Saturday, October 18, 2008

BLOG: Faris on Barack ...

Some 17 years ago, I attended a Muslim youth camp in a delightful part of New South Wales called Tiona Park. There, I engaged in such jihadi activities as swimming at the nine-mile beach, fishing at the knee-high lake, playing soccer and enjoying barbecued sausages and kifte (Lebanese mince).

One of the team leaders at the camp was a postgrad student named Mohd Faris. Mohd is a Malay abbreviation for "Mohammad". Faris is a typical Arab name commonly used by Arabs of all faiths and Muslims of all ethnic backgrounds.

I'm not sure how a certain Melbourne QC got his surname. Does he have Arab blood? Were any of his ancestors Arabs and/or Muslims? Who knows?

Mr Faris became very upset once when I suggested to him that his surname suggests Arab and/or Muslim ancestry. I'm not sure if Boutros Faris al-wakil al-malika ("Counsel to the Queen") was, on that occasion, as upset as Barack Obama must be at suggestions that his middle name being Hussein and his Kenyan father meant he was necessarily Muslim.

So the next time Boutros Faris al-wakil al-malika makes an issue of Barack Obama's athiest-father's heritage, we should remind Sheik Faris of his own surname and bid him "assalamu alaykum" as his presumed ancestors intended!

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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"Grendel" said...

On a whim I went looking and found a 'FarisWeb" which had this to say about the name:

"Faris or Al-Faris, has its roots in Arabic; meaning a Knight, Gallant, Chivalrous or a Cavalier, and refers collectively to "A heroic Knight who fought on horseback". The "Faris" surname is common in many cultures as a family name and has been identified in almost all continents. Since it is profoundly of an Arabic origin and written in only one contextual form. The transliterated versions differ from one use to another, Faris, Farris, Ferris, even Fares, with or without the adjective "Al". The Spanish, Portuguese and Italian use of Faris and Al-Faris surnames can be spelled in a completely different way, which are Alvarez and Alvares(s)."

Of course the is a Scottish version as well meaning 'Son-of'Fergus', but there is nothing to say It wasn't Fergus of Arabia. . .

Mohammed Goldberg said...

What a stupid argument, Irfan.

Barack Obama's ancestry isn't in dispute. It is inconvenient that his name is testament to it, but doesn't actually change anything. He's not being called on his Muslim heritage solely because his name happens to sound that way.

There's a guy called Cohen who was the legal representative of Hamas in the US. Jews were livid that one of their own had sold out to a bunch of Jew murderers. However on checking, Cohen had no Jewish ancestry whatsoever. It was simply an unfortunate coincidence and Hamas were loving it.

The point: Obama's name isn't the issue. His heritage is.

Faris' name doesn't prove anything either.

Anonymous said...

So Sheik Goldberg, what you are saying is that American voters should consider that Obama's athiest father had some kind of Muslim heritage because he gave his son a middle name as common in Kenya as George is among English Christians. I guess that must mean any Jew named George isn't really a Jew.

Take your tablets along with some Bex and have a lie down.

Anonymous said...

Jewish lawyers have represented terror suspects in the past. It is a purely professional relationship. Most Jews don't have the kind of insular communalist attitude that mohammed goldberg/daniel lewis has.