B U L L E T I N
Happy New Year!
1. New Year Message - A purposeful life – Huffington post
2. A Note about Sean Hannity, Stuart Varney and Fox News –request
3. Note about Bridgette Gabriel’s comment on Fox News – upon request
4. American Muslims are proud of taking the right step - Link
5. Moderate Muslims Speak out? Link
Friday, January 25, 2008
Muslim response on Qur'aan
Using Prophet Muhammad’s model for peace.
Mike Ghouse, January 20, 2008
Commentary by Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh
“Geert Wilders, Dutch conservative lawmaker, has made a ten-minute film exposing the horrific passages of the Koran. Per AP Wilders refers to the selected verses as “fascist.’” http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/29496.html
First of all, as a Muslim, I want to thank Geert Wilders for making this documentary, the verses, as he has quoted certainly sound fascist. These verses have not only been misquoted for millennia, but were mis-translated with the intent of maligning Islam in the middle ages to protect the European kings and their kingdoms. My gratitude to Wilders comes from the fact that he is putting it on the spot light, so we have an opportunity to discuss and clarify them, hopefully for ever. Otherwise a whole lot of people would have believed in the wrong thing. Thank you my friend.
Prophet Muhammad was pelted with stones by a bunch of miscreants, he was bleeding, and his associates and angel Gabriel were requesting him to give permission to go get the bad boys, the Prophet said no, instead he asked them to pray with him that God gave goodwill and a good sense to the misled miscreants.
Following the model of Prophet of forgiveness and the belief that there is good in every human soul, we have to relentlessly stoke the goodness in humans. I ask fellow humans in general and fellow Muslims in particular to pray for Geert Wilders’ safety and well being.
Mr. Wilders, I have personally prayed for your safety and well being and request our Imams to do the same across the world. The report expressed that "You do not fear being slain, claiming 24-hour protection." Again, I admire you for your courage and conviction and request you to consider another aspect of the equation that nearly 1.5 billion Muslims believe.
Note to the Muslim Leadership:
As Muslims leaders, we have a responsibility to prevent mis-haps. To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker; one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for co-existence and world peace - God wants his creation to be in peace and harmony, and that is the chief purpose of religion. Islam is indeed peace.
Geert Wilder's is going to show a 10 minute documentary on the 25th - the hell may freeze over and all of us will be scrambling to defend.... if our Imams can address this in the Friday Sermons, and urge Muslims to follow the model Prophet has created, we can avoid a big mishap and turn this upcoming nightmare into a peace building effort. I request all Imams to call their counterparts around the globe to win this war with love and kindness and it is an opportunity God has provided to become leaders. If you like, please circulate.
A Prelude to Qur'aan Translations:
When the European Kings were threatened by the invading Arab armies in early part of the millennia, to safeguard and protect their Kingdoms, they gave birth to the idea of Islamophobia and their strategy was:
1. To label the Invading Kings as Muslim, as that was one of the ways to get their subjects to fight.
2. To mis-translate the Qur'aan to create a permanent wedge between the two communities
3. To paint the religion negatively and as a Mohammedan cult.
4. To reinforce this strategy they roped in the Pope to issue a fatwa approving crusades.
Their Blueprint worked well for them and the Arab Kings were pushed back and defeated. It is important to note that a majority of the kings were thieves and robbers, whose only purpose in life was to invade and annex the neighboring territories, loot their wealth, destroy their cultures and come back home stronger and erect a statue of themselves as Heroes. Very few of them wanted to spread their faith for the purpose of spreading piety and goodwill. Their goal was to control the resources and the people; in the process they destroyed civilizations, no different than today's Neocons.
The Neocons of middle ages were exceptionally successful in steering public opinion against Islam via the translations. The foundation they laid at that time has become the basis for building baseless theories against Islam. The kings happened to be Muslims that they were against, instead their propaganda turned against all Muslims and Islam.
Dahlia Sabry is researching on the effects of this work and reports that " it was found out that translating the meanings of the holy Qur'aan offered an opportunity to distort and misinterpret its meanings. This played a crucial role in framing a negative and an inaccurate image of Islam. The problem can be ascribed mostly to translations by non-Muslims, however, also partially to translations by Muslims."
Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete (English: "Law of Mahomet the pseudo-prophet") was the first translation of the Qur'aan into Latin by Robert of Ketton in 1142. Peter the Venerable persuaded Robert to join a team he was creating to translate Arabic works into Latin in hopes of aiding the religious conversion of Muslims to Christianity. It was the standard translation for Europeans from its release until the 18th century. This translation is loaded with inaccuracies.
Another Latin translation by Ludovicus Marracci was published in 1698. It was supplemented with quotes from Qur'an commentaries "carefully juxtaposed and sufficiently garbled so as to portray Islam in the worst possible light" (Colin Turner,1997 p. xii). The title of the introductory volume of such translation was A Refutation of the Qur'an. Such translations formed the foundation for a number of subsequent translations into English, French, Italian, German, etc. The first English translation was that of Alexander Ross published in 1649. In his introduction, Ross says "I thought good to bring it to their colours, that so viewing thine enemies in their full body, thou must the better prepare to encounter … his Alcoran" (p. A3).
Similarly, H. Reckendorf (1857) says in his Hebrew translation of the Qur'an, "I can now stop writing and ask God's pardon for the sin I committed when I profaned our sacred language and transferred to it the talk of lies and falsehood" (as cited in Abdul Aal, January 29, 2006, p. 78).In 1734, George Sale’s translation came out based on Marracci’s earlier notorious work. In 1861, J. M. Rodwell’s work provided a further example of a writer "gunning for Islam" (Turner, 1997, p. xii).
That was the story of Neocons who shamelessly wore the Christian label, similar inaccurate and brazen translations were made by Muslims as well. The Noble Qur'an, also informally known as the Hilali-Khan translation was published in early 1900's and is despicable. http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Quraan/Not-like-Jews-and-Christians.asp
Religions emerged to allay individual fears and bring a balance in one's life and peace for the society. It is obvious that the Kings of the past have raped the religion to their own advantage and we must not give them the religious label. Their purpose was simply expansion, exertion and oppression and religion did not figure in the conquests, they were far from it.
It is time for us to strip the wrongs people have ascribed to religion, every religion, and get to know the truth. I am amazed neither the Universities, nor the responsible Governments have under taken research project to dismantle the false castles of hate from the past. It is time now, and we have begun this process.
Further Geert Wilders adds "When taking the Koran seriously as divine revelation, a superficial review of the Koran’s extremist verses is not what meshes with democracies."
All the fourteen verses quoted below have one theme in common "Punishment" for those who do not follow the rules. Mr. Geert may understand this better, if he were to look at it from an universal perspective and not as Islam V. Christianity issue.
One can find ‘punitive’ verses in every holy book. However, the critical element overlooked is the most powerful and dominant aspect of the creator; Qur'aan 1:1 "In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace." This verse is repeated 113 times in Qur’aan, more than any other verse.
For societies to function on equilibrium there must be law and order. When there is justice in a society, peace is a natural outcome. The Criminal and Civil laws are designed to bring net-peace to the society. For every violation of a rule, punishment is determined. If there were no punishment, then crimes go un-checked creating chaos in the society.
From a common man’s perspective, the word ‘painful doom’ appears to be cruelty coming from a kind God. Well, then what should hold any one from murdering and butchering the other. If you are a good guy who holds the temptations to steal someone else's hard earned goods, and the bad guys steal with no consequences to it, then every one may resort to stealing. What will happen to a society when every one is stealing, lying or cheating? No one would trust and everyone is frightened of the other.Imagine the nightmare in America, if we were to remove the punishment aspect from the United States Constitution, civil and criminal laws.
Religions emerged to allay individual fears and bring a balance in one's life and peace for the society. It is time for us to strip the wrongs people have ascribed to religion, indeed every religion, and find the truth for ourselves. I cannot believe that the Universities and responsible Governments have not undertaken the research to dismantle the false castles of hate from the past.
We have undertaken the work to fix 60 misrepresented verses, hopefully to mitigate the conflicts and nurture goodwill for co-existence, as citizens of the world, you and I, every one included, have the responsibility to watch for the trouble makers whose business is manufacturing enemies and cashing in on fears of ordinary people.
If you wish to read both the 14 misquoted verses and the corrected ones with commentary by Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh and Mike Ghouse - Please click here