November 14, 2007, - 4:17 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE: Forgot to add last paragraph about Jewish Arabic translators rejected by the FBI. Added. ****
Arabic is now the fastest growing language among students learning a foreign language in America’s colleges and universities. It’s now in the top ten. That’s good news and bad.
I’ll start with the good, first:
For years, we’ve had a shortage of reliable Arabic speakers, readers, and writers in our law enforcement and intelligence agencies. That’s led those organizations to hire many Arabic linguists who are Muslim extremists. In turn, those extremists frequently lied about what was in documents and on surveillance tapes, either misleading federal authorities and jeopardizing Americans, or increasing the backlog of Arabic language items that need to be re-translated, or both.
If more American college students learn Arabic, we will finally be less reliant on those who hate us to “help” us into more trouble.
Now, the bad news, of which there is plenty:
* Only 23,974 college students are learning Arabic, enough to get it into the top ten, but not nearly enough to provide the number of analysts and translators we need right now, let alone the future.
* We don’t know who it is that is taking Arabic. Are they Tom and Jane from Podunkville, Iowa, who are basically pro-American and don’t have an agenda–the ideal FBI and CIA translators? Or is it Hamida and Suhail, whose parents came here respectively from Ramallah and Peshawar and hate America? We don’t want or need 24,000 of those. Not the kind of people we want as translators and not the kind whose Arabic lessons we should be funding with the oodles of federal tax dollars that are going into Title VI Arabic language funding on campus. Let them learn it at the mosque with their parents paying for it, instead of the taxpayers footing the bill.
* Arabic as taught on most college campuses is classical Arabic, not the currently used kind, which involves different national dialects of a more modern Arabic. As I learned when I was in college and took Arabic, that kind of Arabic is mostly useless and not the kind we need to translate documents and surveillance tapes.
* Most college Arabic programs are dominated by the pan-Islamist Middle Eastern Studies Association, which involves language and other aspects of learning Arabic that are biased against America and in favor of extremist Islam. In other words, we’re not just gaining new Arabic speakers and translators. We’re propagandizing them against us, which puts us back in the same boat we’re in now. We don’t need more John Walker Lindhs and Adam Gadahns. My Arabic language class at the University of Michigan was like this. There was no Israel, only Palestine. Yasser Arafat was a “peaceful world leader,” etc.
* Of course, even with thousands more non-Muslim Arabic speakers, the FBI would probably reject them, as they did with those from the Sephardic Jewish Community Center of Brooklyn. The FBI rejected them in favor of extremist Muslims because an Egyptian Muslim FBI agent didn’t want Jews. Way to go.
Tags: Adam, Adam Gadahns, America, Central Intelligence Agency, Debbie Schlussel, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Iowa, Israel, Jane, Jewish Community Center of Brooklyn, John Walker Lindhs, law enforcement, Michigan, Middle Eastern Studies Association, Palestine, Peshawar, Podunkville, Ramallah, The University of Michigan, Tom, Yasser Arafat