What's Urdu for "We're Sorry"? | Letters | Chicago Reader

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What's Urdu for "We're Sorry"?

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Dear editor,

I have long respected the voice of the people that is expressed through your offices. Not every publication has achieved this status.

My objection is toward the headline on the October 10 issue. In big bold letters the newspaper screamed, "What's Urdu for 'We're Screwed'?" Urdu being my native language, I was drawn to read what was below the headline--"One protection against terrorism is understanding the terrorists. We've got a long way to go." I think such a title was uncalled for, in bad taste, and detrimental to the social harmony in the U.S., particularly in Chicago.

It will be hard to deny that from now on almost every reader who read these words will subconsciously relate Urdu with terrorism, just as the word "Muslim" has been related to "terrorism" thanks to media coverage of events in the recent past.

There are close to 100,000 people in the Chicago area that speak this language and belong to respectable professions and trades. They should not be subject to any bias just because another reader has just seen the headline! Please refrain from creating more stereotypes. We already have enough in this country. Adding "Urdu speakers are kinda like terrorists" need not be next on the list.

We, the Urdu-speaking readers of your newspaper, deserve an apology from the writer/editor. We hope that such headlines will not be used in the future toward ANY community, culture, language, or faith.

Tanveer

Chicago

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