Arab Terrorists: Give Back Numbers

Written by Chuck Barber

Tuesday, 18 May 2004

Arab terrorists today demanded the return of all Arabic numerals held in the west. Standing before ancient inscriptions containing Arabic numerals in an unnamed town in what is now Saudi Arabia, a hooded group calling itself "Bin al Wahoud" claimed that rather than being a gift, Arabic numerals had been stolen by crusaders for their own profit.

The spokesman for Bin al Wahoud, Ali Rasheed Houmda, pointed to the numbers carved into the stone behind him and said that the existence of these ancient numbers "proves that they are ours long before the west thought to use them. When Europeans counted on their fingers the number of sheep they had, we mapped the stars using al-gebra, another of our wonderful inventions."

Bin al Wahoud translates literally as Sons of the Numerals of Death, but to the Arabic speaker suggests much more. Dr. Wando Hertz, internationally known Arabist from the University of Berlin stated during an telephone interview that the form of the words and the way in which it is formed when written tie the group closely to Allah himself. "They are claiming, in a sense, that they have come at the direction of Allah. Those who claim that are the most intractable. I think many of us who are aware of how Arabic numerals came to the west have feared this moment for some time. In International law, this is a legitimate demand.

Ali Rasheed Houmda continued that if the west wanted to return to Roman Numerals they would be welcome to them. "They Romans conquered the Middle East they must know better?"

At the end of the press conference Ali Rasheed Houmda said that possibly the Arabic nations would lease the Arabic numerals back to the West. "Perhaps we could start with the numbers three and seven. If they behave with them, then we might be able to lease them a few more."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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