Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shatama - "You'll Never Understand"

In a recent TV interview Rashida Mughrabi (sister of Dalal Mughrabi) praised the Palestinian who recently killed three Israelis and wounded dozens of others while running his 20-ton bulldozer over cars and into buses in Jerusalem.

How can someone take pleasure in the senseless killing of others? It reminded me of the conversation I once had with a Palestinian friend. I asked her what the real meaning of the Arabic verb "shatama" was. The dictionary says it means to insult or demean someone, but I always sensed there was more to it.

Her surprising response was, "You'll never understand the meaning of that word. You're an American." When I asked what she meant, she continued, "Shatama means to really hope that something really bad happens to another person. You're an American, and you don't think that way. But we do."

She was right - that's not the way I think. Was she also right in the second part of her statement?

2 comments:

Always On Watch said...

I'm not sure that we can fully understand a mindset that wishes ill upon all who are not "like us."

Islam divides the world into Muslim and other. And "other" doesn't deserve any grace at the hands of Muslims.

Sure, not all individual Muslims feel that way. But, then again, not all Muslims practice fundamentalist Islam.

Erich said...

"Sure, not all individual Muslims feel that way. But, then again, not all Muslims practice fundamentalist Islam."

When you find the magical key that can REALLY distinguish the harmless Muslims from the dangerous ones, I'll give you a million dollars.

In the meantime, we have to rationally consider them all to be suspect and equally dangerous. It's the only reasonable course for the interest of our self-defense.