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A Little Knowledge Of The Koran Is A Dangerous Thi Les versets du Coran sont a lire ensembl Noter : -----

#1 L'utilisateur est hors-ligne   Maryan Icône

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04-octobre 03

Posté 09 octobre 2003 - 04:03

A little knowledge of the Koran is a dangerous thing

Wednesday, January 16, 2002 12:00 am

Globe and Mail, 01/16/2002
By Riad Saloojee

(Riad Saloojee is the Executive Director of CAIR-CAN)

An enduring aftermath of September 11th, 2001 is the continued spotlight on Islam. Almost daily, self-declared experts dissect Islam in articles, commentaries, political prognostications, and, too often, apocalyptic scenarios of a clash of civilizations. Some of these attempts at understanding Islam betray a shocking and simplistic method. Two fallacies – one textual, the other sociological – seem to predominate.

First are those whose analysis reflects their own cultural, historical or political prejudices. They utilize a crude cut-and-paste analysis that uses Koranic texts self-servingly without any concern for context. Verses discussing the combative aspect of jihad figure prominently and demonstrate, we are told, Islam’s dark side.

It is forgotten (or conveniently ignored) that one tenet of Islamic interpretation, as in Talmudic interpretation or Christian scriptures, is that a verse cannot be explained apart from its context. Verses on a given topic must be read together, holistically, for only then can their intent be gleaned. In Islamic law, verses pertaining to human interactions always have a rationalizable or understanding cause, which, if absent, renders the legal ruling inapplicable.

Take one oft-quoted verse: “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” It usually escapes attention that the intent behind legislating the combative aspect of jihad is self-defence. Specifically, this verse refers to a situation of war at the beginning of the seventh century, when the tribal elite in Arabia had persecuted the nascent Islamic community for fifteen years and were intent on eradicating it.

To read this verse as requiring that all non-Muslims are to be killed runs counter to verses prohibit killing civilians or non-combatants, or to this important verse: “Allah does not forbid you with regard to those who do not fight you or your faith nor drive you from your homes; from dealing kindly and justly with them; for Allah loves those who are just”(Koran 60:8-9). It is worth noting that the Arabic word for ‘kind’ in the verse, or birr, is used elsewhere for the affection and gentleness mandated to parents.

Islam and religious pluralism have also come under scrutiny. The primary texts of Islam guarantee those living under Islamic governance full social, economic and political rights, as well as the right to conduct all civil matters in accord with their own traditions. The jizyah, or tax, that non-Muslims citizens are required to pay is in lieu of army conscription, which is mandatory for Muslims.

History has recorded the full entitlements of citizenship granted by the Prophet to non-Muslims in treaties, the amnesty he gave to those who persecuted him, and his moral exhortations to maintain justice: “On the Day of Judgement, I will be the advocate of non-Muslim subjects who were oppressed” and “Observe scrupulously the protection accorded by me to non-Muslim subjects.”

Some commentators fail to recognize the diversity of the Muslim world. Locked in a binary of ‘us’ versus ‘them,’ their analysis rarely transcends crude generalizations.

Muslims themselves are not all the same, Islam is actualized differently depending on socio-economic or cultural differences, and certain exp​ressions of Islam might be at odds with its letter and spirits.

To be fair, there is sometimes another cause of misunderstanding: Muslims themselves. Too often some Muslims blame modernity for their own malaise, and all too often act contrary to the universal constants of justice, moderation and mercy, which are essential animating values of any Islamic individual or social action.

Perhaps it is trite to mention that Islam is here to stay – as are the 1.2 billion Muslims in the world – and Canadian Muslims comprise an integral part of Canada’s multicultural mosaic. But it’s worth mentioning because of the stakes: The consequence of being locked in our mutual solitudes is miscommunication, suspicion and hate.
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