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Colorado Students Recite Pledge Of Allegiance In Arabic [Video]

Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic

Fort Collins, CO – Students from a multicultural group are facing controversy for their decision to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic over their school’s intercom.

The principal of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, stands by his decision to allow the group to recite the Pledge in Arabic, saying: “We have a tremendous amount of diversity in our school. This is very American, not un-American.”

“We do say the Pledge of Allegiance on Mondays at Rocky Mountain High School,” principal Tom Lopez said. While students have always said it in English, a multicultural group of about 30 students approached him with a request to recite the Pledge in different languages, reports 9News. They did it first in French, and in Spanish last fall. On Monday, they recited the Pledge in Arabic.

“They had to go through me for approval, and I reviewed it pretty carefully,” Lopez said.

Fox31 Denver reports that the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic has been received positively, though some upset parents have had very negative reactions.

“I guess I’m getting worn down a little bit by how intense their sense of hate has been represented in some of the things they’ve written and said,” Lopez recalled of some of the calls and emails he has received.

But some residents don’t see any value in altering the Pledge, and say that their arguments are not rooted in bigotry.

“As a veteran and a friend of a man killed defending these children in their little games they like to play with our pledge, I’m offended,” wrote resident Chris Wells. “There are things that we don’t mess with – among them are the pledge and our anthem.”

To Lopez, and the group of students, it doesn’t matter what language you say it in, because the Pledge is still the Pledge.

“When they pledge allegiance to United States, that’s exactly what they’re saying — they’re just using another language as their vehicle,” Lopez said.

But the use of the word “Allah” in the Arabic Pledge has some taking offense, thinking that it means their children are pledging allegiance to an Islamic version of the US. One expert says this is not so.

“Obviously in Arabic, you would use the word Allah, but Christian Arabs would use the word Allah,” said Ibrahim Hooper, of the Council on American Islamic Relations. “It’s not necessarily specific to Islam and Muslims.”

But those in defense of the choice to say the Pledge in Arabic say the decision was not meant to make a divisive political point. “It’s not just Arabic,” said Danielle Clark, communications director of the Poudre School District.

“This is a student-initiated and student-led club,” Clark said. “There is no school sponsor or advisor. It doesn’t come under the umbrella of the district.”

“These students love this country,” he said. “They were not being un-American in trying to do this. They believed they were accentuating the meaning of the words as spoken regularly in English.”

What do you think? Is the decision to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic offensive?

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Comments

31 Responses to “Colorado Students Recite Pledge Of Allegiance In Arabic [Video]”

  1. Eve Dropka

    Never mind as a Parent, as an AMERICAN I Totally Oppose this idea! Say the Pledge the way it is Meant be to said..in E N G L I S H!

  2. Eve Dropka

    Mr pricipal Our thoughts are not hate.. it is COMMON SENSE! I can Not believe your insensitivity to America!

  3. Rodney Imai

    When did Arabic become the language of our enemies? I believe you conflating everyone in the middle east with Terrorists? Now that's ignorance.

  4. Ais Syariif

    Do 'native americans' have to say the Pledge? Do they have to say it in English? Or are they allowed, at least the inclusion, to say it in their 'native american' languages?

  5. Amy Mcgraw-pate

    oh but we DO mess with our pledge, thus the "under god" insertion in 1954 at the behest of Knights of Columbus.

  6. Amy Mcgraw-pate

    insensitive to America? would that be just NA, or does it also include Central and South, too?

    how is it insensitive of the U.S.? it's representative of us.

  7. Janice McKenzie Dillard

    I think that the pledge, the anthem and everything else should be spoken in English as that is our national language. My ancestors came to this country in the late 1600's and 1700's and fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War, and every other conflict in which our country has participated. We speak American English here. If you want to be a citizen, then speak our language. I am not opposed to learning other languages and think that it is excellent if our children are taught numberous languages; however, desecrating our pledge and anthem, etc. for the sake of teaching a language is a very poor selection. Have them read Winnie the Pooh or Crime and Punishment in other languages. Leave the pledge anthem, and other "American" symbols alone.

  8. Sarah Jane

    @Amy – you are reading an article about a United STATE. Figure it out.

  9. Sarah Jane

    When they slammed planes into our buildings murdering our citizens.

