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PMW Report Forces PA Agency to Correct Misleading Translation

Palestinian Media Watch found that Maan News Agency translated Arab will to die for “glory of Islam & flag of Allah” as “give our lives for peace.”
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/5/2011, 5:40 PM / Last Update: 5/5/2011, 5:48 PM

PMW

Palestinian Media Watch found that Maan News Agency translated desire to die for “glory of Islam and flag of Allah” as “give our lives for peace.”

The Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Maan altered a Fatah military wing statement to make the organization appear less jihad-like for its English reading public. It omitted a Fatah cheer implying a willingness to die for the sake of spreading Islam around the world, and replaced it with a statement of intent to sacrifice life in order to bring peace to the world.

Specifically, Palestinian Media Watch – an organization that has long monitored Arab incitement and hatred in the PA media – found that the original Arabic statement by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades read as follows: The Islamic nation "is capable of supplying an abundance of new blood... [for] restoring the glory of Islam and the flag of Allah's oneness."

However, Maan’s translation of these words on its English website was: "We are ready to sacrifice our lives to bring back peace."

PMW’s Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik note that the English version “hides the Fatah military wing's concluding message about seeking Islamic dominance, and replaces it with a message of ‘peace.”"

"We Have New Blood to Replace Bin Laden"
In addition, the original version included an implied threat to replace Bin Laden with “new blood,” while the English version said only, “we have leaders who have changed history with their Jihad and their steadfastness.”

Specifically, the Arabic version stated, “We say to the American and Israeli occupier: The [Islamic] nation which produced leaders who changed the course of history through their Jihad and their endurance is a nation that is capable of supplying an abundance of new blood into the arteries of the resistance and is capable of restoring the glory of Islam and the flag of Allah's oneness, Allah willing.”

In English, however, the message was: "We tell the Israeli and the American occupiers that we have leaders who have changed history with their Jihad and their steadfastness. We are ready to sacrifice our lives to bring back peace."

The next day, apparently in reaction to the PMW revelations of the “mistranslation,” Maan removed the text, and then later replaced it with a corrected version. The website now reads, “This version CORRECTS a translation error in paragraph seven and adds new information: … It [the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades' statement] added that "we tell the American and Israeli occupier that the nation which produced leaders who changed history with its Jihad and patience is a nation capable of invigorating the resistance, which extends across the nation and is capable of restoring the glory of Islam and its flag of unity, God willing."

PMW announced that it was “pleased that Maan corrected its translation following PMW's exposure of the misleading translation.”