Basim Ghozlan, chairman of the Islamic Association in Norway (Det islamske forbundet i Norge) thinks Norwegians are misinterpreting Hamas' controversial children's TV program. I don't interpret this as a request to kill Danes, he says to VG Nett.
The show, in which Assud the rabbit and the hostess Saraa Bahoum speak about killing Danes, has attracted a lot of attention in Norway. State secretary in the foreign office, Raymund Johansen, has called the segment an unacceptable brainwashing of children.
Ghozlan thinks Norwegians are reading too much into the dialog in the show. The dialog mentions that if the Danes print the Muhammad cartoons anew, they will kill them.
Most read this in English and Norwegian, and if you translate it in this way, then it's alarming. But as an Arab I interpret it differently. The language has different degrees and this isn't so alarming as people think, says Ghozlan.
Gunvor Mejdell, professor of Arabic at the University in Oslo, had seen the program and she can't see how the message can be misinterpreted. She says the program has been correctly translated into English. It speaks of insulting the prophet and that if the Danes dare do it again, 'then we'll kill them,' she says.
According to the professor, a few of the expressions used in the show are from known slogans from the political-religious rhetoric, to revenge the wrongs against one's land or one's religion with everything a man has to offer.
But regardless of the conflict level, she says it's tasteless, to say it mildly, when such strong and hateful messages are pounded into children.
Basim Ghozlan thinks words such as 'to kill', can mean something else in Arabic. He says that 'killing' or 'crushing' children can mean to 'cuddle' them. He says in this case the show didn't talk about either killing or cuddling. It's a way to say that a person is upset, that he disagrees and quarrels.
George El Jeries, spokesperson for the Palestinian association in Norway, disagrees with Gohzlan. He thinks there's no room for interpretation. He says he had seen the segment in Arabic and its calls to kill. The woman says, "they will pay the price in blood" and the rabbit answers, "yes, we will kill them." There is no room for interpretation. If his children would have seen this, they would have understood they need to kill the Danes.
He repudiates the children's tv show that was sent on the Hamas tv channel, Al Aqsa TV, on Feb. 22nd. He says it's horrible and that he's ashamed of it.
He says that the association condemns this in the strongest way possible and they are surprised at such expressions. It's very damaging for the Palestinian people, he adds.
Source: VG (Norwegian)