This is political correctness gone mad.
A man in Austria was fined by a judge for yodeling while mowing his lawn because — get this — his Muslim neighbors were “offended.” They said the man’s yodeling was really a mocking mimicry of the Muslim call to prayer called muezzin, which if you recall, Obama had called “the prettiest sound in the world.”
As reported by Elad Benari of IsraelNationalNews on December 15, 2010, “Austria: Judge Rules That Yodeling Offends Muslims“:
It seems as though in Austria, the popular yodel is an insult to Muslims. An Austrian court has recently fined a citizen for yodeling while mowing his lawn, according to a report in The Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
The citizen, 63-year-old Helmut G., was told by the court that his yodeling offended his next-door Muslim neighbors, who accused him of trying to mock and imitate the call of the Muezzin.
In Muslim tradition, the Muezzin is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque’s minarets.
The yodel is a song which is sung with an extended note which rapidly and repeatedly changes in pitch and makes a high-low-high-low sound. Developed in the Central Alps as a method of communication between alpine mountaineers or between alpine villages, the yodel later became part of the region’s traditional lore and musical expression. The technique is used in many cultures throughout the world and Austria is one of the countries where it is most popular.
Unfortunately for Helmut G., his neighbors were in the middle of a prayer when he started to yodel. The Kronen Zeitung reported that he was fined 800 Euros after judges ruled that he could have tried to offend his neighbors and ridicule their belief.
Helmut G. clarified that “It was not my intention to imitate or insult them. I simply started to yodel a few tunes because I was in such a good mood.”
This is what Wikipedia says about yodel:
Yodeling…is a form of singing that involves singing an extended note which rapidly and repeatedly changes in pitch from the vocal or chest register (or “chest voice”) to the falsetto/head register; making a high-low-high-low sound…. In Alpine folk music, it was developed in the Central Alps as a method of communication between alpine mountaineers or between alpine villages, with this non-musical multi-pitched “yelling” later becoming part of the region’s traditional lore and musical expression.
Here’s what yodeling sounds like:
Here’s what muezzin sounds like:
Even if the man was yodeling to mock the Muezzin, so what? Since when is mocking someone against the law? Well, it is in Austria!
God help us.
H/t beloved fellow Will.
P.S. This story sounds so preposterous, I thought I should try to verify it. Well, there is an Austrian newspaper called Kronen Zeitung, and the story is verified by the German blog Kobuk!.