Friday, November 18, 2005

talkin' schmidt

representative jean schmidt (R-Ohio):
You know, you all are not getting the big picture. The big picture is that these Islamic insurgents want to destroy us. They don't like us. They don't like us because we're black, we're white, we're Christian, we're Jew, we're educated, we're free, we're not Islamic. We can never be Islamic because we were not born Islamic. Now, this isn't the Islamic citizens. These are the insurgents. And it is their desire for us to leave so they can take over the whole Middle East and then take over the world. And I didn't learn this just in the last few weeks or the last few months. I learned this when I was at the University of Cincinnati in 1970, studying Middle Eastern history. And I was told by a very valuable professor, one that I still remember, Wie Zuefabushi (ph). He was Palestinian.
things schmidt didn't learn at the university of cincinnati:

(1) when you're talking about a person the word is muslim not "islamic." "islamic" is the adjective you use when talking about other things that are not people. for example, "islamic architecture."

(2) islam accepts converts. that's why it's the world's fastest growing religion right now.

(3) there really is no such thing as "islamic citizens." usually the adjective modifying the word "citizens" is a nationality (e.g. "american citizens", "iraqi citizens") and there is no country of islam. it is possible to use a religion as a modifier (e.g. "jewish citizens") but you at least need to use the word to refers to people of the faith, not "islamic." you wouldn't say "judaic citizens." i realize this is similar to #1, but it's still bugging me.

(4) as far as i can tell, the "insurgents" have not ever expressed a desire to take over the world. most seem to be concerned with iraq, although some have advocated imposing their strict brand of salafism on the "islamic world" (i.e. countries with a majority muslim population). some go beyond that too, and advocate a religious government only the places that currently have a majority muslim population, but also any land in the world that was once muslim-ruled (e.g. places like spain, portugal, parts of southern italy and france, the balkans, northern india, western china). but again, even among these most radical members, reconquering sicily doesn't seem to be a major concern as much as overthrowing the rulers in lands where the current population is majority muslim and kicking out the israelis from palestine.

(5) "wie zuefabushi" is a pretty unlikely name for a palestinian. there's no semitic root in "zuefabushi" no matter how it's spelled. and i've never met an arab named "wie" (or zuefabushi). also, there seems to be no sign of anyone with anything close to that name who ever taught at the university of cincinnati. at least not by googling every possible variation of spelling i can think of. maybe someone else can do a better job at finding him.


UPDATE: thanks to commentator david parks (and to atrios for linking to me and presumably bringing david here) i found a wasif abboushi who taught at the u. of cincinnati in the early 1970s.

UPDATE 2: from a review of professor abboushi's book the angry arab:
Dr. Abboushi believes that a better informed American electorate backing a more even-handed foreign policy can help restore our national influence constructively.
i don't think schmidt was much of a student. (hat tip to mirage in the comments)

UPDATE 3: from the the biped in the comments:
My ex-wife rented Wasif's home when he was teaching in the Middle East, his father was the mayor of Jenin prior to the Israeli takeover of Palestine. He's a great guy - primarily responsible for my having researched the history of the Middle East - his books are excellent and I assure you, having discussed these issues with him, that he would find Schmidt's comments absurd on their face. I haven't seen him in a few years, I believe he moved to Florida.