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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Egyptian Koran for kids tells them to fight Jews and Christians

MEMRI quotes from an Egyptian article that uncovers a children's Koran that incites against Jews and Christians - and it was approved by Al-Azhar University:

The article stated: "This Koran commentary, intended for children, includes erroneous ideas which incite against the followers of the [other] monotheistic religions. For instance, the interpretation of the Al-Fatiha Sura [the first Sura of the Koran], states that [the expression] 'those who earn Thine [i.e., Allah's] anger' refers to the Jews, and [the expression] 'those who go astray' refers to the Christians. [2] This [rendering] contradicts the tenets and the tolerant character of the Islamic faith.

"We wished to find out who was behind these inciting interpretations, especially since they are intended for children and teach them notions of hatred and extremism. It should be noted that the Muslim scholar Gamal Al-Bana was the first to call attention to this book, in his critical article about various Koran commentaries which contradict the principles of shari'a... [3]

"We discovered that the book was first published 10 years ago by Dar Al-Sahaba Lil-Turat in Tanta, and was edited by Sheikh Magdi Fathi Al-Sayyed. Since then, there have been five more editions, and the book has been translated into several languages, including Indonesian, Malaysian, and Turkish. The question arises: How could the [Al-Azhar] Academy of Islamic Research allow the publication of such ideas? After all, [one of its] duties is to monitor [publications] that misrepresent Islam and disparage the [other] monotheistic religions. Considering [the Academy's] involvement in cultural conflicts, and its persecution of anyone who has innovative ideas in areas of thought, culture and philosophy, its [scholars] ought to revert to their original role.

"The hidden poison [of extremism] has seeped into the pages of this book, which was approved [for publication] by the Al-Azhar Academy of Islamic Research... [after being] examined by four of its scholars. [One of the authors] of the introduction is the president of Egypt's Koranic schools, and a hadith expert at Al-Azhar University, Dr. Ahmad 'Issa Al-Ma'sarawi..."

Deliberate Inculcation of Extremist Ideas

The article continued: "Overall, the book is characterized by incitement to extremism and by extremist interpretations that do not reflect the true meaning of the verses... [For example,] the book divests Islam of its most fundamental principle - [the principle of] peace - and even incites against this [notion] in its interpretation of the [following] verses: 'Forgive them, and overlook [their misdeeds], for Allah loveth those who are kind [5:13]'; 'And if the enemy inclines towards peace, then incline towards it and trust in Allah, for He is all-hearing and all-knowing [8:61].' [The book states that] these verses are abrogated by the 'Verse of the Sword,' which descended later, and which says: 'Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the Latter Day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book [i.e. among the Christians and Jews], until they pay the jizya [the Islamic poll tax on non-Muslims] and they are in a state of subjection [9:29].' [According to the book], peace and reconciliation agreements [with Christians and Jews] have been forbidden since this verse was revealed.

"In its interpretation of this verse, [the book] says: 'Allah commands the believers to fight all the infidels who do not believe in Allah and in the Latter Day [i.e. in the Day of Judgment], who do not follow His instructions regarding what is allowed and prohibited, and who do not believe in the true faith, which is Islam - i.e. the Jews and the Christians'...

"One of the most appalling parts of the book is a section quoting several verses from the Al-Maida Sura ['The Table Spread'], which the book labels as 'proof of the heresy of the Christians.' The ideas planted [by this section] in the children's minds are like a time bomb that will lead to civil war, since the children learn by heart [verses that indoctrinate them] to accuse the Copts of heresy. This is totally inexplicable, and also contradicts [the spirit of] the Egyptian constitution...

"In its interpretation of verse [9:41] - 'Go forth light and heavy, and strive hard in Allah's way with your property and your persons; this is better for you, if you know' - the book says: 'Allah the Almighty told the believers - both young and old - to set out and fight for the sake of Allah.

"In explaining verse [9:66] - 'O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey's end' - the book says: 'Allah commanded the believers to wage jihad against the infidels by [fighting them] with the sword, and to wage jihad against the hypocrites by imposing upon them the punishments and constraints mandated for those who violate the commands of Islam..."

The article further stated: "The expected consequence of this [book] is that, in future, thousands of young children will be willing to blow themselves up [in terrorist operations] against [non-Muslims]. This is the danger [that this book represents]. [The book's aim] is not to interpret verses, but to deliberately instill children with ideas that incite [to extremism]. This is evident from its deliberate ignoring of other verses... that reflect the true [face of] Islam, which does not discriminate among the followers of the monotheistic religions but [calls for] brotherhood among them..."

Notice, of course, that the author of the article proves Islam's peacefulness by showing that 'true' Islam doesn't call for the destruction of Christians and Jews, but only for their subjugation ("until they pay the jizya [the Islamic poll tax on non-Muslims] and they are in a state of subjection.") So while the author is to be commended for showing this incitement in this edition of the Koran, he also shows Islam's bigotry at the same time.
(h/t Yid with Lid)