A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Threat of the Arabic Language, or the Crime of Flying While Arab

Okay, since we still have no clue who bombed the Boston Marathon, and despite the fact that it was US tax day and close to the anniversaries of the Oklahoma City bombings and the Waco siege, iconic anniversaries to the local homegrown American fascist wannabes, many Americans are deciding to blame the default villain, Arabs/Muslims. To the point that an American Airlines flight returned to the gaate when passengers freaked because two passengers were (gasp!) speaking Arabic!

(I don't want to add to the xenophobia. but Monday was Kim Il-sung's 101st birthday, and the North Koreans keep threatening to nuke us. Why not freak out if you see someone eating bulgogi and kimchi or listening to K-Pop music?) (NO: Please don't.)

The New York Yankees have put up a Boston Red Sox logo on Yankee Stadium and the country is full of solidarity with Boston, which I share and encourage. But let's also remind people speaking a foreign language is not a crime. We may all feel Bostonian today, but at the same time, Kullina natakallam al-‘Arabiyya.

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