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Reader comment on item: Arabist Snobs
in response to reader comment: Your are proof of the Title of this article, Arabist Snobs

Submitted by Amin Riaz (United Kingdom), Nov 29, 2011 at 22:25

Rather than wasting time ... effort .... and lines on petty insults. And again baseless opinions - it would have been more worthwhile to attack on what I said.... again its a logical fallacy to attack the person first to qualify as an attack on what they've said.

You write some of the most ignorant rubbish about Arabic and that makes me an Arabist snob? Wow!

Your original premise was quality of Arabic language - yet you made baseless remarks that no academic you could bring up shares those views. Even like of Robert Spencer or Dr Pipes. Hell I have not even heard likes of Pamela Geller denounce Arabic! And that is something.... then again.... probably not.

In this long comment - rather than able to defend that view point - you have simply gone onto berate the Arab World. The two are completely different arguments.

Well with the exception of Syria, all Universities in Arabic speaking countries use keep textbooks in universities in their original langauges. for example, in almost every arabic university, medicine, engineering, sciences...etc are taught in their original books in English or French.

Again ... how do you know this? Any sources? Baseless rubbish. Huge amount of textbooks are produced by West that is true. But I know for a fact King Saud (easily the best uni of Muslim World) uses both. There are countless medicine, engineering, and etc textbooks in Arabic. I know also American University in Egypt uses both. UAE uni's use both. Unlike you I have first hand experience.

Can you tell me the Arabic word for lazer ? Is there an Arabic word for microchip? What is the Arabic word for FACTAL? Do you even know what a factal is? If Arabic countries cannot get their Universities to teach complicated concepts in Arabic there must be a reason! Well Amin Riaz ?

First the word are laser and fractal (but I forgive you the typos)... The word for laser is الازر - word for fractal is كسوريه the word for microchip is رقاقة ..... but what does this prove? Even you would have managed to find these....

Your whole claim that - find me credible Western scholars supporting your woefully ignorant claims.

Urdu (one of my native language) is considered a far weaker language than Arabic - EVEN IT HAS WORD ALL THESE!


I think that shows whó's comments are baseless? Lazer? Well Amin Riaz? I guess you are the flint knapper here, saying how 1000 years ago Arabic was very advanced, THAT WAS 1000 YEARS AGO! That was my point. Your said Arabic was the language that conveyed Science and Philosophy to the West. Likes of Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Sina Ibn Rushd Facts Amin state some current facts, for example, there are only 8 Muslims who have ever won Nobel prizes in Sciences and the Arts, ever!

Now you are changing your argument ..... one does not correlate the other. Arabic as language is a different proposition than state of Arabia. There is not even argument there - Arab world massively lags behind West - when it comes to Science and Technology... but there is hope - Like of Saudi have got money to invest in Uni's - $2billion in just one.

Current regime changes bode well for future.

When I was at college (age 16-18) they used told us in computing like of India and China will never catch up... less than 20yrs Chinese is fast making a nationally taught language. India produce more computer grads than even China.

As fars as in Arts - Nobel prizes are political - else explain to me Faiz Ahmed Faiz was never given a Nobel prize? If Muslim World emerges - it would create its won prize systems. Not simply run after West....

So rather than justifying your ignorance you added to it. And your comments do remain as baseless as ever. Where are the stats the professional opinion and etc.... Not more of your


Rather than providing evidence for what you said previously - you have proceeded decry the Muslim World. The two are different arguments.

Out of 320 million Arabic speakers only 8 Nobel prizes for arts and sciences and only 3 universities in the top 100, 50% of Arabic speaking women are illiterate, DO I REALLY NEED TO GO ON AMIN? The Arabic speaking world on any measure or statistical survey I can find anywhere rates poorly when it comes to education. Amin I ask you where is there any support the Arabic speaking world is highly, or even moderately well educated? I cannot find any, maybe you can.

Again you fail to provide any source for your figures.... why? Second the state of Arab world and Arabic as a language are two different propositions. What has that got to do with language?

