Hamas is the Solution

In the Sunday edition of the Washington Post, there was a photo of some Palestinian girls walking by a wall covered in Arabic graffiti.  It read "Islam is the solution" (as in al-islaam howa al-Haal).

The caption underneath mistranslated it as "Hamas is the solution"!

How fitting.  A generic, almost trite, religious slogan that one hears at every turn in the Middle East (and even in places where Muslims do not speak Arabic) gets utterly misinterpreted and transformed into a highly specific and menacing ideological declaration.   The ignorance of Islamic culture is quite comical

BTW, what Muslim doesn’t believe "Islam" (read: their understanding of Islam) is
the "solution"? And don’t Christians talk about Christian faith being
the "solution" to modern problems all the time?  Does that slogan really mean anything most of the time?

In that simple example you have the essence of what’s wrong with Western and especially American media coverage of Islam and Muslims in a nutshell.

No wonder you have all this offensive and biased blather about "Hamastan" in the mainstream media (take two of these from Haroon and the American Errorist and call me in the morning).   

When you’re so terminally uninformed and incapable of considering Muslim perspectives when pontificating on the Muslim world, you’re almost guaranteed to misunderstand the significance of everything you see.  Like a frustrated shrink who detects eroticism in everything he encounters, you will misinterpret even the most mundane of events or statements by Muslims as dripping with exoticism and menace.

  • http://higher-criticism.blogspot.com sheilaX

    Good piece of investigative blogging.

  • http://abusinan.blogspot.com Abu Sinan

    It makes a nice soundbite/picture, and isnt that what Western journalism is all about now at days?

  • http://www.zackvision.com/weblog/ Zack

    This reminds me of the controversy over the graduation stoles at USC and some journalist’s confusion of Jazakallah Khair as a person’s name.
    Link: http://www.zackvision.com/weblog/2004/06/shahada-jazakallah-khair.html

  • http://akramsrazor.typepad.com Svend

    Thanks, Sheila.
    I assume that was a rhetorical question, Abu Sinan. :)
    Thanks very much for that reminder, Zack. I’d forgotten about that case, which certainly is comparable.


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