(photo credit: ILAN SHOCHAT)
An innocent weather warning issued by a local Texas weather service this week caused uproar with its choice of terminology deemed inappropriate by some infuriated locals.
When a dust storm was referred to on Monday as "Haboob," locals of Lubbock Texas did not shy away from speaking up on the weather service's Facebook page in order to express disdain over the chosen word, of Arabic origin.
One reader said: "Haboob!?! I’m a Texan. Not a foreigner from Iraq or Afghanistan. They might have haboobs but around here in the Panhandle of TEXAS, we have Dust Storms. So would you mind stating it that way. I’ll find another weather service."
Another said,"Perhaps this was written by an Iraqi war veteran who was sent there by some dumb*** that invaded the wrong country that was voted by a whole bunch more dumb***es."
A third Texan took the opportunity to address the impending US election and express his support for Republican candidate Donald Trump, saying, "I for one cannot wait until those gosh dang democrats get swept out of office cause you know the Donald will not allow these Islam loving words to be used in the good ole US of A. We have a new haboob on the way.....and his name is Trump, the biggest haboob in the world!!!!"
Yet, to balance out these extreme reactions, some moderates looked down on the comments of the "ignorant" Texans who were overly critical of a weather term which, although of Arabic origin, was entirely appropriate. "Haboob" is used to describe intense dust storms often associated with thunderstorms, typical in the Middle East and Africa. It stems from the word "habb," which, in Arabic, means "wind" or "to blow." It's use was not at all misappropriated.
One man said, "The stupidity of some people is just absolutely blinding. Yes, you can call this a sand/dust storm all you wish, but the correct term is and always will be, a Haboob. It seems to me that those who are spewing their racial hatred and bigotry over a simple word such as this, need to return to grade school and become reincorporated into society as respectful human beings."
Another wrote, "To all of you people complaining about a word. Do you all realize how stupid y'all look? I mean, the rest of the country and the world is laughing at y'all. Lmao stop getting offended over nothing. It's super annoying to the civilized world. We work too hard to make humanity modern and non-draconian to allow this sort of BS. Thanks."
The dust storm has since settled - yet the controversy and headlines surrounding it are still making waves.