Fox News has penetrated Azerbaijan

A lot of Azerbaijanis think that Barack Obama is a Muslim.  People love it though.  Unlike America, where this misrepresentation of Obama is meant to hurt his image, people here really dig the fact that a Muslim is in such a prominent position.  So it really confuses people when I say “Actually, he’s not a Muslim.”  I’ve gone back and forth with people about this before, and they usually will admit that I know what I’m talking about, but it’s come up again thanks to a crappy translation.

It all stems from a few sentences Obama’s recent visit to Turkey and his address to the Turkish parliment:

We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country. The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them.

I don’t know exactly how it was translated in the news, but after the speech in Turkey, a fellow PCV told me that a lot of people were coming up to him and telling him that they saw on the news that Obama is a Muslim.  I wouldn’t put it past the local news to make such a claim, and no one was really talking to me about it, except to tell me that they saw Obama was in Turkey and that he’s a yakshi oglan (good boy).

But when I went to school today, I was talking shop with a teacher of mine and he told me about what he’d seen on the news.  Without getting too deep in the translation, he told me that Obama said “My family is Muslim” rather than “My family has Muslims,” which are pretty similar sentances in English and Azeri.   I explained the difference and after a bit of a back-and-forth, he conceded.  I think he actually won the argument though, because he ended with, “Well, that’s what the news said.”

In the quest to correct misinformation, I seemd to have won the battle but lost the war.

7 responses to “Fox News has penetrated Azerbaijan

  1. I had similar discussions long before that presidential visit to Turkey. I think the fact that his middle name is “Hussein” is one reason people think he’s Muslim. One man I interviewed, in fact, referred to him as Barack Hussein Obama.

  2. Jeff, please check out the link below and tell me what you think about it? I read an article in a local newspaper and then found this link from internet.

    • Elshad. Are you serious? Whoever this is, they wrote this article just to shock people so that people will read it. If more people read it, then they get more money for advertising. No credibility here whatsoever. You saw this in Azerbaijan?

  3. I read it in a popular national newspaper-“Interpolis” (23-29 April 2009). Could not find the author’s name but the name of the article was “Ah Amerika, Amerika” 🙂

    • popular? we’ve got those in america, too. fake news to grab your attention. they’re called ‘tabloids.’ the sad thing is that the azeri newspaper you’re talking about probably didn’t realize it was fake and published it, thinking it was real news. Ah Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan.

  4. I doubt that the newspaper was not aware that it is a rumor. These rumors started when Obama was a candidate but “for some reason” the newspaper decided to write about it now.

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