  10. Kyle Wilcrout

    my ancestors did not die in the revolutionary war so we could have a country with government run every thing like england they die so we would not have that and have freedom. My mom's side of the family came to this country to speak english and to be proud to me an american. learning different languages is great we all should do that. I just will never see the point of saying then pledge or nation anthem in another language except english. If they are learning english and need to hear it in there native language to make them understand what they are saying then ok. Use other things to teach them or show them other languages.

  11. Annie Lenderts

    Shouldn't we be allowed to love our country in any language?

  12. Becky Mangan

    Learning the language isn't offensive, but our pledge should be recited in English. The students in Arab countries speak English, but I'm sure any allegiance to their country is recited in Arabic. It inly makes sense. Probably too much common sense for many Americans to understand.

  13. Becky Mangan

    Who said it has anything to do with enemies or even language? The issue is pledging allegiance to our country. It has nothing to do with people or how they speak, it has everything to do with how we pledge to our country. I wouldn't expect an Arab country to pledge to their country in English. Why would they? I don't take it offensively that they don't.

  14. Becky Mangan

    They should learn it in English. If we were taken over by a foreign speaking country then you could bet your bottom dollar I'd learn their language. I'd learn enough to get by in about a month. If I moved to a foreign country I'd learn the language. Pledging to a country should be done in the countries language. Land and those who run it isn't determined by who inhabited it first. It has everything to to with who conquered and made it theirs.

  15. Becky Mangan

    EXACTLY!!! This country is becoming more and more like England. I just told my boyfriend this morning, our forefathers must be rolling over in their graves. Everything they fled from England for, we now practice anyway. All their bloodshed and loss of loved ones…for this… Pledging Allegiance to our country should ALWAYS be recited in our language. Students are free to learn any language they want, but the pledge and national anthem should be in English.

  16. Ryan Edel

    You know, when I was deployed to Afghanistan, we drove past a lot of small villages. Small, small villages. Places that had never even heard of Walmart, they were that small. Whole towns barricaded inside these mud walls because they didn't have wood or concrete, and you didn't know when another war might come through. And most of the people didn't have cars – heck, a family with goats was wealthy, in some of these places. And these people, they didn't travel. They couldn't. There was nowhere to go. A day's walk might bring you to the next town. And our interpreters, they told us that the language changed from town to town – just natural variation, the way it goes when people can't travel and interact and talk to each other. But they were all Afghani. They were all trying to get by in an economy that really, truly sucked.

    Now, I'm told that someone on my mother's father's side fought in the Revolution. But my mother's mother's parents were from Germany – I'm told that my great-grandmother didn't know English at all when she first came over. It's a similar story on my father's side – ancestors from Germany, ancestors from Ireland. And my wife, she's from Thailand – English is her third language.

    No, it isn't English that makes us Americans – it's freedom. It's our commitment to protect this freedom, to make sure that freedom endures for every American.

    If you really, really want to exclude people because they're willing to articulate freedom in a language other than English, then do you really stand for freedom? I mean, think about it. We have students who have chosen to directly invite peoples of other languages and many cultures to join in our values. These students are not breaking the Pledge – they're sharing it. They're extending it. They're telling the world that yes, we are a nation of freedom-loving people, a nation of immigrants, a nation that values diversity. No, I'm not going to expect an Afghani farmer living inside mud-brick walls to say the Pledge of Allegiance – but that farmer will *never* understand our Pledge unless we have students here who are willing to share it in Arabic, or Dari, or Pashtun, or any of the number of tribal languages inhabiting those valleys and mountains.

    Yes, we should be willing to share the Pledge of Allegiance in languages other than English. And we do this for the same reason that missionaries share the Bible in languages other than English – for the same reason why the Bible comes in languages other than Greek or Latin or Aramaic. It's because words have no meaning unless they are in a language others can understand.

    Yes, we should take pride in our English language. It's a strong, versatile language. It's a testament America's influential position that so many people around the world have chosen to learn English. But when it comes to freedom – when it comes to the very foundation upon which our entire nation is built – that deserves a deeper respect than can be found in any single language.

  17. Anand Kulanthaivel

    The same goes with my parents' native India, sir. Hindi holds barely a 40% fluency rate in a country of one billion. Granted, that country standardized itself with English, much as the Middle East did with Arabic. The question really rests upon whether we want to standardize and assimilate or to let multiple entities be. If we pursue the former, I suggest we do so gently.