Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Social Experimentation in Virginia

(Well now, isn't this special?
What's that old story about how to boil a frog? I suspect this cute little stunt will be picked up by other "interfaith centers" nationwide, soon.)

Mysterious Arabic Signs Aimed at Dispelling Fear of Muslims

RICHMOND — The small beige signs bearing black Arabic script have been appearing all over town on buses and at colleges.

Are they secret messages from terrorists, one panicked bus rider asked? Should the FBI be contacted? What do they mean?

Actual translation: “Paper or plastic?”

The signs are part of a campaign by A More Perfect Union, a program of the Virginia Interfaith Center, and are aimed at dispelling some of the public’s fears toward the Muslim community. Organizers hope to eventually expand the program statewide.

“As people see Arabic, they immediately make an association with terrorism,” said the Rev. C. Douglas Smith, executive director of the Virginia Interfaith Center. “That’s probably because since 9/11, not only is fear overwhelming us, but that’s how we’re being trained to think.” (WTR: Yeah...almost 3,000 innocent civilians MURDERED on our own soil in one day will kinda do that to you.)

The signs were placed in all 170 Greater Richmond Transit Company buses in Richmond on Nov. 27 and will remain there through the end of December, though many buses will continue to display them at least through the end of January. The signs, designed by The Martin Agency, have also been posted at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. Along with the “paper or plastic” sign, there are two others — one of which is the Arabic version of the “I’m a little tea pot” rhyme and the other roughly translating to the English equivalent of “rock, paper, scissors.” Accompanying the translations at the bottom of the posters are comments such as, “Misunderstanding can make anything scary,” and “What did you think it said?”

The transit company has already fielded several calls from concerned riders, said Gretchen Schoel, executive director of A More Perfect Union. One woman Schoel described as a well-educated university employee placed a frantic call to the bus company’s manager, suggesting the FBI be called in to investigate. Even after the signs’ English translations were explained to her, she remained concerned that they might contain secret messages, Schoel said.

“It’s so great that we’re getting feedback, even if it is negative, because it shows that people are looking, they’re thinking,” Schoel said. “And it really proves the point that this script right here conjures up certain ideas in our heads that we have to work with.”

Bias toward the Muslim community is a continuing problem across the country and in Virginia, said Imad Damaj, president of the Virginia Muslim Coalition for Public Affairs.

“There’s so many lazy, unexamined assumptions about all of us and how we react to people,” Damaj said. “We need to challenge ourselves.”

Schoel said history has proven that Americans can learn to let go of irrational fears toward other cultures. “After World War II, when people saw Japanese script it was scary,” she said. “But now we see it and it’s fun, it’s hip, it signifies a cool culture.”
“That’s a huge turnaround.”
Source:International Herald Tribune

Oh, yes, that is so right and correct...we really shouldn't fear Arabic script...especially when they are getting so good at writing in English!

This *CINO (*Christian in Name Only) outfit that's plastering these signs about Virginia are, at the very least in my mind, behaving criminally, if only in a negligent way, call it "aiding and abetting"-because the whole point is to "de-sensitize" us who use English as our first language to seeing Arabic script, out of context from say, the MidEast neighborhoods in the area, so that we won't be suspicious or alarmed when those clever little signs become spray painted graffiti reading Death to America, Kill the Great Satan, Behead All Infidels, ad nauseum...'Oh, that's just a dumb little nursery rhyme! I saw it in the news...'
But what do I know?
The only solace I can take is that this was from an AP wire...and we know just how reliable they are! But alas, I did visit their little social experiment site and it is true. Schoel is missing one key point in her last remark: The Japanese are our allies, now. AFTER we nuked them, occupied them and removed their ability to KILL us!

OK, so let's all join hands around the world and croon out a verse or 2 of "Kumbayah"...in Arabic...second verse in Farsi, if you are so inclined.

Hey! I gotta sign for ya!!


Blogger Fish-2 said...

Yes, after World War II we did not like seeing Japanese script, but became trading partners with what is now a great country. However, how would an organization like this have been treated had they started posting signs with Japanese characters on them DURING the Second World War. I'm sure they would have been tried for treason.

12/19/2006 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Figg said...

What a wonderful idea! Get everyone used to seeing Arabic script all across town and then the terrorists can communicate openly with each other and no one will be the wiser.

12/21/2006 8:39 PM  
Blogger Tennessee Budd said...

Any idea where to get a bumper sticker of that?

1/02/2007 3:33 PM  

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