inclusionary religious term

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Thu Dec 2 19:13:22 UTC 1999

To be precise, neither "we" nor the Iranians are Indo-European; our
languages are (English and Persian/Farsi).  Therefore, the hostage-takers
might have been of any number of ethnicities.  Similarly, most (but not
necessarily all) Arabs speak Arabic (I'm careful to make this distinction
with my students), and of course not all Arabs or Arabic-speakers are Muslim.

At 09:45 PM 12/1/99 -0500, you wrote:
>On Wed, 1 Dec 1999 RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
> > Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> >
> > <<during the past century in the u.s., jews have become
> > "white" - and have gotten a kind of honorary christianity
> > as well, in references to "judeo-christian" values and
> > traditions - but arabs have not (at least not in folk
> > usage; the practices of official agencies like the census
> > bureau and the eoc are another matter).>>
> >
> > I have a friend in the Duke Religion Department who teaches courses on
> > Buddhism; he speaks (somewhat disdainfully?) of the
> > (hegemonic-in-his-Religion-Department) "Abrahamic tradition"--a cover term
> > for Moslems, Jews, and Christians (I'm not sure what place "Arabs" play
> in a
> > religious discussion, since being an "Arab" is not a necessary nor
> sufficient
> > condition for being a Moslem.
> >
>"People of the book" is the PR term for
>inclusive-Middle-Eastern-religions: while Arab is a linguistic label
>(which made the Iranian hostage situation difficult for us since the
>"arabs" were as Indo-European as we...) the overlap between
>Arabic-speaking and Muslim is enough for the
>one term to refer to the other.  The fact that most Muslims in the
>world are Indonesian or Malay doesn't seem to bother most people.  I
>think Arnold is playing with the entrancing book title "How the Irish
>Became White."  Cf. the Roy Cohn speech in "Angels in America" on the
>label "homosexual."
>David Bergdahl          Ellis Hall 366         Ohio University / Athens
>Associate Prof/English  tel:  (740) 593-2783   fax:  (740) 593-2818
>                         bergdahl at

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