The Bahai Truth

All That They Didn't Tell You About the Faith

Imposition of language is nothing but cultural imperialism

Is it possible for mankind to forego their mother tongues and take up an auxiliary language so that the whole earth would come to be regarded as one city and one land?
Bahaullah’s wish, idealistic as it may sound, will leave educational institutions, specially the language departments world over, shivering in their boots. Linguistic genocide on a global scale for the sake of unity is one of the stupidest ideas ever. Monolingualism can never guarantee peace. On the contrary it is very much an intrinsic part of man’s innate-nature. As God has declared in Quran:
“And amongst His signs is the creation of heaven and the earth, and variation in your language and colours; Verily, in there are signs for those who know” (Chapter 30, Verse 22)
The different languages that we speak, in God’s word, is one of His signs, much like the turning up of the sun every morning from the east and the appearance and disappearance of the moon.
In another place, the Almighty says: O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
The key words here are to “know each other.” This comes from no less but the Creator himself. This only debunks the theory that languages create cultures which in turn creates conflict.
The Baha’i faith’s principle that the different cultures should stop conversing in their native tongues will give rise to more revulsion in an already fragmented society as any tribe or race would want their own language to become the official one.
Language is a primary component of culture, and. imposition of language is nothing but cultural imperialism as it indirectly suggests enforcing of a culture over the other.
The key for any universal or God-appointed prophet or leader is to not only understand every language spoken under the sun but to speak it fluently. Bab and Bahaullah, in that regard, were mere mortals, as has been proved by the books of history.
Prophet Muhammad (s), for instance, spoke comfortably in every language and dialect.

Updated: April 26, 2015 — 10:43 am
The Bahai Truth © 2015