You Need to Read This and Watch the Video

"Arabic Language" in the Arabic Al-B...

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I’m basically just reposting this from a note that I wrote on Facebook.

A good friend of mine recently shared a video that is labeled as scary, alarming, etc. I had seen the video advertised long ago with the same description, but figured it was an edited video with the important context removed.

Boy was I probably right. Unfortunately, we may never know because I’ve been unable to actually track down the full video, but I want you to read my comments on the video, then click on the link at the end and watch the video with my notes in mind. Even if you’ve seen the video before, read my notes and watch it again. Please. Here are my comments:

Ooooh, I could go on and on about this, so I’ll try to keep it brief.

The short version: It angers me when people see stuff like this, heavily edited and out of context, and believe exactly what the editor wanted them to believe.

In the end of the video you can see [the speaker] against that big banner with lots of script. The big red words read, “Arabs before and after the Gaza war.” I believe this is a conference about the western world’s misconceptions and prejudices about Arabs, and the “resistance” that he mentions is the resistance against westerners assuming that all Arabs are terrorists. When he says (with plenty of sarcasm mind you) that they should pray to Allah that a redneck succeeds in blowing up the Lake Michigan nuclear plant, I think he went on (in the part that was edited out) to explain how that would wake up the Americans and make them realize that their biggest source of terrorist threats are already inside their country.


[Perhaps one of the worst cases of this edited video attempting to scare us with out-of-context phrases appears when the speaker says that his audience should fight the resistance using “any means necessary.” He says, “any means necessary” with such sarcasm that I am led to believe that he is making a reference to something he said earlier, and his audience knows that he is not seriously talking about using ANY means.]

Go back and watch the video with this new context and imagine what he might have gone on to explain after each cut in the video. There is nothing in there that is clear evidence that this guy is an extremist. His speech is very articulate, educated and proper. He is not speaking any local dialect, but is speaking Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) – a technical language that is only used in media. Any time he spoke of anything that would be bad, he was clearly being light and ironic about it – not serious, angry and passionate like a terrorist would be.

It is ridiculous that Americans judge so harshly from a few words taken out of context. No offense to you of course, but I wish we could see the whole speech in its proper context.

Oh, and I did understand quite a bit of what he said, which is a testament to how clear and educated his speech was because my Arabic has become nearly useless since I haven’t used it in over a year.

In short, there is nothing scary, alarming or bad about this video. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t an American (not REALLY) because of stuff like this. Foreigners see us acting like this and just laugh at how narrow-minded and ignorant we can be. I wish I were associated with a more educated, bridled group of people, but I won’t find a group like that anywhere in the world. 😦

And here’s the link. The video is less than ten minutes long, and doesn’t seem to play in Google Chrome (though it worked fine in Internet Explorer).

Thank you, Gwen, for sharing this. I hope I haven’t offended you, but you can see how this sort of thing frustrates me. Who knows? I could be completely wrong about all of this, but isn’t it better to assume that our brothers and sisters in this world are not out to get us?


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