The result of this conversation is the Quranet project, where some 300 verses of the Koran are used to teach universal concepts like taking responsibility, respect, and telling the truth. The project shows the verse and gives a psychological background as well as concrete examples for each verse.
A Flash example can be seen here, and an interview with the professor - who is now a big fan of the Koran - can be seen here.
This project does not try to interpret the Koran and it is not meant to be a scholarly study; it is merely using the Koran to enforce universal concepts of basic human kindness and dignity.
Which means, of course, that the Muslim world is freaking out at what they are convinced is an Israeli plot to twist the Koran into a work that teaches, well, universal concepts of basic human kindness and dignity.
From Gulf News:
Shaikh Dr Abdullah Al Mutlaq, member of the Senior Ulema Board in Saudi Arabia, denounced the project, which was developed by 15 Muslim bedouin academics in Israel as part of their Masters programme in educational counselling, supervised by Jewish professor Dr Ofer Grosbard and reviewed by three Islamic preachers.From IslamOnline:
In a statement to Gulf News, Dr Al Mutlaq stressed that the Israeli Quranet project should not be trusted by Muslims since it is run by Jews who openly show their hatred to Islam and Muslims.
"A Muslim who wants to abide by Islamic teachings should not depend on this website for interpretation of the Holy Quran whatever the case," he said.
He warned that Muslims should not be deceived by Israeli statements that "the Quranet transforms the Quran into a unique and useful educational tool for parents and teachers, and thereby renders the beneficial power of the Quran widely accessible".
"We regard this denounced move as an attempt to create a generation of Muslims who understand the Quran in the way that Israel and US want after misinterpreting the verses of the Quran to serve Israeli Zionist projects in the world", he said.
Abdullah Al Shihri, the prominent Islamic researcher, asked since when had Israel become keen to implant Islamic education in the minds of other nations and to enhance the face of Islam in the West?
"It is our right to be suspicious about the aims of the project which has been denounced by Muslim scholars all over the world," he said.
Al Shihri described the initiative of the Israeli Foreign Ministry to promote the Quranet website as suspicious, noting that Muslims are not in need of other people to interpret their holy book and that the relationship of Muslims with the West does not need middlemen.
Saudi propagator Fahd Al Harbi expressed his conviction that the main aim of those who are behind this project is to divide the Muslim world in a way that serves the Israeli political agenda.
"Otherwise how can we understand the good intentions alleged by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs unless we link this website with political motives," he said.
"Israel wants to lure Muslims into its trap by interpreting the Qur'an in a way that suits Israeli projects," Sheikh Shawqi Abdel-Latif of the Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) has told Al-Masri Al-Youm newspaper.
Dr. Manae Abdel-Halim Mahmoud, professor of Qur'anic sciences at Al-Azhar University, also blasted the Israeli project.
"Israel only harbors enmity to Islam and Muslims," he said.
"This project aims to tarnish the image of Islam by giving wrong interpretation of the Noble Qur'an."
The Palestinian Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs also rejected the project, saying there was no reason to re-interpret the Qur'an into Hebrew as the Holy Book has been interpreted correctly many times before.
From the Iranian Quran News Agency:
But a short review of the Islamic history shows that the recent move, which is aimed at producing Zionist-oriented interpretations of the holy Quran, is not something new. From the early days of the advent of Islam, this tactic has been used to hinder the progress of Islam, but this time they have only done it in a modern way.Yup, the critics certainly seem to disagree with anyone having the audacity to come along and assume that the Quran teaches love, respect for others and truth.
This old tactic is based on producing fake interpretations which are generally based on personal experiences and viewpoints. Their strategy is to sow seeds of misunderstanding and skepticism among Muslim generations but the tactics are different from time to time.
In an era called the era of dialogue, culture and reasoning, some imperialist colonists and Zionist Capitalists are still obsessed with their outdated mindsets. In an era in which Islam has conquered hearts and minds of billions of people across the globe and has acquired the title of the fastest growing religion in the world, the wretched Zionists and their imperialist allies can't make much of a difference by resorting to old tactics.
Muslims are educated and vigilant today and it is not a wise policy to try to beguile billions of people by spreading lies and forged information while there is an easy access to authentic sourses.[sic]