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We MUST hold Arabic "discourse" to standards of civility

Reader comment on item: Radical Islam's Hypocrisy

Submitted by Amendment9 (Israel), Jan 23, 2005 at 09:12

The heart of the cultural differences between communication in the West and the Arab world:

How exactly are we to determine when speech constitutes a true threat versus just being hyperbole? This is a MAJOR problem that the West is apparently unwilling to address, due to the current rampant political correctness. If you would read many of the articles in the Arab press (See: www.MEMRI.org for translations) you would realize that both the Imams' speeches in the mosques and the mainstream press and TV in the Arab world are filled with blood curdling remarks that would NEVER pass muster in the western press. BUT- we just shrug it off and attribute it the Arabic "culture", wherein they are "merely" using "flowery language." - that we somehow shouldn't take it seriously.

BUT OF COURSE WE SHOULD! As in the example under discussion here, no average westerner in his right mind would walk into a store and threaten the clerk in such a violent manner and NOT expect to be taken seriously. If we excuse this, then our "civil"-ization itself has lost its "civility." I am personally sick and tired of this hysterical speech being accepted as normal. We MUST hold the Arabic world to a reasonable standard of civilized discourse.

I remember an example during the period in Israel during the mid-1960s when Syrian terrorists were consistently shelling peaceful farmers in Israel (Israel proper - BEFORE the Six Day War, so nobody could argue that this was due to any so-called "occupation".) Nasser had been screaming for years with blood-curdling threats against Israel and this was accepted as - somehow - just those "pesky Arabs with their "flowery language." Finally, IDF Chief of staff at that time - Yitzak Rabin - got so sick and tired of this shelling that he threatened to bomb Damascus if they didn't stop. What happened? Suddenly this SINGLE solitary threat by Rabin was now to be taken seriously - whereas up till then, years of Arab threats to annihilate Israel were supposed to be taken by the world with a grain of salt. - As usual, Israel was the canary in the mine cage - a metaphor for guaging the way the political winds will blow in the general world in the not too distant future.

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