Have you ever listened to the news, or read news stories from the Middle East and wonder how the message from Muslims could be so different? Your Muslim friends here in the States tell you how beautiful the words of the Qur’an are and how Allah demands that his followers love and respect all men as brothers. Then you hear the words of a Saudi, or Egyptian cleric, preaching from the same holy book, inspiring his followers to rid the world of the Jews as commanded by Allah. If you think I am making up the part about the clerics, you have not been paying attention; watch and listen to how the words of the Qur’an are presented to the faithful in the Middle East.
So, how many versions are there? We either have multiple versions, or we have people lying about their faith to deceive us. Or could it be that Muslims are the victims and they have been lied to by their leaders?
Why touch on a subject that is taboo? After all, the Qur’an is supposed to be the exact presentation of the words of Allah as received by Muhammad. Questioning the Qur’an is questioning the direct words of Allah, blasphemy, a transgression that renders a Muslim apostate, and subject to a death penalty.
But if there are multiple versions, it means that Allah’s words are being expanded or selectively edited to fit the purposes of the publishers of the Qur’an. Ah, now I am getting to the point; multiple versions do exist. Multiple versions edited to fit the target reader and their local demographics.
Does this explanation fit? Could this explain why your neighbor passionately claims that there are only words of love and respect in their Qur’an, while the Saudi cleric quotes chapter and verse to rally followers at a mosque to jihad against the Jews?
A door was just opened publicly my friends; a Muslim journalist laid out a different version of the Qur’an, used at a Mosque in West Virginia, showing how its verses were different. The Saudi publisher of the Qur’an printed verses critical of Jews and Christians.
Let that sink in a moment. The absolute words of Allah were edited by Saudi publishers.
The article I am referring to is about a Muslim journalist, Asra Nomani, defending the NYPD for its surveillance of Muslims. The most impactful part of the whole article was the one paragraph where she describes the different version of the Qur’an, and how this interpretation is destroying Islam.
Let’s look at the implications of what she has unveiled; there is no singular version of the Qur’an as stated by Islamic leaders. Versions are edited and distributed according to the motives of leaders, and designed for local demographics. Everything stated publicly to date is now open for questioning, and this is the perfect opportunity for a real discussion to take place.
Here are three questions that I would start the discussion with:
• Which version of the Qur’an is correct? Was the version presented modified to include radical and hateful verses, or are the Qur’ans used here sanitized to remove those verses for American Muslims and our media?
• Why was a hardcore version introduced into a mosque in West Virginia, and what are we to conclude from this? Was this mosque always radical in its interpretation and teaching of Islam, or is this the beginning of the radicalizing of a previously peaceful gathering?
• Which versions are used in mosques throughout the rest of the country?
Yes my friends, a door was opened today, and I pray for the safety of the courageous journalist who opened it. She has publicly shined a light on a subject that most have been unwilling to question up until now; or have been ridiculed or ignored when they had the courage to ask one simple question.
I know that the question has been asked before, but let’s ask it again. How many versions are there, and which version represents the exact representation of the words of Allah? Current world events, coupled with a history of violent actions in the name of Islam, makes me think that the radical version is the accurate version that Muslims outside of America live by. It also appears that the radical version is being introduced to the peaceful Muslims of America; this cannot end well for America, or its Muslim citizens.
The real opportunity presented here is for Muslims around the world to honestly discuss their faith, its origins, and the future of their religion. The world is waiting to support those willing to undertake the challenge; thank you Asra Nomani for having the courage to make this opportunity available.
by Jack Woodward 3/13/12