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Are we overreacting or misunderstanding the purpose of the school?

Reader comment on item: Stop the NYC Madrassa
in response to reader comment: Tolerance For Traitors?

Submitted by Sophia (United States), Aug 15, 2007 at 19:31

With respect to all, there is lot to be gained by studying Arab culture: art, music, food, dance, history, architecture - and much of that has been shared (and created by) Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews and also Christians and other minorities within the Islamic and Arab-speaking worlds.

I agree, the t-shirts were shocking and I was terribly disappointed to have learned of them.

But why are we assuming that learning about Arab language and culture is necessarily equivalent to creating a madrassah?

I would for myself, however, be more comfortable with a school that was, and openly stated as its purpose, teaching about "Middle Eastern" culture and languages, including Arabic but also Turkish, Hebrew, Persian, etc., because in fact the Middle East is rich and richly interwoven tapestry of many people, many languages, histories and narratives; many of its beauties have been created by minorities; and it's also very old, and this should be reflected in any school focused on such studies.

I'm curious what other people think about this?

Submitting....

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