I came across this by accident as I was searching for a link to watch the show Ertugrul (Resurrection). The first version I came across was in Turkish with English subtitles, in the first scene within the first minute, the main character refuses the sword that is offered to him and responds by saying “there’s no sword other than Zulfiqar” and then makes a comment about Ali.
This really piqued my interest since a Shia reference in media is generally only made if it’s a religious channel or the news. It’s a topic that is rarely covered in Arab media.
I didn’t want to continue reading the subtitles so I searched for the episode dubbed in Arabic. And I was surprised to find that they’ve changed the script with no reason to do so.
In the Arabic version, they changed that part out and after being offered the sword the main character says:
“For the love of God, and for the honor of our grandfather Oghuz I’ll carry it” and they completely erased the part about Ali.
I’m not sure what the reason behind this is, but it seems unnecessary since the show is predominantly based on the history of Oghuz Turks, many of whom identify as Shia (https://taunity.org/oguz-turks/).
It seems like it was solely done for the purpose of desensitization of the topic. It’s possible that the channel that dubbed the series has some sort of religious affiliation, or reason to make it exclude this reference. And probably any other ones made in the show.
What bothers me the most about the decision to exclude the lines from the show, is that the show is based on history. Like I would understand if they removed it from a drama show or something of that sort, but from a show with a historical basis? Why?
You’re not obligated to stick with the factual history in every scene, but doing so shouldn’t be problematic. In this case, it looked like they were trying to hide a part of history that they didn’t particularly like. Almost denying its existence because of the current mainstream stigma of the topic.
Obviously, I haven’t watched the show, other than the first episode, but what I do know is that the show is supposed to be about unity in the ummah.
It strikes me as particularly ironic, that a show with a theme about unity is then filtered to exclude certain types of Muslims. We are all Muslims, so I don’t understand why it was necessary to exclude the reference about Ali, with no real purpose than personal prejudice on the part of the director/producers who did that.
Maybe they thought that it would make them look bad. Like people might accuse them of being pro-Shia in some sense, which might’ve affected their ratings or something. But either way, I think it’s awful that even to this day, we look at Muslims as “them” versus “us” depending on our ethnic background and sectarian beliefs. Which by the way, as Muslims we’re not supposed to be divided into sects in the first place.
Was anyone else aware of this change in the series? Does anyone know what the actual Turkish version of the show says?
Also, on a really random note, does anyone else think that the main character sort of looks like an Arab Liam Hemsworth? Just me? Ok.
Here’s the link to the English version with the subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fJXATpIiUQ&t=200s