The Qur’an has been around for 1,400 years, and so has jihad violence, but now the Indonesian government has discovered the key: it’s all because of a faulty translation, doncha know! And now I am very happy to announce that I too have come into the possession of the Secret Decoder Ring hitherto solely in the possession of Muslim moderates, and have used it to produce a brand new Qur’an of my own, now with 70% less “potential to breed radicalism”!
Here are some sample verses of my marvelous new Qur’an (Reduced Radicalism Edition):
OLD: The unbelievers “are the most vile of created beings”
NEW: The unbelievers “are the most cuddly of created beings”
OLD: “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush…”
NEW: “Then, when the sacred months have passed, hug the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (to dinner), and be sweet to them, and prepare for them a bubble bath…”
OLD: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
NEW: “Establish interfaith dialogue with those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they accept the principles of multiculturalism with willing open-mindedness, and feel themselves tolerant.”
“New translation of the Koran to reduce radicalism: Govt,” from The Jakarta Post, July 28 (thanks to Twostellas):
The Religious Affairs Ministry has released a new translation of the Koran in an effort to reduce Islamic radicalism. However, the ministry refused to consider the new translation as state product.
“It is a joint product, between the state and the Indonesian people,” director general of guidance to Islam community Nasaruddin Umar said Wednesday during a national forum on radicalism and terrorism in Jakarta, as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.
Nasaruddin said the newest translation of the Koran aimed to better communicate the Islamic teachings to Indonesian Muslims.
“The [previous] Koran translation has the potential to breed radicalism. That is because the Indonesian vocabulary is very limited,” he said.
Nasaruddin took “love” in Arabic as an example.
“In Indonesian, there is only one word for ‘love’. Yet, the Koran has 14 different words for varying degrees of love,” he added….
Fourteen degrees of love!
I loved her to the twelfth degree
Or maybe the thirteenth,
But she loved me just to degree three
and knocked out my front teeth…
Anyway, yes, the Qur’an is so famously a book of love. It is full of knights and damsels and high romance and Song of Songs-like mysticism. And just as Swedish is alleged to have over a hundred words for snow, so the Qur’an is so deeply concerned with the nuances and finer gradations of love that it has fourteen different words for it. That’s why we see those who are most steeped in its teachings, and most dedicated to carrying them out, so indefatigably generous and loving.
Of course, I’m referring to the Reduced Radicalism Version.