Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Happy Country

The Happy Map
A group of academics at Leicester University, have managed to attract headlines with a "happy map". It's meant to tell us which countries are "happy"

It doesn't mean much. I tried hard to find the details of the researcher's methodology - but it's been buried somewhere beyond the reach of inquiring minds.

What IS amusing about the "happy map" is that Denmark comes out on top with a score of 273. Australia scored 243 and the U.S 247.

Denmark? I can't believe it. I'd just finished reading about the "Happy Map" when I came across an article about Muslim scarves and the Danes. A Veiled Threat.

Apparently a beauty pageant and a proposed law have Danes locking horns over one potent symbol of Islam: the headscarf. Virtually all sides of the political spectrum in the happiest country in the world are up in arms over Denmark's first "Miss Headscarf" pageant.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Liberal Party sees the competition as anti-democratic and woman-hostile.

Many imams have criticised the pageant as disrespectful to Denmark's 200,000 Muslims. Scarves are OK, but wearing them in pageants is not.

And all this follows on from a nationwide debate over whether judges should be allowed to sit on the bench while wearing the headscarf, or hijab. The fact that there are no female Muslim judges in Denmark, and in fact there are not even any on the horizon, is beyond the point ...

The best comment came from Liberal Party MP Eyvind Vesselbo. "Muslims feel yet again that they are being trampled on, that they are not welcome, that they are not liked," he said, insisting that delaying integration "goes against the interests of society".

Now I'm not a great supporter of beauty pageants, head-scarved or non head-unscarved. But surely Mr. Vesselbo, integration is not best served by advocating non-integration.

But forget the spoil-sports, Huda Falah (the WINNER). I hope you got a good prize. And it's a great scarf.

And what about Miss Hot Legs - Nigeria, Miss Motor Pageant Italy and Miss Nude Australia.

My favorite though is

Now that's what I call, HAPPY!

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