Friday, December 01, 2006

Britain: Must not Abbreviate "Pakistani"

We read:

"A race row has broken out after a councillor defended the use of the word 'Paki'. Councillor Ian Robinson, who is a school governor, asked: "Is Paki such a wrong word?" during a public meeting..... "We have used this word for donkey's years but apparently you can't say it any more.....

And Salim Mullah, secretary of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said he understood the word to be wrong, and advised friends, especially white people, against it. He said: "The word is not a respectful term. I would use a different phrase, like a member of the Pakistani community'. "A lot of people feel uncomfortable when someone uses 'Paki'."

But Councillor Robinson was supported by Pendle Council's Labour leader, Councillor Mohammad Iqbal, who said he had been called "a lot worse" and that he saw the term as an abbreviation, not an insult.


There is a similar "sensitivity" in Australia. To abbreviate "Aborigine" as "Abo" is sometimes claimed to be racist, though the actual derogatory term for Aborigines is "boong" (pronounced as in "book").

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