69 million page views

Get with the program Amin, the White House is actually white !!!

Reader comment on item: Arabist Snobs
in response to reader comment: The White House is White!

Submitted by Peter Hall (Australia), Dec 1, 2011 at 21:46

Well Amin Riaz, I hate to tell you this but, the white house is actually white!!

You make again many personal attacks of me, and then you get upset when I return the favour. However I will summarise what I said and the sources I use.

My original comment was that Arabic is a backward language that has not developed at the rate that other languages has due to the lack of demand placed upon it by the speakers of Arabic. The reason I surmise this is that lack of education amongst Arabic speakers, the lack of scientific progress of Arabic peoples, and the dumbing down of the Arabic speaking peoples and the predominant reason is Islam.

You respond with personal attacks, and cite how wonderful and sophisticated Arabic literature is, how sophisticated it is and how well educated the Arabic world is.

You then state how stupid I am, and that I know nothing and ask me for proof? You were not expecting a response were you??

You dispute my claim that only 8 Nobel prizes for science and the arts have been awarded to Arabic speaking people and or Muslims.

Well my dishonest critic, all you had to do was go the web and look up the many websites that list winners of Nobel prizes. You could easier see if I was right or wrong and refute what I claim? I am hardly using a source than any 5 year old can confirm or deny. You ask for sources, it's the Nobel Prize you silly man, that is my source!

You also say

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?

Now again you show you are trying to deflect my argument not refute. I did not make up the figure of 20 books it was from the article I used as a source material. If you had read the article you would of seen this not of my making. This article provides specific figures, the way to refute this is for you to provide alternative figures from someone you claim is a more reputable source. You are reverting to the flint knapping again. You ask my source when you are questioning my source? Now do I really need to explain the source I quote is my source?

Now you firstly ask where is my source, I provided my source, you have not provide any source to prove me or my source wrong, therefore by extension you are the one with a baseless argument, not me, I have provided my sources, where is yours?

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....

Well to be honest, he is not a poet of great world importance, maybe to Pakistanis he is great, but his work does not seem to have been reprinted nor translated into many languages and Pakistanis are fairly illiterate. I think he didn't get a Nobel Prize because he was not good enough, innovative enough or creative enough, does that answer your question?


I am primarily concerned with the sciences. The Nobel Peace prize and the Arts award are very Political, how else can you explain Arafat getting one? Yet out of the 1000s awarded for the sciences why so few Arabic speakers are even considered? It is because there is no significant contribution.

You said

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?

Well Amin, you keep asking for my sources, but then you make claims without quoting yours? Do you know there is a word for that it is called hypocrisy.

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

Please name the Arab classic you claim all of Europe has read and your source?

You also say

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.

Firstly, you act like a pompous xxx and correct my "cite", was that a OBVIOLY error? Hypocrite! You call my English patchy??? So you are a do as I say type of person not do as I do?

LOL, so you agree there are lots of sources, many not very credible, saying that 20% of the Qu'ran does not make sense even when read in Arabic. Now I ask you, where are the sources that are credible showing they are wrong? Where is your proof that 100% of the Quran is a marvel?

You also say

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?

Firstly, what it shows for example is yes there are more than double the people who speak Hindi/Urdu as a first language. But outside the people who speak Hindi/Urdu as a first language, how many people speak it as a second language. How many Americans for examples speak some Hindi/Urdu? How many Chinese People speak some Hindi/Urdu. You will find the numbers insignificant.

The reason why so many people around the world need some degree of English, is not that English is perfect in its structure. It is not that the most people in the world speak it as a first language. The reason is that English has had the greatest demands place upon it in the last 1000 years. The reason why is that due to these demands, English can do the most in conveying ideas and concepts. The vast bulk of all scientific papers and journals have been written in the last 25 years. The sum total of human knowledge that is really a result of Arabic speakers is very very small. Most scientific papers are written in English, virtually none in Arabic for the very reason I state in that Arabic has not had demands placed upon it.

That is why there are few scientific papers written by Muslims or Arabic Speakers. That is why there are so few good Muslim or Arabic Universities. That is why so few books are translated into Arabic. That is why there are so few books that are written by Arabic speakers and why so few of these Arabic books are read by others. That is why when you look at the world map showing levels of literacy, Sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, are the areas all in red, it's the Arabic speaking and Muslim areas that show the lowest areas of literacy.

Literacy is an indicator or the level of demand placed upon a language. I have cited my sources , where are your sources in response to me Armin. Or are you just blowing more hot air?


I think I have shown that you are an Arabist snob, who has acted all pompous towards me, a person who does not claim expertise in Arabic. Yet I have proven that Arabic is the language of the illiterate, the uneducated and the uncultured. How can you explain why Spain has translated more books into Spanish each year, than into Arabic for the last 1000 years. Why do the French, with a significant population of Muslims and Arabic speakers translate so few books each year into French(estimated to be 20 books)?

Why are there so few world class Muslim/Arabic Universities? Why are so few scientific papers/journals written by Arabic speakers, why is illiteracy so high amongst Muslims/Arabic speakers?



It is interesting to note that the total number of journals publish has more than doubled from 1988 to 2003. I find it funny that little Australia has more published journals than the whole Arabic Speaking and Muslim world combined.

You ask

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.

I think my facts and figures do not need an expert to conclude that Arabic is a weak language. The reason that Universities have Departments of Middle Eastern Studies is the same reason they have Palaeontologists, it is an areas of knowledge.

You virtually laughed at me when I say the standards when it comes to Arabic are not that high, and you claim the best Muslim University is the King Saud University. I will not use the various ratings by Westerners, I cite the Chinese study. The Western rating are not as flattering. As I said, the bar is set VERY LOW, what is your source to refute me? Well Amin? Or are you going to say my claims are baseless using your baseless argument, argument?



To try and be fair, the Chinese do not rate you King Saud University too highly if this is the best, I rest my case.

Now I have proved that the Arabic of today is virtually the same Arabic of 1000 years ago, that this lack of sophistication is why there are virtually no scientific Arabic works for centuries, no one wants to read Arabic literature, not even Arabs. Compared to the rest of the world, Arabic speaking peoples do not value education, science or even reading.

I have provided facts to back up all my claims, you however have provided a lot of hot air.

Wikipedia, The UN, nationbuilder and the CIA world fact book are all reasonable sources of information, what are yours Amin?


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)