Texas ‘In God We Trust’ Law Attracts Arab Poster Funds
To protest a new Texas law requiring schools to display donated signs that read “In God We Trust,” an activist has launched a campaign to send signs in Arabic.
The motto “In God We Trust” appears most often on U.S. dollar bills [Alex Wong/Getty]
A new law requiring schools in the US state of Texas to display donated copies of the phrase “In God We Trust” has led an activist in Florida to send posters to schools with the words in Arabic.
A new law in Texas requires schools and universities to post a poster or framed copy of the words “In God We Trust” – the national motto, most often associated with US dollar bills – in a prominent place. whether it was donated or purchased from private donations.
Chaz Stevens, the Florida activist organizing the campaign, noticed that the law made no mention of a specific language, and thus saw an opening to point out what he sees as the absurdity of the legislation.
“The law apparently assumes these signs are written in English. Oopsie,” Stevens wrote mockingly on his GoFundMe fundraising page.
“We will be donating hundreds of Arabic-language ‘In God We Trust’ posters to schools across Texas, flooding the public school system with our Arabic-language IGWT artwork,” he said.
Stevens described the law as an attempt to water down the Constitution’s First Amendment, which indicates a separation between church and state. Texas, a traditionally conservative state, has moved further and further away from the separation of church and state in recent years, raising concerns about the quality of education.
“Keep up the good work of defending the separation of church and state. Let’s keep sticking to the religious right! wrote Kameron Seger, who donated $5 to the fundraiser.
“Words in a language other than English are still words (but this may be news in Texas). Thank you for your commitment to civilization,” wrote Patricia Nault, who donated $50 .
Although Stevens said he consulted several Middle Eastern translators to verify the accuracy of the motto words, native Arabic speakers who read the story online were quick to point out the apparent “Google translation” quality. from Arabic.
Although the words themselves, “Nahnu Nithic Bi Allah”, are correct, Arabic speakers can see that it is not a colloquially translated phrase. A more colloquial translation would have been “Natukal bi Allah” or “Tawakalna ‘Ala Allah” (literally “We rely on God”).
Nonetheless, the message seems to be getting through, as the story continues to gain momentum for its cheekiness.
By late Friday afternoon, Stevens had raised more than $30,000 of his $250,000 goal.
He plans to reproduce the motto posters in different languages.
“Future works of art will not only include Arabic, but also Hindu, Spanish, Chinese and possibly African dialects,” he said. CNN.