The Publix grocery chain is being criticized by the Right, over a free 2010 calendar it distributed over the last few weeks. Yes, that’s right … people are up in arms over — get this! — a freebie giveaway! (Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth!) You see, Publix dared include on it the Islamic New Year — which changes days, but in 2010 happens to be on December 7 — and also failed to note that day is the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. The South Florida Sun Sentinel tells the story (WebCite cached article) of this nefarious conspiracy to force Islam on freedom-loving Americans everywhere:

Responding to customers’ complaints, Publix has stopped distributing a free 2010 calendar that marked Dec. 7 as the start of the Islamic New Year but excluded the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Joyce Kaufman, whose radio talk show on WFTL-AM 850 is broadcast from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach counties, criticized the supermarket chain on her show Wednesday, saying the company failed to include Pearl Harbor in a calendar that it had widely provided at supermarkets in recent weeks.

Kaufman, a Coconut Creek resident, said omitting the Pearl Harbor anniversary would disappoint World War II veterans. She told the Sun Sentinel she also considers some Muslims — only those who are “radical and want to destroy Western civilization” — as enemies of the United States.

There is, of course, a mundane, non-conspiratorial explanation for this dastardly deed. But I doubt Kaufman or her sanctimonious legions are interested in hearing it:

Since 2005, Publix has provided the free calendar, which has only marked holidays, including Independence Day and Veterans Day, [Publix spokeswoman Kimberly] Jaeger said.

The calendar also features holidays celebrated overseas, such as Puerto Rico Commonwealth Constitution Day and Haitian Flag Day.

Still, the calendar always has excluded days of observance and remembrance, including Pearl Harbor, “due to the number of holidays in a calendar year,” Jaeger said.

Meanwhile, the date of the Islamic New Year varies each year, she said. In 2010, it “happens to fall on Dec. 7,” Jaeger said.

The reasoning behind this holiday-inclusion scheme is pretty obvious: Publix lists special days that people might — just might! — celebrate with a party or some other gathering. Independence and commonwealth days are exactly the kind of thing they’d want their customers to know about since they’d like their customers to plan purchases around them. Same goes for Islamic New Year; since many Islamic holidays involve dietary restrictions, Publix’s Muslim customers would want to know about it and plan for it. Remembrance days, on the other hand, are not “celebrated” in the same way … not by hosting parties, or by following religious dietary codes. I doubt, for example, that people are going to buy deli platters or stuff their coolers with beer, for Pearl Harbor Day. Reality is, those kinds of days don’t involve purchases one may make at Publix.

In any event, it looks as if the chain used publicly-available calendar databases. And most of those do not list Pearl Harbor Day; for example, Google Calendar does not include it.

As for Kaufman’s implication — which she did not state overtly, but the suggestion is clearly there — that Muslims tend toward being “enemies” of “Western civilization,” she is correct: some of them clearly are. But so too are some Christians and even some Jews. Should we, therefore, leave Easter and Rosh Hashana off our calendars, too? Of course not.

In any event, this episode of fake outrage has resulted in Publix yanking the calendar altogether, thus preventing some from getting this thoughtful handout. Way to go, Ms Kaufman, and your hyperreligious legions. You managed, in your misplaced fury, to ruin something nice, for the rest of south Florida. For shame.

Hat tip: Snopes.

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