Thursday, August 10, 2006

Media Gems - Arabs and Muslims One and the Same?

CNN shows it ignorance of the basic definitions again!
You can find the whole jewel here:


The title says: "Hezbollah warns Muslims to flee Haifa"

The secondary title says: "Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday warned all Israeli Arabs to leave the port city of Haifa so the militant group could step up attacks without fear of shedding the blood of fellow Muslims."

The text of the news item quotes Hassan Nasrallah as saying: "I have a special message to the Arabs of Haifa, to your martyrs and to your wounded: I call on you to leave this city. I hope you do this. ... Please leave so we don't shed your blood, which is our blood."

My comment:

The quite accurate translation of Nasrallah's speech does not make any difference between Muslims and Christians (or Jews for that matter!) He is addressing the "Arabs of Haifa", so why did the secondary title talk about "the blood of fellow Muslims"? Why did the title talk about "warning Muslims"? Does CNN know the difference between Arab and Muslim? Note that the orignial AP wire, by Joseph Panossian, was titled "Nasrallah urges Arabs to Leave Haifa". It can be found here ( ) but may join the archives soon and become inaccessible. The first paragraph of that wire, though, still mentions the "blood of fellow Muslims" which does not belong to Nasrallah's speech.

Conclusion: CNN seems to have changed the title deliberately. Is it to blur the picture a little further for its readers?


Fares said...

Good catch, I noticed that yesterday as well

Israeli Arrogance and Bush latest Trick

Breaking the cycle of violence

Patrick from Italy said...

oh.....good catch.....and bad mistake for CNN....
Though I think CNN doesn't change deliberately the words to blur Nasrallah's imagine....infact I believe that 90 per cent of western people don't know the difference between arabs and muslims....!!!
Anyway....I wandered in your blog
Patrick led by curiosity and I found a riddle that you made 2 month ago....about the "unknown syrian" who saved many children during 2° W.W.....well, I KNOW WHO HE IS!!!However, perhaps other bloggers have just guess who he is....isn't it?

GottfriedStutz said...

Patrik if you do know, please don't reveal the name yet :-) I'll give you credit for that later.

However, you can send me the name to so that I remember to quote you later.

As for CNN, I don't think that they really did it on purpose, but I was just giving them that possibility. The level of ignorance is incredible, though. 90% of people in the West mix up Arab and Muslim, but a news channel should know better.

Thanks for having left a comment.

Anonymous said...

A hundred years of conflict, 6.5 wars, billions of dollars squandered, tens of thousands of casualties, not including the kid that was lying next to me on the rocky shore of Lebannon's Lake Kar'un with his stomach literally spilling out. A helicopter evacuated him and I have no idea to this day if he survived. All of this, and still it is a mystery.
And it isn't only what was, but also what wasn't: hospitals that were never built, universities that never opened, roads that were never paved; three years, robbed from millions of young people in order that they don fatigue.
All of this, and yet we don’t even have the slightest clue in answering the riddle: Why do they hate us so much?
I'm not speaking about the Palestinians this time. Our conflict with them is intimate, focused, and it has a direct impact on their day-to-day lives. Without entering the debate over who is right and who is wrong, it is clear they have very personal reasons not to tolerate our presence here. In the end, this is how the conflict will also be resolved - personally, and with blood, sweat and tears staining the pages of the final agreement. Until then, this is a war that is at least comprehensible – even if no sane person would approve of the methods employed in the conduct of the battle.

It's others. They are the ones I'm wondering about. Why in the world does Hassan Nasrallah, along with the multitudes supporting him, devote his life, his visible skills, and the fate of his country to struggle against a country he's never seen, a people he's never met, and an army he has no reason to fight? Why do children in Iran, who can't even locate Israel on the map (primarily because it is too small), burn its flag in the city squares and volunteer to become suicide-bombers in order to destroy it? Why do Egyptian and Jordanian intellectuals incite the innocent and poor against the peace treaties with Israel, knowing all so well that their nullification would set back their nations by decades. Why is Syria willing to remain a depressed, oppressive Third World country in exchange for the dubious privilege of hosting terrorist organizations that are ultimately destined to turn against it? Why do they hate us in Saudi Arabia? Iraq? Sudan? What did we ever do to them? How are we in any way relevant to their lives? What do they even know about us? And why do they hate us in Afghanistan? They don’t even have what to eat there, for God's sake; how do they find the energy to hate?

