Arabic is the World’s Most Difficult Language, a Libyan student told me. I started to point out the very, very bloody obvious fact that difficulty in language learning is in the eye of the beholder. Oh, for fuck’s sake, it doesn’t take a genius… if the language you purpose to learn is very similar to your own, you are probably going to find it easier than one that is very different. Many a Chinese student has enrolled for three months in a British language school and worked his bollocks off, only to find that he has made less progress at the end of his stay than the little clique of Poles in the same class who spent the three months merely arsing about. When someone comes up with the ‘mine is the most difficult language’ rubbish, I usually suggest they have a go at learning Inuktitut, whilst struggling to bear in mind that any native speaker of that tongue finds it as easy as breathing. I didn’t get that far today. With Naima looking on and nodding approval, Abdulkarim insisted that this was not merely his opinion: it was in the Quran. Once again, there was an end of it.
You might like to read The Heresiarch here. A quote: 'Karen Armstrong... is as unshakeably certain that God is "compassion" as any Taliban commander is convinced that God wants to stone adulterers. She is just as convinced as he is that God agrees with her point of view.'