[lg policy] Daphne, Alabama: These Parents Who Boycotted Their Kids' Arabic Classes Need An Education

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 5 14:40:26 UTC 2013


These Parents Who Boycotted Their Kids' Arabic Classes Need An Education

   - 2 days ago
   -

 Mic th29<http://www.policymic.com/articles/66269/these-parents-who-boycotted-their-kids-arabic-classes-need-an-education#comment-anchor>

 These Parents Who Boycotted Their Kids' Arabic Classes Need An Education

**Daphne High School in Daphne, Ala. will offer Arabic language classes
instead of French classes this fall. Some parents are outraged. They're
afraid their children will learn "the culture of
hate"<http://blog.al.com/live/2013/10/arabic_foreign_language_class.html>associated
with the Arabic language. According to Chuck Pyritz, a father of
two students who attend Daphne High School, "When you teach Arabic, you
have to teach the culture along with it. The culture is intertwined with
Islam."

It's unfortunate that in thispoint in time, people are still this ignorant.
First and foremost, Arabic is not exclusive to Islam and Muslims. Around
the world, both non-Muslims and Muslims speak Arabic as a first language.
Second, Islam is not a culture of hate. The word Islam is rooted from the
Arabic word *salam* which means peace. The values of peace, coexistence,
and tolerance are deeply embedded throughout the very foundation of the
religion and its associated cultures. This is not to say that there aren't
extremist Muslims in the world or that what they're doing isn't wrong, but
these people are simply representations of themselves and their respective
ideological groups. They do not speak for or act on behalf of the religion
of Islam or the entire global population of Muslims. The majority of the
Muslim world condemns acts of terrorism and extremism by any groups or
people, Muslim or not.

Parents expressed concern over whether the language course had any
"foundational value." One said, "This is America, and English is our
language … It is not just another language; it is a language of a religion
of hate. I'm concerned about our taxpayer dollars going to fund such a
program…" The United States does not have an official language. As so much
of U.S. foreign policy is focused on relations with Middle Eastern
countries, learning Arabic is extremely important to properly handle
foreign relations through diplomacy. It is far more relevant a language to
learn than French, at least right now.

The only cure for ignorance is education. It seems, however, that the
parents of Daphne High School students are averse to knowledge. At the very
least their feeble minds should be put at ease by the fact that learning a
language does not indoctrinate the associated culture. Learning Italian
does not make you more Italian. Learning Spanish does not make you more
Spanish. Learning Arabic does not make you more Arab, which, by the way, is
not a synonym for Muslim.
http://www.policymic.com/articles/66269/these-parents-who-boycotted-their-kids-arabic-classes-need-an-education


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