After all the serious news that’s been dominating these pages for a long while, here’s a little levity (though it’s not as funny as we’d like to think) to lighten those long winter evenings, and to educate you at the same time. A two for one! Via Honest Reporting. It was the name of the author that gave me the first inkling that this was to be an article with a difference.
This is a cross-post by Dr. Yasser Dasmabebi, reprinted with the permission of FrontPage Magazine.
I have come to realize just how difficult it may be to decipher news about the Middle East, Islam, Israel, the Arab World, and all these powerful and explosive issues of our times for those who rely on such media stalwarts as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the major television networks, cable news, etc. for their information. For example, how is a person to ascertain whether the slayer of a family is a terrorist or a militant or a gunman or an assailant or an activist or a freedom-fighter?
So, purely as a public service, I have organized the following glossary of the most pertinent terms and expressions, as typically used in the above-mentioned news sources. I hope, insha’allah, the reader will find it helpful to unravel the Gordian Knot of language that is today’s (and yesterday’s and tomorrow’s) Middle East!
Dr. Yasser Dasmabebi holds the Edward Said-Noam Chomsky Linguistics Chair at Abdul Abulbul Amir University in Cairo.
Aggression: Killing people who are trying to kill you.
Al Qaeda: the terrorist group that, according to American security sources, embodies the world-wide Islamist movement, and that is either “significantly degraded” or is still “extremely dangerous,” depending on which government official is doing the talking.
Apartheid: The political/social system of the one and only country in the Middle East that integrates Jews, Beduins, Arabs, whites, blacks, Muslems, Ethiopians, Russians, Christians, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Bahai, et al.
“Apes & Pigs”: See “Jew” below.
Arab Emir: Military dictator.
Arab King: Military dictator.
Arab President: Military dictator.
Arab Prime Minister: Military dictator.
Arab Spring: Replacement of one dictatorship with another, with the help of Western money and media cheerleading.
Arab Street: Enraged mobs chanting and screaming their hatred, determined to annihilate Israel and the Jews. They can often be seen burning American and Israeli flags, passing out candies and firing guns into the air in response to successful murders of Westerners (closely related to):
Arab Humiliation: The pervasive feeling on the Arab street generated by their failure to annihilate Israel and the Jews in several wars. Many opinion-makers, Middle East experts and op-ed writers argue that Arab humiliation is at the root of the Middle East conflict; i.e., “If only the Jews would let themselves be destroyed, the Arab street would feel better about themselves, and then there would be peace.”
Ayatola: Persian dictator. Spiritual leader of that faith that desires to ignite nuclear holocaust in order to bring about the arrival of the Mahdi. (See “Mahdi” below.)
Bias: An expression of support for the existence of Israel.
Caliphate: The unification of lands ruled in the name of Islam, ruled by a Caliph. (See “Arab King,” “Arab President,” etc. above.)
Compromise: To give something palpable, such as land, in return for a promise not to keep on trying to annihilate you.
Developing Country: A country that is not developing.
Disproportionate Response: Winning.
Carry on reading all the way through to Z. Enjoy! And try not to weep too, even though there is so much truth in these humorous definitions.
If you have any other bright suggestions for definitions, share them with us in the comments!