I am not a terrorist: the T-shirt

It all started with famed Iraqi blogger, Raed Jarrar being forced to take off a T-shirt before boarding a flight. The T-shirt had "We will not be silent" in English and Arabic.One of the officials said that:

... wearing a t-shirt with Arabic script in an airport now is like going to a bank with a t-shirt that reads, “I am a robber.”

Say what? This is absurd and highlights how low the US has descended in its phantom war on terror. The hysteria by the media has succeeded in swaying public opinion against Arabs big time. Anyway, a good man has setup a T-shirt that says I am not a terrorist T-Shirt in classical Arabic أنا لست إرهابي (ANA LAST IRHABI). This would be أنا مش إرهابي (ANA MESH IRHABI) in the Egyptian dialect, or أنا مو إرهابي (ANA MU IRHABI) in the Gulf dialect.The female T-shirt should read : أنا لست إرهابية (ANA LAST IRHABIA) for the proper feminine suffix. Thanks to Robert Douglass who pointed this to me today. 



Error on the t-shirt

There's a grammatical error on the male "I am not a terrorist" t-shirt. i didn't notice it, but my Arabic tutor did. I bought one of the shirts for myself and got another one to give to him. He looked at it and then laughed. He said "your assignment for today is to identify the grammatical error on the t-shirt.

Keep in mind that I am studying fus/ha with him, so it turned out to be a formality that often drops when you move into spoken dialect. I did come up with it, the male shirt should say this:

انا لست ارهابيا

The t-shirt leaves off the aleph at the end of the last word. In formal arabic you need it because "irhaabi" is indefinite and is the object of the verb, so it requires a fat/ha tanwin, which is marked by a final silent aleph

The female shirt doesn't need any changes because a tanwin following a taa marbuta (ة) does not take an additional aleph.


You are right, and even I, a native Arabic speaker, did not catch that. As you said, this is formal/classical Arabic, which I last studied in high school.

For the benefit of everyone, here is the transliteration:

Ana Last-u Irhabi (incorrect)
Ana Last-u Irhabi-yan (correct formal Arabic)
Khalid Baheyeldin


would one of you guys make up the RIGHT shirt and put it upon Cafe Press, please?



"We will not be silent!"

In Arabic, that would be:

لن نصمت

Lann Nasmut


لن نبقى صامتون

Lann Nabqa Sametun

(We will not remain silent).
Khalid Baheyeldin

We will not be... silent

The wear a shirt with that phrase is not a threat , it is very sad that today itself to think so , but at the end of all need to say that we should not be silent , we should mention that we are free .