your family and friends when you’re back here in the U.S. These are official events that are — the purpose of which is to represent the United States to the host nation and to the host government.”
That explanation did not set well with Jim Hanson, the executive director for the Center for Security Policy on June 10.
“I think the problem is we have become overly sensitive to Islamic sensibilities,” he told Fox & Friends. “Ramadan is a time when most Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Well, if we wanted to be courteous, we could’ve just held the celebration at night. You know what else is great after sunset, fireworks?”
Mr. Hanson has a point. Sparklers aren’t nearly as fun during daylight hours.