Dum Pendebat Filius

A sniff in the kortevar, that what you cry for, yeled? A prert up the cull, a prang on the dumpendebat?

Costco Coulter: Allah Who Akbar?

Debbie Schlussel, the Costco Coulter, claims to “speak” four languages, including Arabic. She has unwittingly revealed that to be a lie, unfortunately for her, with a grotesque linguistic blunder that any Arabic 101 student would know better than to make. Look at this:

Of course, even that was a sanitized version of what happens at Muslim honor killings. Usually there are no well-wishes for Allah’s mercy on the “dishonorable” victim. Instead, it’s the general, Allah Hu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest, as in "Greater" than other gods], asserting the “godliness” of the despicable cold-blooded murder.

Readers, what the hell is “Allah Hu Akbar” supposed to be? There’s no such thing as “Allah Hu Akbar.” Debbie Schlussel does not know Arabic, readers. Here’s a micro-lesson for those who are interested:

Arabic has three grammatical cases: nominative, accusative, and genitive. The nominative case is used for the subject of this simple nominal sentence (I am deliberately keeping this discussion as simple as possible). Arabic nouns and adjectives are marked for case and definiteness. The marking for nominative case/definite is -u.

The phrase Debbie Schussel is trying to think of is, of course, allahu akbar (“God is most great”). This phrase is known to Muslims around the world as takbiir, and it’s so very common that it’s one of the first phrases learned by any student of the Arabic language.

The word allah (God) is marked as definite (it’s a proper noun) and as nominative (it’s the subject). There’s no copula in Arabic, so there’s no verb in this simple nominal sentence. The word akbar, appearing as it does at the end of this nominal sentence, is left unmarked when this sentence is spoken or read aloud (Semitic linguists call this a “pausal form”); it would be written akbaru.

There’s no “Hu” in Arabic, readers. There is a third-person masculine enclitic pronoun -hu, but not a standalone word. No one who knows anything about Arabic would ever write “Allah Hu Akbar.”

You’ll encounter other incorrect forms of allahu akbar on the Internet: “Allah Al-Akbar,” “Allah O Akbar,” “Allah Akbar,” etc, etc. Beware of people who get it wrong, if they’re trying to pass themselves off as experts on Islam and/or speakers of Arabic. The correct phrase is allahu akbar.

UPDATE, 2007/08/09 20:40 EDT

The Costco Coulter has silently corrected her post. Here’s a screenshot I took earlier, just for posterity:

Screenshot of Costco Coulter Arabic blunder

Filed under: Language by dumpendebat at 2007/08/09 - 12:16

13 Comments »

  1. hanumizzle:

    Ya, and for someone who claims to speak Hebrew, she didn’t notice the cognate of ‘Barack’ in (Ehud) ‘Barak’.

    Jag talar mindre språk än hon (låtsas tala), men jag är åtminstone uppriktig.

    What a fucking bitch.

  2. dumpendebat:

    Yes, I strongly suspect her Hebrew is not up to snuff, either, despite her claims of fluency. I’d love to see any evidence of her skills in Russian and French, too.

    Your Swedish is improving rapidly, it looks like.

  3. Stram:

    …. Filius and Hanu … two the smartest guys I read a little from. You guys kill me.

    I speak only English and some question even that, but even I knew that it’s ‘allahu akbar’. Well, that’s not actually true either – I thought was ‘allah akbar’.

    How many languages do you guys speak?

  4. hanumizzle:

    That’s a golden post you linked to, dumpend. Here’s one of the comments:

    Either the immigrant MUSLIMS or the immigrant LATINOS will “fill-up” America in the future…because the old guard, the WASPs, are obviously “shooting blanks”.

    I’m not sure why they don’t forgo a separate blog altogether; it would make more sense to get their own section on StormFront.

    And these are the same people who accused me of being a Neo-Nazi because I once trolled there under the name of a Scandinavian Dwarf.

    Get it? Troll? hahahaha

    @ Stram

    Unfortunately, I lose knowledge almost as soon as I gain it. Since I practice Swedish regularly on forums and stuff, that’s the only foreign language I know really well. I can still read German fairly well with the aid of a dictionary, and I have plans to (re)learn Dutch and take up Finnish as something completely new.

    No, I don’t know Hebrew, but I do know a Yiddish word that describes Debbie Schlussel (or Debbie Tool) to a T: ’schlemiel’.

  5. hanumizzle:

    Come to think of it, I’m not sure why they think Latin folks are bad anyway. While we must frankly admit that cultures in the Middle East often have weird ideas about honor, when it’s acceptable to use violence, and covering women’s bodies, I largely associate Latin America with shaking asses covered in strings of beads as well as incongruous, but highly talented metal bands such as Skiltron (Argentinian Celtic folk metal). I wonder why the readership of Tool’s blog object to said asses and metal bands.

  6. dumpendebat:

    >I lose knowledge almost as soon as I gain it

    Same here. The only languages that have really stuck with me over the years are French, German, and Modern Standard Arabic, because those are the three languages I had formal classroom instruction in, and enough grammar got crammed into my head to form a solid foundation.

