In the President's first TV interview, with al-Arabiya, when he said that America includes people of all faiths and non-believers, the Arabic translators corrected Obama so as not to inflame the Muslim world.
-- From "Obama Tells Muslim World that America is a Nation of ‘Muslims, Jews, Christians’ -- and Infidels?" by Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor, CNSNews.com 1/29/09
In his interview with al-Arabiya on Tuesday, President Obama said he intended to send a message that America is willing to forge a new partnership with the Arab world.
“(W)hat I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I've come to understand is that regardless of your faith -- and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers -- regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams,” Obama told Hisham Melhem, the Washington Bureau Chief for al-Arabiya.
But mentioning “non-believers” to a Muslim audience was dicey, according to some experts on Arabic and Arab culture, given the fact that to some Muslims and nations, “non-believer” is synonymous with “infidel.”
The Obama interview was in English, and for broadcast in the Arab world, the Dubai-based, Saudi-owned Arabic TV network chose not to interpret “non-believer” to mean “atheist.” That term would not have endeared him to the Muslim world, [said Dr. Walid Phares, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an expert on Islamism].
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The world is a much different place than the 'multi-cultural' streets of Chicago!