Michigan Offers Help Applying For SNAP In Arabic, Conservatives Outraged
Of all the states, Michigan has the largest percentage of people of Arab descent. The Michigan Department of Human Services offers 3 options when calling for help applying for assistance. 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, and 3 for Arabic. The practice isn’t uncommon for a state with large number of a particular ethnicity. Florida, for example, offers Creole in addition to English and Spanish from their Department of Children and Families’ Miami Switchboard to assist those of Haitian descent. The USDA SNAP information website offers applications for download in more than 30 languages.
Conservatives have been sharing that Michigan offers help for its Arab population in Arabic, and they are not very happy about it. Clash Daily’s Doug Giles wrote:
The camel’s nose is officially in the tent in Michigan!
Muslim men are allowed to have as many as 4 wives. Many Muslims have immigrated into the U.S. and brought their 2-3-or 4 wives with them, but the U.S. does not allow multi-marriages, so the man lists one wife as his, and signs the other 2 or 3 up as extended family on welfare and other free Government programs!
Apparently, for Doug, the issue goes beyond simply allowing people to apply in Arabic. He misrepresents Muslim polygamy in a sensationalist attempt to create outrage toward a misunderstood practice. In Islam, monogamy is the basis for a standard relationship. Muslim men are allowed to enter into polygamist arrangements in cases involving marriage to the mothers of orphans so they can be taken care of. The Quran allows an exception in these cases so the greater needs of the community can be met.
Snopes offers an in depth analysis of Doug’s story.
Senior Airman (retired) Brian Kolfage also offered his thoughts on the subject:
What ever happened to learning a country’s language that everyone speaks?
I hate it when I can’t even communicate with people who work and can’t speak English. Many fast food employees lately don’t speak an ounce of English. That’s in Florida and even Arizona. When I was in Miami, roughly 25% of employees that I ran into didn’t speak any English.
Kolfage is no stranger to hate. He’s also no stranger to invented statistics. There is no statistic available for how many people taking fast food orders don’t speak English, so we’ll have to take his word for it, though 72% of internet statistics are made up. I just made that up.
He also posted the story:
Everyone in America, so long as they’re legally allowed, is entitled to apply for government assistance. After all, that’s what it’s there for. The question is, should the Arabic demographic – Muslims – be provided an option to better communicate and apply for taxpayer-funded help?
Should hungry people be able to apply for benefits or should they be denied if they don’t speak English or don’t qualify for the conservative list of approved religions?
I asked Kolfage for an interview on the subject. He blocked my Facebook profile and banned me from his page. I’m assuming he’s declining to comment.
Conservatives have been attacking the SNAP program for years. Hopefully some day they realize that SNAP isn’t about race, it isn’t free food for illegal immigrants, and it isn’t destroying the economy. SNAP is about battling hunger, and hunger doesn’t discriminate.[su_csky_ad]