    I know bits and pieces of lots of other languages (Spanish and Esperanto in particular), but not enough to be of any real use. I played with Swedish and Danish just enough that I can figure out most of hanumizzle’s Swedish, often via a sort of triangulation with German.

    >I’m not sure why they think Latin folks are bad anyway

    My guess is that’s because Spanish-speakers are the “foreigners” they have to deal with most often. (I understand there are many Arabs up in Schlussel’s neck of the woods as well, though, seeing as how every fifteenth word on her blog is “Dearbornistan.”) Their blood boils every time they hear Spanish spoken at the bus stop, or hear Marque dos para español when they dial their bank’s toll-free number, or see the “Mercado Latino” at their neighborhood strip mall. Those things seem to make them feel they’re losing something, that they’re no longer special, that there’s nowhere left on this earth that’s just for them.

    They also insist that the Spanish-speakers in the USA right now are the first group of immigrants in American history who are not trying to assimilate and/or at least learn English. They cannot, needless to say, back up that assertion with anything resembling facts or data, but they just axiomatically know it to be true, perhaps because Rush says so.

  7. hanumizzle:

    Same here. The only languages that have really stuck with me over the years are French, German, and Modern Standard Arabic, because those are the three languages I had formal classroom instruction in, and enough grammar got crammed into my head to form a solid foundation.

    *ASG* I learn better outside a classroom. I can set my own pace and prefer to learn grammar as directly as possible. Swedish is a lot of fun though: Han håller på åka på åkern. Ska vi ha sex klockan sex? hahaha

    I think I’ll hold off on Finnish until Christmas, when I can buy a bunch of books—I’ll certainly need them, and start with Dutch again now.

    Their blood boils every time they hear Spanish spoken at the bus stop, or hear Marque dos para español when they dial their bank’s toll-free number, or see the “Mercado Latino” at their neighborhood strip mall. Those things seem to make them feel they’re losing something, that they’re no longer special, that there’s nowhere left on this earth that’s just for them.

    Please, guys, eat shit already.

    If anything kicks ass, it’s more women walking around who look like Carlos Mencia’s sister.

    They also insist that the Spanish-speakers in the USA right now are the first group of immigrants in American history who are not trying to assimilate and/or at least learn English. They cannot, needless to say, back up that assertion with anything resembling facts or data, but they just axiomatically know it to be true, perhaps because Rush says so.

    Where I live in Pennsylvania, nearly everyone spoke German alone until the Civil War broke out.

    Of course, since German is a more ‘Aryan’ language closer to English, it was acceptable.

  8. Hank Dagny:

    Debbie screwed up or Debbie messed up a translation to obviously mis-lead everyone.

    To liberals that means Islamic Fascists really don’t want to kill us! Horray!!!!
    Great. We can take down all the airplane security and lay off all the border guards. It was all just a conspiracy.

    However, just you liberals fly the first year and work in crowded places, if you don’t mind.

  9. dumpendebat:

    Debbie screwed up or Debbie messed up a translation to obviously mis-lead everyone.

    To liberals that means Islamic Fascists really don’t want to kill us!

    Wrong. I know you can read and understand what you read, when you want to, but this apparently wasn’t one of those occasions. Nobody here said that.

    Debbie screwed up, revealing the very shallow understanding she really has of Islam and the Arabic language. She passes herself off as an expert on Islam who has fluent Arabic, but in real life she knows no more about Islam than you do, and her Arabic is about as good as yours, too.

  10. dumpendebat:

    Here’s a “[mis]translation to obviously mis-lead everyone” –

    Instead, it’s the general, Allah Hu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest, as in "Greater" than other gods]

    1. Allah means “God.” Just like Spanish Dios, French Dieu, German Gott. There’s not a special “Muslim god” called “Allah.” The word means “God.” Muslims, Christians, and Jews all worship the same God.

    2. Islam is a monotheistic religion. To a Muslim, there are no “other gods” to compare God to.

    What the Costco Coulter is trying to do here is to make it sound like allahu akbar is some in-your-face challenge that Muslims are always shouting, to mean “My god is better than your god!” That is completely wrong and misleading. The Wikipedia article on “takbiir” is a good place to start for someone who’s interested in what allahu akbar means in real life.

  11. RP:

    There are plenty of Arabic speaking Christians in the world and they all use the word “Allah” to invoke their “god.” But foolishness about such things is just as commonplace–although rather much more dangerous–in the uppermost echelons of our government and military as it is amoung idiot bloggers. Remember the priceless “You all know as I do that my God is greater than his” flub by General William Boykin? He was the fugging US Deputy Undersecretary for INTELLIGENCE at the time. Talk about someone passing himself off as an expert when in fact he knows exactly jackshit!

    dumpendebat…you’re selling yourself short by not mentioning your mastery (in a single day!) of Hangul! I remember.

  12. elfasbrynja:

    dumpendebat…you’re selling yourself short by not mentioning your mastery (in a single day!) of Hangul! I remember.

    Hangul is rather like the Tengwar, except for realz.

  13. Yahoouj:

    Really good work about this website was done. Keep trying more – thanks!

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