Nations rise and falls. I come from Indian background - just 50 yrs ago we shook off British rule. They used to say the sun does not set on the British Empire. Well it did. And India is a rising economic power.

I am not cherry picking facts and figures, I am trying to find any measure that shows Arabic supports and conveys complicated ideas efficiently. I cannot, that is why Universities do not use it for modern science.

Again ... where are you source? Without them baseless comments. You made the whole drivel up.

The did not used to - but that has changed. They did not used to because they never had the books. Even a really poor country like Bangladesh has began to have its own textbooks at university levels. You have trouble making the distinction between the language and people.

And one thing most Arab countries still have is plenty of oil money.

And you have not so far in your comments - given a SINGLE source for the quality of Arabic language. You went off on tangent to criticise the state of the Arab world - 2 different things.

Even Arabic Universities do not use it. you say Any evidence? Before the British rule took over Islam was the last empire - its influence reaching Mughal India, Europe, Africa and Far east Asia and Russia. I ask you the same question? Are you saying the Ottoman Empire was the last great Empire before the British? Ever heard of the Spanish Empire? The Russian Empire? The Dutch? The French? The Austro-Hungarian Empire, The Chinese Empire. The Ottoman Empire was nothing special.

Again no source whatsoever. And you are completely against history.

"Spanish Empire? The Russian Empire? The Dutch? The French? The Austro-Hungarian Empire, The Chinese Empire."

Like of Spanish Russian Dutch French - were not big in comparison to the British or Ottoman Empire. It was the last great empire before the British. When did u last hear of a far reaching Chinese Empire?

Blatant ignorance of history - you don't know what you are talking about.

think you lack of judgement and myopic views clearly show how limited you are in your Arabic thought.

Again a baseless personal attack.

my response On IkhwanWeb, Al Aswany is quoted as saying "I sold 160,000 in France alone in one year." However, Jraissati says, these are the exceptions. "Sales numbers commonly range from 500 to 2,000 copies in markets like France…." In France—a high-translating country—the most-translated languages are: English (62%), Japanese (8.3%), German (6.2%), Italian (4.3%), and Spanish (4.0%). About 0.9% of the titles translated are from Dutch authors, which is equivalent, Jsraitti writes, to 83 titles. In comparison, the number of Arabic titles translated per year can generously be estimated to a maximum of 20. …the Arab market is completely opaque, and publishers have no means to evaluate a book: Who is the author and what is the importance of an author in the Arab cultural landscape? What is the extent of his impact on the local press? How many copies has a book sold in its market of origin? How does it compare to other sales? How original or literary is its content and language compared to other books?

Again you based whole opinion on someone's personal blog. What your source said is: "Still, for all that, the number of Arabic titles translated into English is relatively high."

And you magicked up the number 20! - based on what?


As I said, if modern Arabic Literature was any good people would read it. You still just do not understand do you? You again ask for evidence and again I have supplied Amin, are you still holding your positions that I am the one who is uninformed?

Sorry what evidence? No you haven't - all you have given is ONE link so far - even to that you twisted it suit ur own reasoning.

India produces the most films - they are VIRTUALLY all consumed by its own people. Does that make Indian Cinema a success or a failure? There is life beyond West.

Again how do you know - no one is reading Arabic literature? And you failed to answer ... why then is it virtually all TOP Western universities have Middle Eastern Departments. You will find more Middle Eastern departments than Chinese, Hindi, African or Russian departments.

I would like to see some evidence for you outlandish and obviously ignorant claims as to the effectiveness of sophistication of Arabic. Again you say Unlike any other religious book I am aware of Quran emphasized its language. It claimed to be marvel of Arabic. It may be a marvel of Arabic, but again I say that is not setting the bar too high.

Not setting the bar high? Yet you will have trouble find one single book that because of its language it has carried the amount of influence Quran has.

You shows ignorance of whole field of Linguistics.

This is the site of Dr Daniel Pipes - show me one comment of his that decries the Arabic language? It was your claim that Arabic is a weak language - the onus was upon you to provide evidence for your point of view. Yet you have failed to mention single academic, scholar, expert.

But evidence:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_language - make this a start - you need the basics.

SIBWAYHI - MG Carter. Edward Lane, Bernard Lewis on Arabic, A. Lockett, Professor Bernard G. Weiss, Wolfdietrich Fischer, A M Schimmel, Claude Addas, J Wansburgh, de Saussure and etc...

Put in a bit of leg work - you need it, the above is a list I though about. Just so that by reading the name Chomsky - you wont decry the full list.

Whatever else Chomsky and his politics maybe. No one can argue against his position on Linguistics.

The Quran contradicts itself and I can site numerous references that nearly 20% of it does not make any sense even when read in Arabic.

And I have read EVERY single one of them ... and the one you have not even come across. If you could have mentioned references you would have. No - I don't mean the OBVIOLY biased works of answering-islam that has no basis in academic scholarship. Also the word is "cite" - no offense but your English is patchy.

The limitations of Arabic to convey complex ideas and meanings is why Muslims are so misunderstood, its because even Muslims do not understand what they believe in! you said Try naming me some of these modern concepts that do not not have Arabic words.

huh? there are no modern concepts that do not have names in Arabic. Else you name them?

Technology is the foremost - but Arabic has classical depths, range of language - that even in technology Arabic uses its own words. Again lazer, not that modern, but necessary. Try and find a copy of an arabic book on relativity ! you say Unlike the Bible - Arabic has always resisted translation. As it was and is an Arabic book. Conveyed in its original form.

You have mixed my words with yours - without distinction. It makes for a difficult reading. Trouble formatting? I have found Arabic books on Relativity... and?

Like I said they claimed to be a linguistic marvel. It resisted translations because it does not make sense. Claimed by who? Are you a member of the flint knappers association? They all claim flint tools are superior to stainless steel and can site many reasons why. However, the rest of the human population use stainless steel I think I have adequately demonstrated that the rest of the world do not read the Arab Classics because they are not very good.

You don't not even know who "they" are - yet you have an opinion. THAT IS WHAT YOU CALL IGNORANCE.

Again the whole Europe has read Arabic Classic. As it was Arab civilization its science technology and philosophy that lay basis for West?

Oh just try reading Professor William Lane Craig - and why he is using Kalam?

Heck! You are even on a site that discusses the Arab WOrld!

I also have shown that even the few Arabic Universities do not bother to try and teach the sciences in Arabic because it is not capable of conveying modern concepts.

Again no you did not - you simply have made a baseless claim and stuck to it. Else give me references?

The facts as to levels of Arabic speaking peoples lack of education I leave you to disprove. As to the value of Arabic as a modern language 320 million people in the world speak Arabic.

550 million speak English as a first language 720 million speak English as a second language and 1 in 4 people in the world speak some English.

And this meant to show? Chinese and Hindi/Urdu has more speakers - what does that show? And where did you get those stats?

98.3% of the worlds total knowledge is recorded, translated to or originated in English. 89.5% of the worlds total written knowledge has been translated to or originated in French Less than 4% of the worlds total written knowledge is recorded in Arabic.

Again references? Else this is a baseless claim again.

So Amin Riaz, you have demonstrated your lack of understanding of Arabic and its shortcomings.

How have I demonstrated my lack of Arabic? It is you unlike me who do not understand that language.... that has not changed or neither have you made any claims to the contrary that you speak Arabic.

And as I can see - you failed to answer why is it that English relies other languages to form scientific words - or that french has to go all out to protect itself?

Yet any Latin or Greek based words you can come up - with I will find you similar words in Arabic alone.

I think that proving how silly you are was a very easy exercise that I undertook to show that just because a person is not an expert on a particular subject, it does not mean that they cannot evaluate the subject matter. You are the expert flint knapper, I am the average person who recognizes that a steel knife works much better.

Aha .... You need a doctor next time go to lawyer .... same difference - given your logic! All you have shown is once when Bush was asked to describe the White House by school children. He said its White!


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