Monday, January 01, 2007

It Means What It Says

Couple of interesting comments to this post. Both AntiCitizenOne and Rop make good points about the politics involved in translating the Koran. There’s something more there too.

At least part of the problem with translating the Koran is the argument of Islamic scholars that Allah chose to reveal the Koran in Arabic [1] and so it would be blasphemy to change Allah’s word by translating them into another language. This might sound obscure or wacky, but consider that one of the dhimmi’s favourite arguments is that the bloodthirsty passages in the Koran are merely the equivalent of similar passages in the Bible.

The trouble is that the Bible is mainly hearsay, written by actual humans, so naturally the various passages reflect the era in which they were written. If the Bible includes incidents of obnoxiousness, then that may reflect that it was written by obnoxious people, rather than anything particular about God, and so on. Or maybe not, but at least it’s an arguable point.

The Koran, on the other hand, was supposedly passed verbatim from Allah to the Paedo Prophet. No interpretation needed, no second-guessing: when Allah says ‘kill the Infidel’, he expects to see some heads on spikes NOW!

That’s why it’s essentially bogus to argue for equivalence between the two books. Even committed Christians will admit that a section of the Bible reflects one particular interpretation of God, at one time. The Koran, however, is the perfect word of Allah, correct for all time. Like it or lump it, you can’t pretend that all those references to swords secretly means ploughshares.

[1] but not really as AnitCitizenOne points out

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