[Ads-l] Arabic Pledge of Allegiance brings protests

Baron, Dennis E debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Wed Mar 25 03:09:16 UTC 2015

There’s a new post on the Web of Language:

Arabic Pledge of Allegiance brings protests

To celebrate Foreign Language Week, established by proclamation<http://www.nysaflt.org/advocacy/docs/nflw_proclamation_2015.pdf> by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “highlight programs that encourage American youth to broaden their horizons...and understand and communicate with people of other nationalities and nations,” a student at Pine Bush High School in upstate New York recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic over the school’s PA system during morning announcements. Students immediately protested<http://www.recordonline.com/article/20150318/NEWS/150319327>, and the school superintendent received “complaints from district residents who had lost family members in Afghanistan and from Jewish parents who were equally outraged by the reading” (the school had been sued in 2013 for antisemitism). FoxNews<http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/20/one-nation-under-allah-fury-after-school-recites-pledge-in-arabic/> headlined their report of the story, “One nation under Allah.”

Responding to the furor, Pine Bush High School immediately canceled Foreign Language Week and ditched plans to have the Pledge recited in Japanese, Spanish, or Klingon. From now on, Pine Bush will only pledge in English, and it will only celebrate Foreign Language Week in English. After all, English is a foreign language in North America.

Read the whole post on the Web of Language: http://bit.ly/1EFcxdt

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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