Reaching for their revolver
In a time when willfully ignorant people seem to wish us into endless war with Islamic countries, one might think that what we need right now in America is a greater understanding of both Arabic language and Islamic culture.
One might think so.
One would evidently be wrong:
On the July 25 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity previewed a discussion of plans to operate an Arabic language and culture school in Brooklyn, New York, by saying that "if you live in New York City, guess what? Your tax dollars could be going to fund a madrassa," and that "the city that fell victim to the biggest terrorist attack in world history challenges the separation of church and state and using tax dollars to fund an all-Muslim school."
Opposition to the school is being led, evidently, by a group called Stop the Madrassa Coalition, on the surface a group of New York citizens concerned over the lack of feedback they've gotten from the NYC Department of Education over the school opening, but are in fact, well, yet another bunch of wingnuts who've decided that anything associated with TEH EVYL MOSLIBOLSHIFASCHONAZIS must be part of a plot against our precious bodily fluids:
To date, despite numerous requests, the City has provided no explanation to members of the coalition or the public at large about the precise nature of the curricula, the text books that will be used, the publishers of those texts, or the lesson plans. Further, no one from the City has provided information about the selection process of the teachers for the “Arabic” and “Middle Eastern” subjects, whether they will be certified, and if not, how they will be effectively supervised. We demand to know why.
'Cause, you know, if someone from DHS isn't monitoring those classes constantly, next thing you know they'll be full of shreiking ululating jihadi fanatics learning how to strap bombs to themselves. 'Cause that's what "madrasa" MEANS, y'know.
(Actually, it doesn't. It merely means "school". Nothing more, nothing less. Don't tell 'em "talib" is the word for "teacher"!
Then again maybe we should before the school opens, so when the fink from DHS DOES hang around outside the class door and hears the word, people don't jump to stupid conclusions.
Then again, I think we're way beyond that point these days.)
Of course, bless their lil' paranoid hearts, they see nothing wrong with learning Arabic, at least, if it's FOR THE RIGHT REASONS:
We may want to learn Arabic, and to have our children learn it, for patriotic reasons first - to defend the country as a soldier, to help in diplomacy but never appeasement, to reach out to apostates and reform Muslims under siege by extreme Islamists in the U.S. and abroad, to help Arabic Christians and Sephardic Jews who are persecuted in their nations or as refugees.
So it's okay to learn enough Arabic to say "Stop, Hadji!" and "End your nuclear program NOW", and I guess to read the Koran to pick out the parts that reinforce your dismal view of Islam, but any more than that and you're in serious danger of contamination! Arabic should be handled like Ebola virus, I guess - in carefully controlled secure environments, by experts.
One might well ask, where are they getting their information from? And, inevitably, the Routine Suspects pop up like weevils in batter:
Our citizens coalition continues to investigate and protest the school by all possible means, including our New York City chapters of the United American Committee, NY-ICE, Gathering of Eagles, the Center for Vigilant Freedom, and a wide variety of neighborhood groups, online forums and individuals.
The "United American Committee" is a "anti-jihadi" fear group who, for example, want to keep al-Jazeera from broadcasting in English (way to "monitor our enemies", guys - let's not know what the Arab world has to say about us! Better to get it from MEMRI, I guess. Ebola and all that, remember), "NY-ICE" is yet another immigrant paranoia group who welcomes the Minutemen and protested in front of a Socialist bookstore in Manhattan "to bring illegal alien supporters out of the shadows" (what the one has to do with the other I dunno, but whatever floats your boat, folks), "Gathering of Eagles" is the dozen or so wingnuts who show up at anti-war rallies and accuse liberals of treason, and the Center for Vigilant Freedom (they MUST stay up all night thinking up these names!) are part of the "910 Group", which features geenyouses like the folks over at Gates of
VaginaBacon & Playdoh who fight the good fight by fretting over streets named after Islamists and printing REALLY BAD drawings.
And as far as the blogs go?
We were also supported in this fight by many well-known blogs such as KesherTalk, Jillosophy and AtlasShrugs amongst many others.
Um, let's see - that's one right-wing Likudnik-type, somebody-or-other ("well-known"? Is this some strange definition of that phrase I've never encountered before?), and the shining star, the wingnut crown jewel herself, Blogs-While-Soused. Whee!
Thank god luminaries like that are protecting us all from the threat of learning about Islamic culture (like, for example, a holiday where you're expected to give to the poor! How crazy and anti-American is THAT?) and that "qaratu" means "I read".