Is this appeasement, or is national security really the motivation?
In the Detroit Free Press today:
If she didn't live in Dearborn, Emily Schloff might not have had the opportunity to study Arabic.There is no doubt that the United States must become more fluent in Arabic for Arab countries are hotbeds of Islamofascism. From that standpoint, it would be " kind of cool" to be able to sit at the back of a mosque and hear an Imam call the Jews dogs and America the great Satan. It would be cool to be able to translate terror snuff films rather than having to rely on al-Jazeera to interpret. It would be cool to have confiscated Iraqi documents translated into readable form in less than three years. It would be cool too to have CIA operatives in Arab countries able to speak the language and infiltrate evil organizations bent on our destruction. But, is teaching grade school kids Arabic the best way to accomplish this?
Unlike Spanish and French, it's not widely taught. And even though it is an elective offered in schools in Dearborn, which has one of the largest Arab-American communities in the country, plenty of people go through life there without knowing the language.
But for 16-year-old Emily, whose family is of German and English descent, taking Arabic has been beneficial.
"It's kind of cool to go through different parts of Dearborn and be able to read the signs," she said.
President George W. Bush would like a lot more students to follow her example.
That's why Michigan is on target to receive an annual grant of about $700,000 for up to 16 years to pay teacher salaries and other costs of teaching Arabic to students in grades K-12 and college, a federal official said Monday.
Already the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is singing the praises of the grant.
"Definitely, this is a very welcome and commendable initiative," said Imad Hamad, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. "This initiative is gate-opening. It's going to open a lot of people's minds and eyes."My fear is that this program, like so many educational initiatives, will be used as a government paid propaganda tool for Arabists and Islamists such as those in charge of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Enough of that. Lets let the Arabs pay for their own public relations. We can use the money we borrow for better things.