Penis Pump or Bomb?

by CounterPunch News Service

Mardin Amin, an Iraqi arrested at O’Hare airport now faces serious felony charges of disorderly conduct. He could get three years in prison. A female security guard claims Amin uttered the word "bomb" when she was examining a small black squeezable object she’d taken from his bag.

For his part, Amin, on his way to Turkey with his mother and his children, claims he was whispering to his mother that it was a "pump" ­ in fact a penis pump.

The judge believed the security guard and now Amin faces the felony charges.

CounterPuncher and Arabic-speaker David Price clarifies the affair.

"As an anthropologist and Arabic speaker," Price tells CounterPunch," let me call attention to a vital aspect of this story. Simply put, Arabic has no ‘Ps’ and all native Arabic speakers voice their bilabials as ‘Bs’, thus it is pretty obvious that any native Arabic speaker with an accent would say the word ‘pump’ as the word ‘bumb’ –which the poorly-trained and overly paranoid airport security worker mis-heard as ‘bomb.’

"As has happened here, with newspapers such as the Chicago Sun Times, news pieces with the words ‘penis pump’ will generate guffaws from sea to shinning sea, but by not stating what the obvious context of this misunderstanding is, the Sun Times is adding to a dangerous climate of American anti-Arab sentiment."

Professor Price urges the chortling scriveners and newsreaders of Chicago’s entyertrainment industry to do what they can to reduce climate of hysteria by shedding some public light on what actually happened in this case.

After Wednesday’s hearing, Amin said airport security officials never gave him an opportunity to explain the misunderstanding. And he said he would never utter the word "bomb" while going through securi
"Come on — what do you think?" said Amin, who lives in Skokie and works for a janitorial service.

Amin does not consider the pump unusual.

"It’s normal," he said. "Half of America they use it."

David Price teaches anthropology at St. Martin’s College in Lacey, Washington. He is author of Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI’s Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists (Duke, 2004). His next book, Weaponizing Anthropology: American Anthropologists in the Second World War will be published by Duke University Press. He can be reached at: dprice@stmartin.edu




 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 03, 2015
Sal Rodriguez
How California Prison Hunger Strikes Sparked Solitary Confinement Reforms
Lawrence Ware
Leave Michael Vick Alone: the Racism and Misogyny of Football Fans
Dave Lindorff
Is Obama the Worst President Ever?
Vijay Prashad
The Return of Social Democracy?
Ellen Brown
Quantitative Easing for People: Jeremy Corbyn’s Radical Proposal
Paul Craig Roberts
The Rise of the Inhumanes: Barron, Bybee, Yoo and Bradford
Binoy Kampmark
Inside Emailgate: Hillary’s Latest Problem
Lynn Holland
For the Love of Water: El Salvador’s Mining Ban
Geoff Dutton
Time for Some Anger Management
Jack Rasmus
The New Colonialism: Greece and Ukraine
Norman Pollack
American Jews and the Iran Accord: The Politics of Fear
John Grant
Sorting Through the Bullshit in America
David Macaray
The Unbearable Lightness of Treaties
Chad Nelson
Lessig Uses a Scalpel Where a Machete is Needed
September 02, 2015
Paul Street
Strange Words From St. Bernard and the Sandernistas
Jose Martinez
Houston, We Have a Problem: False Equivalencies on Police Violence
Henry Giroux
Global Capitalism and the Culture of Mad Violence
Ajamu Baraka
Making Black Lives Matter in Riohacha, Colombia
William Edstrom
Wall Street and the Military are Draining Americans High and Dry
David Altheide
The Media Syndrome Between a Glock and a GoPro
Yves Engler
Canada vs. Africa
Ron Jacobs
The League of Empire
Andrew Smolski
Democracy and Privatization in Neoliberal Mexico
Stephen Lendman
Gaza: a Socioeconomic Dead Zone
Norman Pollack
Obama, Flim-Flam Artist: Alaska Offshore Drilling
Binoy Kampmark
Australian Border Force Gore
Ruth Fowler
Ask Not: Lost in the Crowd with Amanda Palmer
Kim Nicolini
Remembering Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy