Attention: I Attend a Madrassa

In response to Chicago Tribune article: “Pakistan school groups talk aid”

I wish to inform you that I go to a madrassa. There I said it. No really, I go to a madrassa. Before you call the FBI, though, consider that just as “escuela” means “school” in Spanish, “madrassa” means “school” in Arabic.

It’s really that simple.

Madrassas are not bastions of “extremist” Islam, nor schools of hate. However, Tribune Staff Reporter Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah cites otherwise. In her June 9th article, Pakistan school groups talk aid, she interchangeably used madrassa with “extremist religious school.”

Using the word madrassa to connote an extremist school is simply wrong. The misuse of this word only fuels fear and misinformation. The fact that the public may not question such a blatant mistranslation, reminiscent of xenophobia, is disturbing. But the fact that the Tribune didn’t correct the mistake is unfortunate.