Category Archives: Mistranslation

‘Aqoul on Wafa Sultan translation

The following debate on Al Jazeera (21st February 2006) created a storm around the world, in its edited and subtitled form provided by MEMRI. In a follow-up article (7/3/2006), MEMRI boasted over a million hits for the video on their site, as well as repeating and underlining their claim that “During the interview, Dr.Ibrahim Al-Khouli accused Sultan of being a ‘heretic‘ for attacking current aspects of Islamic society.”

MEMRI Transcript #1050:
Arab-American Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan: There is No Clash of Civilizations but a Clash between the Mentality of the Middle Ages and That of the 21st Century

The ‘Aqoul blog criticised the translation and the way the debate was edited. Referring to the full Al Jazeera Arabic transcript, “Meph” published a full translation, which we reproduce here:
Transcript Translation: al-Jazeera – The Opposite Direction (26/02/2006)

See their extensive discussions before: Fatwas and Wafa Sultan
With: Wafa Sultan: Bigger, Longer, Uncut – The Full Sultan Jazeera Transcript
And after: On MEMRI & Translations[…]

See also their subsequent posts about MEMRI:
MEMRI Mendacity, brief thoughts
Debating the merits of MEMRI[…]

Related: WAFA SULTAN: Reformist or opportunist?


Juan Cole threatened with lawsuit (Nov 2004)

Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan, published the following article at his blog on 2/11/2004: Bin Laden’s Audio Threat to States. It was reproduced on, prompting a lawsuit threat from MEMRI’s founder and president, Col. Yigal Carmon.

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Islamophobia Watch: Qaradawi archive

Islamophobia Watch has criticised MEMRI many times, including with specific charges of distortion and mistranslation or, more frequently, for its biased selections and omissions. The vast majority of these have been in reference to the leading Islamic scholar Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, especially following his visit to the UK in July 2004, during which he was greeted by London Mayor Ken Livingstone. Below are links to articles at Islamophobia Watch referring to MEMRI and Qaradawi, presented chronologically.

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