Tagged community issues

The Linguistic Literalism of Four-Year-Olds: Muslims Missing the Point

Note: This Is The 3rd Part of a Guest Series By Pamela Taylor. See Part 1. See Part 2.

Have you ever given directions to a four-year old?
“Go to the end of the hall and turn left,” you say.
“Is this left?” he asks, holding up his left hand.
“Right!” you say cheerily.
He then lowers his left hand and puts up his right hand.
“Oh,” he says, “Then I have to turn this way.”
“No, no. That’s your right hand,” you say. “The other one was your left hand.”

The poor kid is now totally confused. His mind, focused on left and right, didn’t grasp the changed context of your initial response; he missed that you had switched from right/left to correct/incorrect, or, in other words, right/wrong.

I experienced a similar e-mail exchange the other day on a newsgroup I belong to.
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The Intellectual Thoroughness of Three-Year-Olds: The Crisis of Critical Inquiry

Note: This Is A Guest Post By Pamela Taylor

You may remember the email I shared with you last week, the one describing the rewards pious women were to receive for such deeds as nursing their infants, or consoling their husbands after a hard day at work, and so on. (If not, you can see the glorious details in the first of this series, The Moral Maturity of Two-Year-Olds.) This document declared in its headline that it bore “Glad tidings of Heaven for pious women in the light of hadith.”
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Non-Desi Like Me

Note: This is a guest post by Adam Sitte

Part of me wants to apologize for the relative melodrama of this title. I concede, of course, that my own experiences pale in comparison to the racially-based oppression John Howard Griffin recorded in his famous account of segregation in the American South. That said, all we have to share is our own perspectives and individual tribulations, and I feel the banality of my own need not suppress their relevance. There is a tacit expectation that converting to a new religion necessitates an alteration of your own culture.

Arabs dress you up in thobes and want you to smoke hookah, while Desis assume you’ll love Bollywood movie nights and bhangra. Read more