Archive for the ‘Misconception’ Category

Politically Correct Racism – Please use the correct term to offend me   Leave a comment

Several weeks ago someone called me an Arab. Now, some people may call this individual ignorant, others may label him as illiterate, dumb, racist, a few may even call him intelligent, smart and observant since he was basing the comment purely on the fact that I told him that my parents were born in India and I spent my teenage years in Pakistan. Mind you, I am not offended by that comment. I’m just left very curious. What led him to believe that people with affiliations to India and Pakistan are Arab? I could blame the Fox News Network, his 5th(9th?) grade geography teacher or the fact that the US has not officially gone to war with either of those countries in his lifetime, hence he does not know that they are well over 1000 miles away from the land of the Arabs.

Whatever the case may be, I am almost resigned to the fact that the majority of Americans will see me as an Arab. The stigma that is attached with the connotation of being an Arab in the USA is … well, it just plain sucks. Supposedly, they are the ones that felled the Twin Towers (They mention “The Arabs…”), they are the ones that control the majority of the oil reserves in the world, they treat their women with disrespect and fight the Holy War against the West. These allegations stem from one other bit of information that I would have to characterize with the “mis” prefix (thus calling it misinformation). This bit of misinformation being that Arab and Muslim are synonymous; being a follower of the Islamic faith would automatically make you an Arab. This, in my opinion, is one of the most widely accepted falsisms in the Western world.

The word Arab means someone of Arabic descent, someone who hails from Saudi Arabia, Palestine, the United Arab Emirates or more generally the middle east and Arabian Peninsula. Basically being an Arab can be perceived as pertaining to a specific culture wherein those people speak the Arabic language. Most Arabs will agree that the language, and not the religion, is what gives them a common ground. A Muslim, on the other hand, is someone who practices or follows the Islamic religion. All Arabs are not Muslims and all Muslims are not Arabs. Actually, about 7-10 percent of Arabs are actually Arab Christians; yes, Christians that are Arabs, now how does that fit into Anne Coulter‘s view of  “the government should be spying on all Arabs” – I believe she means to say Muslims, not Arabs. What about the Rabbi who wanted all the Arabs killed (and their cattle?), does that include all the Arab Jews too?

Seriously, American Media, if you are going to be teach your citizens to be prejudiced, please use the correct terminology and persecute people’s religion and not their culture.


Posted September 6, 2010 by Adnan Iftekhar in Brown Men, Misconception, Muslim, Religion