There are so many answers to this question, and yet it remains an enigma. True, there is a religious dimension to it, but religious people also make their own choices. The Quran and the "Shari'ah" (the Islamic equivalent of our Talmud) consist of thousands of laws, on thousands of matters. Why is it we preoccupy them so much? Indeed, there are many other countries that have given them much more compelling reasons to be angry. We were not the ones who started the Crusades; we were not among the colonial powers that ruled over them; we never ever tried to convert them. The Mongols, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans and British – they all conquered, destroyed and exploited this entire region; we never even tried to. So how is it we are the ultimate enemy?
And if it is because they so identify with their Palestinian brethren, where are the Saudi tractors helping to rebuild those parts of the Gaza strip from which we just withdrew? What ever happened to the Indonesian delegation responsible for establishing a new school? Where are the Kuwaiti doctors with their state-of-the-art surgical equipment? There are so many ways to love thy brother; why is it they choose to do so only by helping him to hate?

Is it something we did? One thousand five hundred years of anti-Semitism have taught us – in the most painful way possible – that there is something about us that irritates the rest of the world. So eventually, we did what everyone wanted us to – we picked up and left. We founded our own little state, in which we can irritate one another without disturbing others. We didn’t even ask for much in return. Israel is less than 1% of the land-mass of Saudi Arabia; with no oil, no minerals; without having usurped the land of any established country. Most of the cities shelled this past weeks were not stolen from anyone. Nahariya, Afula and Carmiel did not even exist until we created them. Other Katyusha rockets hit places over which Israel's sovereignty is undisputed. Jews were living in Haifa as early as the 3rd century BCE and Tiberias served as the last seat of the Sanhedrin – The Talmudic supreme court - so it certainly can’t be argued that we stole them from someone else.

But hate persists; an active, toxic, implacable hatred - as if no other fate is conceivable. This past Sabbath, the President of Iran, Mahmud Ahmadenijad, once again called for the elimination of Israelis – as if we were some form of bacteria. We have become so accustomed to this that we don’t even bother asking why. Israel doesn't wish nor has it ever wished that Iran be eliminated. As long as they were interested, we maintained diplomatic relations with them. No border or bad memories run between us. Nevertheless, they are ready to confront the entire Western world, withstand a crippling economic embargo, severely compromise their quality of life, and destroy whatever is left of their economy – all for the right to hate us with a passion. Have we ever done them any wrong? When? How? I'm really trying to remember, but I can't.
And why did he say in his address that "Israel is the main problem of the Muslim world"? More than a billion people live in Muslim countries, most of them in appalling conditions. They are mired in hunger, poverty, ignorance, and internecine bloodshed, spanning from Kashmir to Kurdistan, from starving Darfur to impoverished Bangladesh. How in the world are WE their main problem? How exactly are we bothering them?

I refuse to accept the standard explanation that "this is who they are." This same thing was said about us too many times – so we have ample reason to be skeptical about this phrase. There must be another explanation – some deep, dark secret that has caused the residents of southern Lebanon to ignite an otherwise quiet border, to kidnap soldiers of an army that had already withdrawn completely from their territory, and to transform their own country into ruins – right after having emerged from 20 years of catastrophe.

We are used to reciting sophisticated commentaries such as, "It's the Iranian influence" or "Syria is meddling behind the scenes" – but these explanations are too easy. On a deeper level, what do they think? What are their hopes, loves, aspirations and dreams? And what about their children? As they destroy their children's lives and send them off to die, are they really convinced that it is all worthwhile, just because they hate us so much?

Oli said...

Well what can you expect from a country that makes no effort to engage with people, but only to in the words of their president 'bomb the shit outta them'. Arab, muslim, shia, sunni it really makes no difference to the foreign policy of a nation that only has one thing in mind the fuelling of their Chevvies. Hell they're all a bit brown anyway!

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