Friday, July 18, 2008

Irish Koran Tattoos

This is a new one to me: Irish teenagers are sporting tattoos with Koranic verses in Arabic, ignorant of what they say.

Our Irish correspondent LS reports:

I was down the town in Bray this afternoon to do some banking and to watch a free drumming workshop for children at the civic centre plaza. On the way to Halifax Bank, I noticed that the teenage girl walking beside me had a tattoo of what appeared to be Arabic writing running up the back of her arm from elbow to shoulder (shades of Submission). She had other tattoos and some piercings on her face, but she looked like a typical middle class Bray teen ( I suppose that in itself says something about Ireland, or at least the greater Dublin area). As we walked a distance together along the footpath, I struck up a conversation with her and asked after this particular tattoo (the others were unremarkable.).

She said this one was a verse from the Bible. I asked if it mightn’t be from the Koran, since it appeared to be in Arabic. She said that yes, in fact, she had been told it was Arabic writing, but she did not seem to recognize the word “Koran” or its difference from the Bible. I didn’t attempt to discuss the difference. I asked if she could tell me what it said. She said she couldn’t (she didn’t remember, not that I was not allowed to know). She said it was about “love.”

I asked if she had a Muslim boyfriend. She said she didn’t. She was not at all offended that I asked. It was just a factual exchange.
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I mentioned this exchange to an Irish friend whom I met at the drumming event. She told me that the Arabic language tattoos were exceptionally popular at the moment. And we both wondered why anyone would want something written in a language they didn’t know (by someone who also did not know the language) to be permanently affixed to one’s body. I suppose this is like girls wearing the Kaffiyeh or babies wearing Che T-shirts. But you can take off the clothing.

I suppose it would be over-reacting or superstitious to be all that concerned about girls wearing tattoos in languages they cannot read that could say anything at all. For all she knows it says “Pog Mo Thon.” (“Kiss my arse” in Irish.)

However, it reminded me of reporter Steve Centani and his cameraman agreeing to “convert” to Islam in order to keep their heads attached to their bodies. Is Steve still reporting at all? Has this forced conversion changed him, and in what way? I believe he was a Fox News reporter, and we get Fox News here via Sky cable, but I haven’t noticed him lately. However, I rarely watch TV at all anymore.

I can’t help but wonder what verse it was on the young lady’s arm. Maybe an apes-and-pigs special? Or perhaps “slay ye the idolaters wheresoever ye find them”…

The whole affair brings to mind William Butler Yeats, from “To Ireland in the Coming Times”:

For the elemental creatures go
About my table to and fro,
That hurry from unmeasured mind
To rant and rage in flood and wind;
Yet he who treads in measured ways
May surely barter gaze for gaze.
Man ever journeys on with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.
Ah, faeries, dancing under the moon,
A Druid land, a Druid tune!

Alas, the coming times are here, and Ireland is a Druid land no longer. Rather a Sunni land, and the only elemental creatures in sight are the djinns.


Zenster said...

As others noted about Rowan Williams, yet one more case of pre-emptive submission. At least that girl can be sure her Muslim assailants won't mar her tat while she's being gang raped.

Max Publius said...

That is quite funny in a tragic way, since tatoos are "haram" or forbidden in Islam. Ignorance cubed.

Profitsbeard said...

I would guess the tattoos all say:

"roperty of the Saudi Government".

Profitsbeard said...

(Somebody stole my P?)

Charlemagne said...

Stupid, but no different really than the many many people who put Asian tattoos on themselves and have no idea what they really mean. They do it more b/c they think the tats, in non-Latin script, look cool than for any other reason.

One_of_the_last_few_Patriots_left said...

I suppose I sound like an old fossil ( hmmm... Dammit! I AM an old fossil! ) but I am old enough to remember a time when only outlaw bikers in the joint had tatoos. How such a skanky "fashion" became ubiquitous among supposedly "modern" middle class women is beyond me.
Uugh! Thoroughly disgusting.

As for which verse from the Koran it was, perhaps Sura 4:34 would be appropriate. I call it "the wife beater's Sura" and it is the one where the "Prophet" instructs his thuggish followers to beat the crap out of their women.

darrinh said...

I'd wager that the Arabic in the tatoo is La illaha ill Allah, Muhammadur Rasul Allah

Anonymous said...

Nothing new there. Every day, especially in summer, I see plenty of people who run around with tatoos showing Chinese letters, and 99.99999% of the people usually have no idea what they mean.

"It looks cool". Yeah, right. I guess being an ignorant fool is cool too.

That said, I don't like 99.9999999% of the tatoos out there. It's hard to see a really artistic, unique one. Apart from that, I grew up in the days when tatoos were still something unacceptable in society. Not to mention that for me: tatoo + piercings = major turn-off.

Though, these days, when I see tatoos, the first thing that springs into my mind is: YAKUZA! But then again, those guys often sport really artistic ones, not the standard, mass produced crap you see on overweight 17-year olds.

roy.j.poppe said...

I normaly don't leave comments but this story was too good to ignore. I went out to eat with some friends of mine in a western state. It was a "middle eastern" resturant. The waitress was a former student of my friend. Her father was Iranian, and her mother was a "blond Cali girl". This particular waitress was smokin hot (and completly western). Long black hair, dark complexion and blue eyes. And when she bent over to clean another table we all saw she had an Arabic script tattoo on her extreme lower back. My friend was going crazy wondering what it said. I told her I was betting it said "Welcome to Paradise". Which got a round of laughs from the table and a dirty look from my wife. It turned out to be her name just as her dad taught her to write it. Of course she hadn't told HIM she had it. But I doubt he was even moslem, as he let her dress like that. Breaks my heart to think how many beautiful arab girls are covered up. But then again, I am sure there are plenty o ugly ones too.

spackle said...


"Is Steve still reporting at all? "

Yes he is still on Fox news. It seems since his experience he more or less reports on domestic issues and has a lower profile. Understandable.


"But then again, those guys often sport really artistic ones, not the standard, mass produced crap you see on overweight 17-year olds."

LOL. So true, so true.

Roy.j.poppe said

"Breaks my heart to think how many beautiful arab girls are covered up."

I was recently forced by a friend to watch an episode of yet another crappy reality show called "She's got the look". This particular one was for over 35 aspiring models. One of the contestants was a very beautiful Muslim woman who was very modern and cosmopolitan. She started crying when she was talking about what a horrible experience it was being raised Muslim and being attractive at the same time. She said Muslim culture taught her to be ashamed of her beauty and to this day feels horrible when complimented and casts her eyes downward. I know this is nothing new but is sad none the less.

laine said...

I deduct several IQ points from young people who get prominent tattoos. They are incapable of thinking beyond the present.

Like mini skirts and white lipstick, the tattoo fashion moment will wane and indulgers will look as cool as someone with permanent bell bottoms welded to their legs.

Secondly, many potential employers are still of an age that is repulsed by tattoos, associating them with sailors like Popeye and hardcore criminals.

Finally, and this is applicable to all, there is nothing more pathetic or unappetizing looking than a tattoo on corrugated and sagging "mature" skin. Think of disrobing for some young doctor decades hence who will have a hard time keeping a straight face as he plops his stethoscope on the giant wrinkly Scorpion over your "man boobs" and heart.

Tattoos are difficult, painful and expensive to remove and depending on dyes used, impossible to erase completely.

So really, how bright can you be mark your skin permanently as some kind of fashion statement or "rebel" stance which looks pretty foolish sooner than you think, like when you're dropping your kids off at school in your Subaru full of groceries and baby seat in the back, while looking like biker chick?

Dumb dumb dumb.