That's one of the few sensible things to happen there lately.
It Began with T-ShirtsAs near as I can make out from the news, the mess started when three students wore T-shirts with "RIP Israel" on them. They were told to remove the shirts.
So far, so good. I'd see it the same way, if the T-shirts had said something like "death to Islam" - threats, real or implied, on T-shirts don't belong in school, IMO.
Then - a PetitionThen, some Jewish students put together a petition, "saying they felt threatened." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Okay. They felt threatened. The article doesn't say, but I suppose they might have felt threatened by the T-shirts, the students who wore them, or something else. Let's, hypothetically, say they felt threatened by the T-shirts.
And Something Very Strange HappenedSo, the principal tells two Muslim students to take off their kaffiyehs. That's a distinctive sort of head-scarf, worn by a great many men and boys in the Middle East. It's what Yasser Arafat used to wear on his head, too.
I think I follow the - thinking? - here:
Jewish students feel threatened.
Maybe by T-shirts with something sorta terroristic on them.
Those Ay-rab students got cloth on their heads.
Yasser Arafat had cloth on his head.
Yasser Arafat was Ay-rab, and a terrorist!
OH, NO! AY-RABS WITH CLOTH ON THEIR HEADS ARE TERRORISTS!!
Maybe not. As I said, the news article was pretty vague on some important points.
Here's a Radical Idea: Maybe Gateway Could Educate Students?Gateway High School is (finally, it seems) having Muslim and Jewish students talk. There's a good chance that they'll all find out that their fellow-students don't have horns and barbed tails.
I think that having students talk is a good idea. But I can't help but wonder if it might not be a good idea to spread the word around about what kaffiyehs are. (It's spelled "kiffiyeh" sometimes - Arabic-to-Latin alphabet transfers are tricky).
Yes, some people see the headgear as a symbol of Palestinian solidarity (against the 'genocidal Jews,' no doubt). It's also been a fashionable accessory - or whatever fashionable people call bits of stuff they put on their clothes. And, my guess is that it's also a quite ancient part of quite a few people's culture.
If Gateway High School is a so full of racial and religious hate, that a few pieces of cloth might set off a bloodbath: maybe the school should be closed, and the students relocated until the mess can be sorted out.
If that's not the case: I see this kaffiyeh kookiness as a missed opportunity.
Let's Consider This
- Not All Arabs are Muslims
- Not all Muslims are Terrorists
- Not all Terrorists are Muslims
- Not all Muslims are Arabs
- "Rachael Ray, Dunkin' Donuts, Michelle Malkin, and Common Sense"
(May 29, 2008)
- "Rachael Ray and Yasser Arafat? GET A GRIP!"
(May 29, 2008)
- "Gateway students allowed to wear Arab scarves"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (February 18, 2009)