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A clarification regarding the incident on Al-Jadeed Channel and MEMRI TV distortions

A clarification regarding the incident on

Al-Jadeed Channel and MEMRI TV distortions

 

Dr. Hani Al-Sibai

hanisibu@hotmail.com

Director of Almaqreze Centre for Historical Studies

 

All praise is due to Allah and may blessings be upon his Messenger (peace be upon him), to proceed:

I had no desire in commenting on the baseness of Al-Jadeed channel over last weeks incident. My attention was drawn however to the Zionist website “MEMRI”, who posted the clip and have a history of distorting translations as they had done so many times to me previously.

 

The translation provided by MEMRI TV is inaccurate and I believe deliberately intended to be provocative. They have mistranslated my words to portray me in the worst manner possible. I will outline the context of the incident and the linguistic fallacies of MEMRI TV’s translation.

 

I was quoted by MEMRI to have said “are you done? Shut up so I can talk!”. Both these sentences are inaccurate representations of my words. The word “Khalas” is widely used colloquially. It has the meaning to be finished or done, “OK” or even understood at times. More damagingly MEMRI has intentionally mistranslated the imperative verb of the Arabic root word for quiet (Sukut) as “Shut up!”. If we revise the dictionaries for example Al-Mawrid or even Hans Wehr’s reputable dictionary of modern written Arabic, we notice that none have translated the word “Sukut” or its imperative as “Shut up”. In Al-Mawrid (p107) the very same word I used is translated as “Silence, be quiet, hush”.

 

It also important to add that in the Arabic mindset the word to remain silent is not as emotively loaded and does not offend as opposed to the English term “Shut up”. Therefore academic honesty ought to have led MEMRI to choose a translation both linguistically and culturally reflective of my words. I firmly believe that MEMRI has intentionally misconstrued my words to further an Islamophobic narrative.

 

Additionally and due to MEMRI’s disastrous translation, the media framed me as “sexist”, “misogynistic” and perhaps even hateful of women! To clarify my position I wish to explain that I do not hold such views and that I had appeared on numerous shows hosted by female presenters, on Al-Jazeera, LBC, BBC, Al-Arabiya and many others. Therefore that claim is wholly incorrect. The presenter of the show herself in an interview with The Guardian expressed in clear terms that she did not believe sexism had anything to do with the incident.

 

It is only due to MEMRI’s distortions that sexist interpretations were allowed. MEMRI quoted me saying, “It is beneath me to be interviewed by you. You are a woman….”. In no capacity did I say what they claim. I used the Arabic word for “honour” in the negative, not below or beneath which implies an extremely negative sentiment. The following sentence should not have been translated as it lacks any coherence. MEMRI ought to have clearly stated that what follows was inaudible rather than placing this phrase which adds no value other than vilifying me.

Furthermore, the persistence of Al-Jadeed channel in misrepresenting the facts has compelled me to outline the truth of the incident:

 

First:

I was contacted by one of the programme’s staff called “Murtada” who requested my appearance on the LelNashr programme. He persisted in his request for approximately a week. I then agreed on condition the host wears a headscarf similar to the Muslim Hijab, they agreed. I then requested they seek the agreement of the presenter since she may refuse, I was reassured that she wouldn’t. Nevertheless the presenter agreed and I was informed of it. I also enquired about the presenter and was told her name was “Rima Karaki”. It was the first time I heard of her and never have I watched her shows before.

 

Second:

During the programme which aired on Monday (05-01-2015), the presenter interrupted me repeatedly, I expressed my dismay to her. She had also invited another guest to the show and also called a number of guests during the show in order to refute me! Before the end of the show the live feed was cut, and I was no longer able to hear and the guest on the phone continued to speak against me in my absence. Her behaviour and that of the producers disappointed me.

 

Third:

 Two months later, I received a call from a man who introduced himself as the producer of LelNashr, his name was “Ibrahim Harb”. He invited me to appear on a segment relating to Christians joining ISIS! I asked if it was the same presenter as previously, he responded in the affirmative. I then asked if she will apologise for the incident in the previous show, he confirmed she will do so at the start of the show. He remained in contact with me for a few days until the day of the programme. I stressed in the most assertive and clear terms, that she must not interrupt me and allow me to articulate my thoughts or that I will withdraw from the programme, in the understanding that they have violated the agreed conditions. He confirmed that all will be as expected.

 

Fourth:

Just before the airing of the show and as I was in their Westminster studio in London, I was told by one of the technicians that the presenter wishes to speak to me. She told me that the cut out in the previous show was due to a technical issue relating to the satellite. I requested that she says this live on TV to which she agreed.   

 

Fifth:

The presenter apologised on live TV, before asking me to comment on the subject of the programme. I began with reminding her of the conditions we agreed upon with Mr Ibrahim Harb, and that my voice ought not to be silenced on TV. Barely a minute had passed since I began speaking, before she interrupted me assuming I was digressing into a historical tangent. I clarified that I’m using this historical reference as a backdrop to my response. She then continued to interrupt, raising her voice that she is in charge of the show! I then responded equally in a loud fashion that I may respond in the way I see fit also! She then continued in her interruption to which I asked her to “be quite in order that I may speak”. Then and as though she was touched by the devil, she thought I had insulted her! She then said “How can a respected ‘Sheikh’ tell a presenter to be quiet”! I told her “I am respectable whether you like it or not”! She then continued in her rage and at this point I said “I am not honoured to communicate with you”, then the sound was cut off and I walked off the show refusing to continue.

 

Sixth:

A Few seconds later I was contacted by the editor in chief of the programme Mr Malik Halawa. He asked that I return back to the show once again, as it had just started and that they will calmly settle the matter. I told him “A believer should not be stung twice from the same hole.” [A prophetic statement]! How could I return to appear alongside this irritating and failed presenter. He said she was angered because I told her to be quiet! I said and is “be qiuet” an insult! How could I return when she persistently interrupts. What else must I have said to her. It is normal that such things occur. She then became difficult in order to please some of her supporters on social media!

 

Seventh:

On the 5th of March 2015, the producer Ibrahim Harb contacted me. He began by apologizing to me personally and on behalf of the channel! I reproached them and said is it fitting that the channel post the video describing me as the friend of Al-Zawahiri! They also described me as the “Extremist Wahabi” Sheikh! He continued to apologise to me. He invited me to appear on an hour-long show that has no relation to the LelNashr programme. I stated that the channel must apologies for the conduct of the presenter to begin with. They must also apologies for allowing the Christian guest “Joseph” who insulted me after I pulled out from the show. In doing so the presenter and the editor in chief were both partners in allowing this public insult of myself by their guest “Joesph”.

 

Based on the aforementioned:

 

I demand that Al-Jadeed TV channel, the administration of the LelNashr programme, the presenter, editor in chief and their guest to publicly apologies on the same channel, their website and YouTube account. I also demand of MEMRI to remove their distorted translation of the incident and of all the news outlets and websites which published the translated clip, to withdraw it due to its damaging inaccuracies.

Dr. Hani Al-Sibai

12 March 2015 

 

Appendix:

The Guardian Interview with Rima Karki

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/10/lebanese-tv-host-rima-karaki-self-respect-interview

 

The distorted clip by MEMRI

https://youtu.be/bOlpK6Yj5a4

Al-Jadeed Channel apology to Dr. Hani Al-Sibai Open this link please

https://youtu.be/gjbNbdZrUVI

http://jpst.it/xq4W

 

 

bullet.gif Maqreze في 03/18/2015 15:38 · · طباعة · ·
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