Little Known Arab Facts

1. Arabic is the language of the Quran or Koran and is spoken generally in North Africa and southern countries of the Middle East.

2. Farsi is spoken generally in the northern countries of the Middle East.

3. Most main stream media typically, ignorantly and incorrectly continue to refer to Arabs who exhibit hatred toward the Jews and the state of Israel as “anti-Semitic”.

4. The Old Testament mentions Shem, one of the sons of Noah.

5. The term “Semite” is derived from the name “Shem” and generally recognized to have been coined in Germany in the late 1700’s and meant to refer those who speak Semitic languages which includes Arabic.

6. Shem and all his descendants are considered Semites.

7. As descendants of Shem, the Arabs are just one of many “Semitic” tribes in the Middle East.

8. There are many threads and no perfectly consistent etymology, however, for most Arabs (and most Mohammadans in general) their beliefs concerning ancestry are essentially as follows:
      A. The different Arab tribes trace their ancestry back to biblical Abraham (a descendant of Shem) who was the   father of the Arabs through his wife Sarah’s Egyptian handmaiden Haggar (whose name does NOT appear in the Quran) and her son Ishmael (his first son).
       B. Abraham was also the father of the Jews (Judah; one of thirteen tribes of Israel) through Sarah and their son Isaac.

9. That makes the Arabs a Semitic tribe also and therefore clearly and logically NOT the reason for hating the Jews since being anti-Semitic would necessarily require that all the bad things many Arabs attribute to the Jews would also apply to Arabs themselves which clearly is NOT the intention. Conversely, nasty things said about the Arabs could be legitimately considered anti-semitic.

10. Essentially the Shiite Mohammadans follow the genealogical branch of Islam (via Mohammad's cousin and son-in-law) and the Sunnis (at least 75% of all Mohammadans) follow the keepers of the writings (and Law) of the Quran and are considered orthodox.

11. The first original quotes of the Quran do not appear until around 768 AD, about 130 years after the death of Mohammad. However, many quotes and rules from the Quran closely resemble bible verses and stories.

12. The first clear biblical reference appears in archaeology around 800-1000BC.

13. The God of Abraham is the same worshipped by Christians, Jews and Arabs.

14. Mohammad considered Moses and Jesus as prophets and inspired by the same God in which he believed.

15. In the year 598AD, an impressive looking and intelligent albeit illiterate Mohammed lead an attack against the inhabitants of Mecca and murdered the Jewish men (he took women and children as slaves) most probably in retaliation for accusations claiming Mohammed plagiarized Jewish and Christian writings. However, up until the 20th century, the Jews and the Arabs, having a common enemy in the Christians, got along fairly well.

16. When Salmon Rushdie, in his 1988, 547 page novel, “The Satanic Verses”, the protaganist postulated, in little more than a handful of pages, possible alternatives to the Quran’s “divine” inspiration, a ten year “fatwa” (an official Islamic edict which, in this case, included a death sentence) was issued against him. The writer and commentator Christopher Hitchens, at quite some real risk to his own life (two translators were murdered and another severely injured), allowed Rushdi to live with him for some time in a successful attempt to preserve Rushdi’s life. UPDATE: An unsuccessful attempt to murder Mr. Rushdie was again made this month,  Aug. 2022, twenty years after the first threat. The assailant stabbed him multiple times as he was preparing to give a talk.

17. Most Mohammadans believe the Christians to be polytheists (which most Arabs were before Mohammad) because of the belief in the “Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit”.

18. In the year 1099 AD, the Crusaders captured Jerusalem, slaughtered the Mohammadans and burned the Jews at the stake. The Mohammadans, that escaped estimated that 70,000 persons were murdered in less than a week (and the Mohammadans knew how to count.)

19. Saladin, a devout Sunni Kurd born in Takrit, Iraq (1138-’93) defeated the mostly merciless, murderous, torture-loving and monumentally ignorant French crusaders and recaptured Jerusalem (and didn’t slaughter them all like they swore to do to him again). Although he was a Sultan and could be a ruthless warrior, he was also a brilliant and highly educated general. In addition to the (still) impossible task of getting the disparate Arab tribes to work in concert and in their own best interests, many historians credit him with single handedly bringing literature, higher math, science and astronomy to Europe. He was renowned for his tolerance of other religions and ways of life. While the Europeans generally and the Christians specifically had little choice at the time, they discovered that this intelligent tolerance (his and theirs) and the accompanying lucrative trade with the east actually raised their standard of living quickly and significantly and arguably began to deliver Europe from the “dark ages”. But of course, that wouldn’t be left alone for very long.

20. Today, the most holy sites are protected by the Israeli army, at quite some expense, against catastrophic attacks from devout members of all three religions.