In the German town of Völklingen, far-right mayoral candidate Otfried Best has promised to rid his town of one of the most insidious influences of Islam: Arabic numbering. During a debate, an opposing candidate from the satirical Die Partei party asked about the ubiquitous presence of Arabic numbers and Best pledged to change the numeric infiltration of Arabs.
In reality, “Arabic numbers” originated in India as early as the first century. In the 9th century they were adopted by Arabs as “Hindu numerals.” For that reason, they were called Hindu-Arabic numbers.
Here is the exchange:
Mr. Best … I find it alarming that in Völklingen many house numbers are displayed in Arabic numerals.
How would you like to take action against this creeping foreigner infiltration?
You just wait until I am mayor.
I will change that.
Then there will be normal numbers.
Politico writer Dan Diamond reported the story on Twitter.
Presumably, we will revert to Roman numerals but it is worth noting that this year we can write 2017.
The fact is that suspicious foreign types have been peddling Arabic numbers for years: