A Swift Kick
Yussra MT Ebrahim
Gregory Rabassa opens his essay “No Two Snowflakes Are Alike: Translation as Metaphor” with an intriguing discussion of how one concept can approach another, but never fully equal it. However, it doesn’t take two pages for his examples to insult me to my very core. In explaining how different words hold different meanings in each culture, he writes, “Among some peoples, Muslims, for example, the dog is considered a vile creature, worthy of a swift kick, while others, notably those of northern Europe, dote on him.” Wow. To quell my offense, allow me to correct Rabassa’s “mistranslation” of the Islamic perception of the dog.
1) Not only is the implication that Muslims are dog-kickers hateful and uncalled for, it’s inaccurate too; animal abuse is severely forbidden in Islam.
2) Muslims are followers of a major world