ZEIT seems to become religiously missionary. This could become a weekly series. Katajun Amirpur’s article is called “Koran – Reading Is Not Understanding.”
The teaser claims that “Since time immemorial the Koran was interpreted: mystically, philosophically, rationalist [translation note: not rational, see rationalism]. This variety brings life into it. Only a literal interpretation has no value.”
I joked last week that the left has found a new wanna-have religion: the postmodern Islam. And this is exactly the attitude. Instead of saying that there are good and bad parts, the mission is to claim that everything is good and then to lie about it when a questioner becomes uncomfortable. A text is a piece of communication and its interpretation has its limits in figuring out what the producer actually meant. Words and phrases can be ambiguous, but this is not what postmodernists mean when they say “interpretation.” They mean that you should feel free to lie about what somebody else tried to say.
Taking out of context isolated verses from the Qur’an to support one’s own preconceived theses, as Islam critics and fundamentalists nowadays do in equal measure and thus coming together in an unintentional collusion [German: Schulterschluss], is grotesque from an Islamic theological point of view; more so: It is a sign of complete ignorance.
Backing up an argument with an insult (ignorance) speaks for itself. She makes an allegation, critics and fundamentalists were taking phrases out of a context. She does not provide any evidence for that allegation. Fair enough, that would also be too difficult if we were talking about a widespread phenomenon. I also write “the left thinks” and “the left does” because I know that people who read this blog are basically aware of the characteristics of the left and are capable of matching the claims with their own observations. But if I wrote to people who have little to no contact with people from the political left, I would give examples. She does not provide one example of a quote from an Islam critic or from a fundamentalist that has a different meaning in a context hidden from the audience.
Then there is this collusion allegation. Give me a dime for every moron who claims conservatives would “help ISIS.” The idea here is that because you do something that they do, namely be honest about the text, makes you as evil as them. Conservatives are not driven by hatred. I don’t mind doing the same things like my opponents. I would cook the very same couscous. What is even the argument?
Then she claims that one must not interpret a verse before taking into account the entire Koran and ALL Überlieferungen [the word includes traditions and all evidence, written and others, from history]. Since it is completely impossible to know ALL Überlieferungen, the demand not to interpret a verse would mean a complete Koran reading prohibition. But thankfully Germans and Muslims are not used to ask questions.
She quotes “Islam scientist” (yes, that is a thing in Germanistan) Thomas Bauer on his “study” titled “Culture of Ambiguity” as saying that the Muslim culture historically stood out as being particularly capable of having different truths side by side.
You might have guessed already: “Islam science” is probably [legal note: guess, just opinion] the taxpayer-funded wing of the Muslim Brotherhood terror organization on German universities. Katajun Amirpur is a professor of “Islam science” at the University of Cologne.
Then she claims that this phrase (sura 22:39) were constantly used by Islam critics to highlight the violence of Islam:
Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory.
I have not heard anybody ever quoting this to me. It seems less ubiquitous than she claims. I bet that she knows this and lies to us. She also cannot see this as an example of a quote taken out of context. Nobody [but some loony hardcore pacifists] would ever object to this verse as it is!
It’s even worse. She goes on and gives a context showing that the verse which sounds harmless was actually malicious. The translation with “being fought” is apparently wrong, not to say, a lie. She says it was revealed in 630 when Mohammed invaded Mekka, breaking a peace treaty. He was not attacked. He was the aggressor. The original meant “permission to fight has been given to those who have been fought” some time ago.
She ends her column with an example of a “modernistic” author, an engineer (it is beyond me why she emphasizes this). Muhammad Shahrur is not just modern, he follows(?) or embodies(?) something called “modernistism” (not even “modernism”, German adjective used: “modernistisch”). Shashrur argues that the commands come with a spectrum of valid interpretations. The example in the ZEIT article is sura 5:38:
[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah
Neither the preceding nor the following lines provide any context. Yet, Shahrur claims that amputation was the upper limit, the worst potential punishment, and that the line could also mean “order them to do community service.” What special knowledge does he have to make that claim? Was Mohammed asking his followers to feed the camels if they stole something? Are we now so into lying that we don’t even bother to offer a foundation for our deception?