Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Some Folks Just Don't Know How to Stop Themselves

So, a couple of days ago, I wrote about this Brooke Eikmeier person who was peddling a new television series that recycled the old "Not Without My Daughter" stereotypes about Muslims and Arabs. Today, I found out that she's decided to double down on her claims even though numerous people have pointed out the problematic elements in her story. The TMI Hijabi wrote this:
Remember when Brooke Eikmeier wanted to give Muslims and Arabs a “positive presence” on TV?
Remember how most Muslims and people even remotely familiar with Arabic were all, “uhhh, Radha isn’t even a Muslim name?”
Well, Eikmeier clarified with a new cover photo on her Facebook page, explaining that Radha is indeed an Arabic name and it is spelled غادة in Arabic.
I wish I were kidding.
Sources:
Buzzfeed’s analysis of the copy of the script for Alice in Arabia (where they state the script itself refers to the aunt as Radha).
Brooke Eikmeier’s Facebook post with her “proof” that Radha is how you spell غادة in Arabic, and it is indeed a Muslim name (according to her vast expertise on Muslims and Arabs, well, everywhere). [Unknown how long this link will last.]
Okay, I've had several years of Arabic language training. I can read it with ease and I can even understand a lot of dialects of it. However, I would NEVER take it upon myself to tell ACTUAL Arabs that I know more about their culture than they do. It truly takes a white woman to feel like that's something a-okay to do. And seriously? "Ghrein"? Uh, no, boo. I've read through more than my share of both crappy and helpful Arabic language learning texts and every level between the two. Not even ONCE did I ever see "ghrein". The letter is "ghein". Not even close. Look, you don't even have to speak Arabic to verify this. Just google it and see what you get:

Ghein

Ghrein

Also, please notice how Eikmeier is trying to subtly change the subject. "Radha" is the name of the Muslim Saudi character she created. As the internetz tried to explain to her, "Radha" isn't a Muslim name. There's a very simple reason for this. Do you think Pat Robertson would name his child "Krishna"? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that people generally don't give their kids the name of gods/goddesses from religions they explicitly reject.
"Radha" is a goddess in several branches of Hinduism. Do you think I'm making this up? Again, it's not difficult to find this stuff out, people. Just google it.

"Radha"
Now, Eikmeier's characters are supposedly these devout Muslim Saudi folks. They're such strict Muslims that they supposedly force all of the women to walk around completely covered up in a burqa. Never mind the fact that the burqa is from an entirely different part of the world and makes about as much sense as a Chinese person going about their day wearing a Navajo headdress. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, women generally walk around outside in an abaya. But to get back to the point, Eikmeier's characters are supposedly religious fanatics (compared to us 'Merikans, of course), but she'd have us believe that one of the was named after a Hindu goddess.
Even if we ignored all of the dangerous racist, colonialist, Islamophobic American propaganda in her story, Eikmeier is still a hack. She isn't even able to pull together a story that would be believable to anyone but the most ignorant, gun-toting, flag-waving American who has never bothered to question anything they heard on Fox News. But maybe that's the audience she was going for. There's certainly a lot of money to be made in providing white people with the lies they need to justify killing thousands upon thousands of Muslims around the world.

Well, sadly, her little story has been cancelled. ABC decided that this series was more trouble than it was worth and wouldn't be the money-generator they were looking for. So, Eikmeier is going to have to find another way to profit off of the killing of brown people. It's no surprise that she's unhappy and indignant about this. After all, she was allowed to do it as a hack of a linguist for the US military. Maybe she shouldn't have quit her day job doing that, because her 15 minutes of fame have come to a close.

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