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The Bogus Tale of The British Flag Lapel Pin and the Rude Muslim Woman in the Checkout Queue


Outline

Message tells the story of how a Muslim woman in a British supermarket checkout queue was taken to task and put in her place by an elderly shopper after she made critical remarks about the cashier's British flag lapel pin and the UK's military involvement in Afghanistan.

British flag lapel
© Depositphotos.com/ panama555

Brief Analysis

The message is just a UK based mutation of earlier - and almost identical - messages set in Australia, the United States and Canada. Previous versions claimed that the woman was Iraqi and focused on involvement in the Iraq war rather than Afghanistan. Given that the first version of the message surfaced as far back as 2003, was set in the US and featured a different war, this British variant clearly does not relate a real incident.

Example

An incident occurred in a supermarket recently when the following was witnessed:

A Muslim woman dressed in a Burkha (black gown & face mask) was standing with her shopping in a queue at the checkout. When it was her turn to be served , and as she reached the cashier, she made a loud remark about the British Flag lapel pin which the female cashier was wearing on her blouse. The cashier reached.... ...............up and touched the pin and said, 'Yes , I always wear it proudly. My son serves abroad with the forces and I wear it for him.

The Muslim woman then asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing and killing her countrymen explaining that she was Afghani. At that point an elderly gentleman standing in the queue stepped forward and interrupted with a calm, gentle voice, and said to the Afghani woman:

'Excuse me, but hundreds of thousands of British men and women, just like this lady's son, have fought and sacrificed their lives so that people just like YOU can stand here in Britain, which is OUR country and allow you to blatantly accuse an innocent check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen. It is my belief that if you were allowed to be as outspoken as that in Afghan, which you claim to be YOUR country, then we wouldn't need to be fighting there today. However, now that you have learned how to speak out and criticize the British people who have afforded you the protection of OUR country, I will gladly pay the cost of a ticket to help you pay your way back to Afghan. When you get there and if you manage to survive for being as outspoken as what you are here in Britain, then you should be able to help straighten out the mess which YOUR Afghani countrymen have got you into in the first place, which appears to be the reason that you have come to OUR country to avoid'.

Apparently, the queue cheered and applauded.

IF YOU AGREE.... Pass this on to all of your proud British and other worldly friends.... I just did !!!! It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. It's also nice to be British!

Detailed Analysis

This widely circulated message tells the tale of an incident in a British supermarket in which an Afghan woman in a Burkha made critical and inflammatory comments to a cashier who was wearing a British Flag lapel pin in allegiance to her  soldier son who was serving overseas. The story claims that an elderly gentleman waiting in the checkout line, calmly but firmly reprimanded the Muslim woman for her comments, pointedly reminding her that it was because of the sacrifice of many British soldiers that she enjoyed the freedom to make such critical comments in public. According to the message, he even offered to help pay her way back to Afghanistan so that she could help straighten out the mess there.

The message calls on the recipient to send the story on to other proud British and "other worldly" friends.

However, the message, while perhaps entertaining to some, does not relate a real incident. In fact, the message is copied almost word for word from a much earlier version set in the United States. This version moves the incident to a British rather than an American supermarket, switches the nationality of the Muslim woman from Iraqi to Afghani, and changes the criticized conflict from Iraq to Afghanistan. Otherwise, the two versions are almost identical, as revealed by the US example below:

A Muslim woman dressed in a Burkha (A black gown & face mask) was standing with her shopping in a queue at the checkout.

When it was her turn to be served, and as she reached the cashier, she made a loud remark about the American Flag lapel pin, which the female cashier was wearing on her blouse.

The cashier reached up and touched the pin and said, “Yes, I always wear it proudly. My son serves abroad with the forces and I wear it for him”.

The Muslim woman then asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing and killing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi.

At that point, a Gentleman standing in the queue stepped forward, and interrupted with a calm and gentle voice, and said to the Iraqi woman:

“Excuse me, but hundreds of thousands of men and women, just like this ladies son have fought and sacrificed their lives so that people just like YOU can stand here, in America, which is MY country and allow you to blatantly accuse an innocent check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen”.

“It is my belief that if you were allowed to be as outspoken as that in Iraq, which you claim to be YOUR country, then we wouldn’t need to be fighting there today”.

“However – now that you have learned how to speak out and criticise the American people who have afforded you the protection of MY country, I will gladly pay the cost of a ticket to help you pay your way back to Iraq”.

“When you get there, and if you manage to survive for being as outspoken as you are here in America, then you should be able to help straighten out the mess which YOUR Iraqi countrymen have got you into in the first place, which appears to be the reason that you have come to MY country to avoid.”

Apparently the queue cheered and applauded.


Moreover, another almost identical version is set in Australia. And yet another resets the location to Canada.

The US variant first appeared around 2003. No versions have included any verifiable details, so it is impossible to tell if even the original US message actually related a real incident or was just a fictional tale contrived to drive home a particular world view. Whatever the veracity of the original, it is clear that the British variant was purposely adapted from earlier US or Australian examples and does not describe any real British based encounter.




Last updated: April 8, 2013
First published: April 8, 2013
Written by Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer


References
Australian Flag Lapel Pin Story - Response to Muslim Woman's Checkout Criticism








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