Saturday, June 12, 2010
The Language Institute letter
I have a friend - let's call him Mustafa B. Smith. He's caucasian. During hippie times, living in southern California, his parents explored different religions in that hippie sort of context. His mom became a Muslim and he and his siblings have Middle Eastern-sounding first names. So Mustafa gets this letter from the Language Institute in Monterey. They were writing to him about Arabic - did he know it, would he come and study it - and they picked him very crudely based just on his first name. I think it shows the dangers for people who may fall in one of the peripheral-yet-interesting, outer bubbles on a Venn Diagram.