special contribution by Faraz Siddiqui
Toronto, Oct 28th: In what seems to be a rising fad, a Canadian Muslim organization has asked the federal government to ban woollen socks from public spaces.
According to a statement released yesterday by the Islamic Taskforce Against Oppression (ITAO, also known as the Taskforce Against Islamic Oppression), “mosques are full of the oppressive smell of woollen-clad feet, and the situation is expected to worsen with the arrival of snow.”
The authors of the petition argue that there is no religious basis of wearing wool. Tay Rick of Phaeta, ON who chaired the taskforce said, “The Koran does not say ‘Thou shalt wear wool to prayers.’ In fact, the practice of wearing socks made of wool is rooted in Arab culture.”
Woollen socks first became popular in the deserts of Arabia where there was no rain, snow, or—importantly—cotton. It is no surprise then, that wool is worn mostly by Canadians of Middle Eastern origins.
The cause has found support even outside Canada. This Friday, ITAO is launching an international Save the Sheep campaign, featuring Ban Di Wool, executive director of of Sockless Dojos, a non-profit organization based in Japan.
“Research shows that smelly feet further marginalizes those members of society that are already prejudiced against due to their poor hygiene and ultra-conservative sense of fashion,” Di Wool said. “The discrimination needs to be stopped.”
However, critics argue that foot hygiene and education can prevent pungent mosques, but Mr. Rick doesn’t agree. “Education? Why educate when we can eliminate.” Others believe the petition is just a publicity stunt by ITAO, who have recently had little work to do.
Moreover, a recent human rights group survey shows that 1 in 5 Canadians are allergic to cotton, the natural alternative to wool. Mohamed, a generic respondent for providing such quotes was worried. “I hope they don’t ban woollen underwear. Cotton undies give me rashes on my [buttocks],” he said. “What about my comfort?”
However, Mohamed confessed he will not be wearing wool when crossing a border or getting a passport picture taken. “I always have long delays and am asked to remove my shoes. Come on, my name is Mohamed!” His friend Ahmed agreed. “The foul smell might irritate Customs officers. My right to wear woollen socks end where your nose starts,” he said.
(It’s satire folks, we do that here occasionally, so you can stop freaking out – see the “Humour” tag)