Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Is it too hard for Muslims to demand that their children learn Arabic?

Greetings.

Jewish date:  10 ’Adhar 5770 (Parashath Teṣawweh).

Today’s holidays:  Wednesday of the First Week of Lent (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of Charles Stansfeld Jones (Thelema), 1st and 2nd finding of the Head of the Forerunner (Greek Orthodox Christianity).

Topic 1:  Questions of language show up again.  “U.S. mosques debate using English for sermons” discusses problems Muslims in the US are having at mosques because many of the younger generation do not know Arabic and thus cannot understand Arabic sermons and prayers.  The solution discussed is introducing English into sermons.  Not discussed is the fact that people who do not know Arabic cannot understand their own prayers in Arabic or essential Islamic literature in Arabic.  Such people can only know what anything in Arabic says through translation, essentially putting them at the mercy of Arabic-speakers.  Keep in mind that translations, as I have repeatedly noted in this blog, can distort the meaning of the original, so using English is at best only a short-term solution.  Better would be for Musilms to promote the learning of Arabic.

Translation to explain Episcopal tenets in Hmong” deals with the same basic problem but with a difference:  while the younger generation of American Hmong-speaking Epicopalians knows the critical language of Anglicanism/Epicopalianism, English, older Hmong Episcopalians often do not know English.  Since the older people are, the harder it usually is for them to learn a language—though the situation is definitely not hopeless—this has led to a need for Hmong-language Anglican materials.  Interestingly, apparently for some of the younger Hmong Episcopalians, learning Hmong in church is a way of connecting with Hmong culture.

Topic 2:  The daily dose of anti-Semitism (yeah, I know:  often it seems like the proverbial broken record):  “Israel adds West Bank shrines to heritage list”.  To make a long story short:  Israel has declared the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Raḥel’s Tomb to be national heritage sites.  The “Palestinian Authority”, ever supporting Islamic anti-Semitic propaganda which denies solid historical and archaeological evidence that Jews have a long history in Israel, declares that this move will derail the “peace process”.  Keep in mind that the Islamic notion of the “peace process” is that Israel has to make concessions while the Arabs can do whatever they want, whether or not it actually advances an actual peace.  Such a “peace process” is not in Israel’s—or humanity’s—best interests, so I encourage Israel to do whatever it can to keep the “peace process” derailed until the Arabs start making concessions to create a real peace.

Topic 3:  For today’s religious humor, another essentialist LOLcat picture:  “sum born gud”:
funny pictures
Anyone who knows of a genuinely evil baby, please let me know.

Peace.

Aaron
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