Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sense(lessness) & (In)sensibility: a Dilemma

... fast on the tracks of the heinous banning of Piglet in Turkey and the role that tolerance & possible free will plays in our lives, I offer this little anecdote:

Last night I was invited out to dinner by an American colleague to meet some visiting family members. In total there were 10 of us, half of whom were Western, half Moroccan. I heard through the grapevine that one of her Muslim guests had specifically requested that the hostess ask all guests to abstain from ordering (and presumably drinking) alcohol. Reluctantly (I believe - or I at least hope), she agreed, and advised all but two of us.
Now, I was aware of her guest's sensibilities but technically, his views had not been conveyed to me by the hostess. In my mind, this was a loophole of sorts.

I would add that not only is Morocco not a dry country (apart from the desert) but that the restaurant where we dined was licensed. Were my rights not being trampled? Although I am a guest in his country, he was a guest at her table. Why was the wish of one individual given precedence over the rights of the majority - especially when our collective wish to have a cocktail or glass of wine was a legal act in a country which produces some fine wines (Morocco has its own Appellation Controllée system patterned on the French model and 2005 saw volume sales of wine rise to almost 38 million litres, a 4% from the previous year).

So dear reader, I ask you: what would you have done?

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