Islamophobia has given birth to a new kind of ignorance in that anything Arab, Arabic, or Muslim is automatically perceived as a threat.
To prove this point, a recent survey revealed that more than half of Americans, 56 percent to be exact, seem to think "Arabic numerals" should not be taught at schools. Something as basic and widespread as the numeral system (which Americans use in their everyday lives) is believed to be an irrelevant addition to the school curriculum. Except, mathematics, for example, relies entirely on Arabic numerals.
People are under the assumption that Arabic numerals are somehow related to the Arabic language, though it's far from that. The system is found in almost every corner of the world including cellphones and keyboards, to name a few.
What are Arabic numerals?
For those who don't know, the digits 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9 are Arabic numerals. So, it's unclear if the 56 percent of those surveyed are aware that Arabic numerals are actually the everyday numbers most people use, especially in the United States.
Two Indian mathematicians developed the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, which is the one used all over the world today.
"The saddest and funniest testament to American bigotry"
The survey was conducted by market research company Civic Science. John Dick, CEO of the organization, posted a screenshot of the survey results.
Of 3,624 respondents, some 2,020 people answered "no" to the question:
"Should schools in America teach Arabic numerals as part of their curriculum?"
The poll doesn't appear to be available online at the time. According to Snopes, Dick said the "goal in this experiment was to tease out prejudice among those who didn't understand the question."
People on social media were not able to contain themselves, so naturally, trolls surfaced online.