Rock Paper Infidel!

Arabic RPSOnce again, Rock Paper Scissors is making the news. This time as part of a tolerance campaign by the Virginia Interfaith Centre. Although there are 3 executions in the campaign, The Think Three bog is particularly interested in one of them which simple has the words "Rock, Paper Scissors" written in Arabic."Since 9/11 especially, we have been conditioned to react negatively to any message set in Arabic," said Gretchen Schoel, director of AMPU.  ”Hopefully, the posters will illicit fear and suspicion first, then surprise at the translation and in the end a feeling that we have to stop jumping to generalizations and start understanding this community.”

As expected, some  fell hook, line and sinker:

One woman described as a well-educated university employee placed a frantic call to the bus company's manager, suggesting the FBI be called in to investigate. Even after the signs' English translations were explained to her, she remained concerned that they might contain secret messages, Schoel said.

and other…

One panicked bus rider wondered if they were secret messages from terrorists.

At the bottom of all the executions translations are available with comments such as, "Misunderstanding can make anything scary," and "What did you think it said?"

We at the Think Three Blog applaud such a campaign and are proud that the world's most popular method of dispute resolution can be used to make people aware of their irrational biases.

More information on the campaign is available on the VFC website