In this story I say what I always say. I expect I’ll say it again, too. From WND, with thanks to all who sent this in:
In an attempt to quell the rancor resulting from Newsweek’s retracted Quran-desecration story, a controversial U.S. Muslim lobby group is giving away free copies of Islam’s revered book.
The particular edition, however, “The Meaning of the Holy Quran,” previously was banned by the Los Angeles school district because commentary notes accompanying the text were regarded as anti-Semitic.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has included the edition in the Islamic book-package it offers libraries nationwide and now is giving it away to help “improve America’s image” through a program called “Explore the Quran.”…
Under the heading “Jews” in the book’s index, is a reference to Surah 5:60, which says: ” … Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some he transformed into apes and swine … .”
In the index under “Jews” also are these phrases: “cursed,” “enmity of,” “greedy of life,” “slew prophets,” “took usury,” “unbelief and blasphemy of” and “work iniquity.”
Extreme or mainstream?
Scholars point out that Muslims believe the Quran was dictated word-for-word by Allah in the Arabic language, so any rendering in other languages is imperfect and can be seen only as an interpretation.
But author and researcher Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, says that while Ali’s notes are particularly anti-Semitic, his rendering of the Quranic text largely is no different than any other version.
“It’s an indication that what we think of as extreme in Islam is not really extreme but mainstream,” he told WND. “You won’t find a translation that doesn’t have Jews being turned into apes and pigs.”
Some scholars say the text refers only to particular groups of Jews, such as those breaking the Sabbath, and is not meant to apply to Jews today.
But Spencer says the global, mainstream understanding regards this as a current, universal reference to Jews.
The Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, includes in its archives many translated writings and texts of sermons by prominent Muslims leaders who make such references.
For example, the highest-ranking cleric in the Sunni Muslim world, Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, called the Jews “the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs” in a weekly sermon in April 2002.
In a TV program broadcast on Iqraa, the Saudi-Egyptian satellite channel, a 3-year-old “real Muslim girl” was interviewed about Jews. Asked whether she liked Jews, she answered, “no.” Asked why, she replied Jews were “apes and pigs.”
“Who said this?” the moderator asked. The girl answered, “Our God.” “Where did He say this?” “In the Quran.”
At the end of the interview, the obviously pleased moderator said: “No [parents] could wish for Allah to give them a more believing girl than she. … May Allah bless her, her father and mother. The next generation of children must be true Muslims. We must educate them now while they are children, so that they will be true Muslims.”
Spencer said many in the United States are unaware that this kind of rhetoric is common in the Muslim world.
“I think that maybe this is a chance for Americans to become aware of just how the text of the Quran itself plays a role in the creation of jihad terror,” he said.
It’s also a chance, he continued, “for Muslims who claim to be moderate to face that honestly and develop a genuine, non-literal understanding of the text that is convincing to their fellow Muslims and propagate it aggressively.”