Monday, February 06, 2006

Scoring our dislikes

When thinking about the havoc caused by the Arab misunderstanding of our sense of humor (see my previous blog posting), I can’t escape the nagging feeling that, really, I don’t very much like Arabs. I have no problems with the Islam, I have lived peacefully among Muslims, but Arabs – as a rule – rub me the wrong way.

So yes, I do think we should strive for friendship, but no - I don’t see that happening in a general sense very soon.

Am I alone in this? I have no clue. I therefore decided to google the sentence ‘I don’t like Arabs’ and see how many hits this sentence gets on the Internet. The answer is: nearly 3400.

The next question is: is this a normal hit, a high hit, or a very low hit? You can build up some kind of scale, I thought, if you relate this score for the preference of Arabs, against other scores.

I then did the same thing for ‘I don’t like the Dutch’. Well, let’s see. I can take a blow. The score for the dislike of the Dutch according to the Internet (or Google) is 800.

It should therefore be concluded that, roughly speaking, there are less people who express their dislike for the Dutch than people who do the same as regards the Arabs. It is not an unexpected outcome.

Here is the score on other preferences:

- I don’t like Americans-------------------15700
- I don’t like Arabs------------------------3400
- I don’t like the French--------------------880
- I don’t like the Germans-------------------950
- I don’t like the Dutch---------------------800
- I don’t like the schoolteacher------------none (!)
- I don’t like my boss----------------------2500
- I don’t like my husband-------------------1200
- I don’t like my children------------------1100
- I don’t like sex--------------------------1300

Our dislike for Americans by far outweighs our dislike for Arabs, or at least there are more people willing to put this dislike in writing. That is an interesting outcome. It suggests to me that Americans face a far greater challenge to brush up their image than Arabs do. I do not dislike Americans, I only thoroughly dislike their current Administration.

However, broadly speaking, the dislike for Americans but also for Arabs is relatively strong compared with any other negative feeling that people can harbor, even between wife and husband.

I would say that scores like this one are food for thought only, but I do find it an intriguing way of polling opinions across the world wide web.

In my dislike for Arabs I do not stand alone. It doesn’t make me feel proud, but at least I am not an exception.

It is highly desirable that people in the Arab world seriously look at their overall image. The Arab world is full of history, intellect and civilization. But what the Arabs allow us to see today, to me seems a more horrible caricature than any Western cartoon can depict.


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