Every relationship, romantic or platonic, has to have two crucial ingredients: respect and boundaries. What may seem funny to one person doesn't necessarily mean it will make a good joke.
In this case, the joke never existed; rather, it was pure ignorance.
A Reddit user whose nickname is Ileriatis was raised as a Turkish Muslim. His situation is not unique, but it doesn't make it any less hurtful.
Ileriatis explained his story in the subreddit AITA (Am I The A**hole) and asked other users of this platform if he should leave his boyfriend once he played a "joke" on Ileriatis by giving him pork on his birthday.
Tricked Into Eating Pork
Ileriatis explained that he was a progressive Muslim, while his boyfriend was an atheist. However, keep in mind that Ileriatis grew up under strict religious views, and he kept many of these beliefs. He did not give up his religion, and his boyfriend knew that.
The AITA community brought up some valuable questions and advice for the young man. It is clear that the boyfriend's sense of humor shows a lack of respect and clear ignorance.
What Is And What Is Not A Joke
As British stand-up comedian Ariane Sherine explained some time ago:
"Humor defuses a situation, so if you claim 'oh, it's only a joke, I didn't mean it, then it often acts as a kind of mitigating factor. But of course, racist jokes are harmful and offensive."
Ariane used the late British comic Bernard Manning as an example. The comic used to say, 'I'm not racist, I make jokes about everyone." As Ariane pointed out:
"If your jokes incite racial hatred, they aren't jokes."
And clearly, it does not only stand for racism, but for religious, sexual or any other beliefs.
For the Muslim community, pork is unhealthy and impure food. The Holy Quran forbids it unless people are actually starving to death and there is nothing else to eat.
Just because the boyfriend thought it was a joke, it still was offensive, insensitive, and selfish, in the best-case scenario.
Reddit Stands With Ileriatis
The users of Reddit firmly agreed that the boyfriend was way out of line. Here are the top rated comments:
What Would You Do?
First, there are some rules every single person should be aware of.
Giving a person who was raised in a Muslim community pork is not a joke. It is even cruel.
Yes, there are several versions of Christianity, so major holidays do not fall on the same date. Case in point Christmas and Easter.
People who are of Hindu religion do not eat beef.
You can be an atheist without being a--hole. You should demand respect for your views on religion and give the same thoughtfulness to others.
Of course, we tend to make mistakes, but that's not the same as treating someone's religion as a prank.
What would you advise Ileriatis? Should he even bother explaining to his boyfriend that he clearly insulted not just him but the whole religion? Or would you pack your bags and leave?