Remember Shakespeare’s Macbeth, when Macbeth slays Duncan and proclaims an Islamic republic in Dunsinane?
No, that one is a parody, but it’s not too far off from the Turkish versions of Western books circulating now. The good news is that Turkish secularists are taking some Islamic publishers to court for Islamizing Western classics in translation.
“Minister lashes out at publishers for scandalous books,” from the Turkish Daily News (coming to us from some Turkish anti-jihadists, via Philip):
Minister of Education HÃ¼seyin Ã‡elik has blasted publishers for distorted versions of books included in a reading list recommended for school children and announced the ministry would bring lawsuits against the publishers involved in the scandal.
“If you like Heidi, don’t try to Muslimize her; write your own Heidi book,” Ã‡elik said in remarks published in some Turkish newspapers yesterday. He said the publishers would be sued because they used the ministry’s logo on the controversial books.
The scandal concerning translations of the books was uncovered when the daily newspaper Radikal recently published citations from the books included on the “100 Essential Readings” list, comprising children’s and world literature as well as Turkish classics recommended to school children.
Some publishers had inserted Islamist ideology into the translations, making alterations in such classics as Hugo’s Les Miserables, Spyri’s Heidi and Collodi’s Pinocchio.
In one translation, Geppetto’s little son Pinocchio says “Give me some bread for the sake of Allah,” and gives thanks to “Allah” when he becomes an animated marionette.
In Dumas’ “Three Musketeers,” D’Artagnan while on his way to see Aramis is stopped by an old woman who explains: “You can’t see him right now. He is surrounded by men of religion. He converted to Islam after his illness.”
Eleanor H. Porter’s “Pollyanna” confirms her belief in the Muslim apocalypse, while La Fontaine’s fisherman prays using Muslim terminology to catch more fish.
Spyri’s Swiss orphan Heidi is told by Ms. Sesasman that “praying is relaxing.”
“Invented” phrases employing Muslim terminology were also inserted into classics from masters such as Anton Chekhov and Oscar Wilde.
Ah yes. The Importance of Being Mustafa.