Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's like Smith over there

National Review's Andrew McCarthy says that the preposterous yet very real blasphemy charge against the Saudi tweeter Hamza Kashgari is not being reported on Fox News. Fine. But when many of his posts on the topic of Islam (example) assume a comfort level with Arabic translations, if not Arabic itself, it is too much to expect that you'd get the name of the person central to your theory right? --

As I mentioned a few weeks back, the number two shareholder at Fox (after NewsCorp) is Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family whose bottomless pockets back various American projects designed to cast sharia law in a favorable light — such as Islamic studies programs at Georgetown and Harvard. In 2006, Accuracy in Media reported that Prince bin Talal had pressured Fox into downplaying the Muslim role in rioting in France. And it just so happens that, late last year, bin Talal plunked down $300 million for a stake in Twitter, the social media service that published the tweets that have Mr. Kashgari in such dire straits.

The first mention gets his name right but this clearly was an accident because then we get to "Prince bin Talal" which means just Prince Son of Talal. Talal (the famous "Red Prince") has a lot of sons. The 3rd mention repeats the error. bin Talal is not his family name. That would be al-Saud. But there are even more al-Sauds. Thousands of them. Prince Alwaleed works fine. Again the issue here is not being picky over the right version of someone's name. It's that if you're claiming an expertise in source texts that are in Arabic, you need to exhibit some rudimentary understanding of the most basic features of the language i.e. its structure of names.

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