Friday, April 20, 2012

The Proper Disposal of a Free Koran

We reported last week on the proposal by an Islamic fundamentalist in Germany to distribute 25 million free German-language Korans to the non-Muslim populace.

Imagine that you’re one of the unwitting recipients of a free Koran, dropped with a clunk through your letter box early one morning. You take a quick look at the book. It’s boring, turgid, and incomprehensible. You don’t want it.

But how should you dispose of it? You’ve heard on the news about what happens to non-Muslims who burn the Koran, or throw it in the garbage, or flush it down the toilet. You don’t want to share their fate.

So what’s the solution? Bury it in the back yard? Hand it over to the police?

That’s what’s being discussed in Germany right now. Many thanks to Hermes for translating this article from yesterday’s Die Welt:

What to do with a Koran given as present?

The distribution of 25 million copies of the Koran in Germany was also criticised by Muslims. Many volumes will probably be thrown away, something intolerable for believers.

Qurious George and the QuranThe distribution of the Koran by Salafists in various cities is a matter of discussion: 25 million copies of the Koran in German, about 360 truckloads of books, are what the extremist Muslims want to distribute among the populace.

This action is meeting criticism not only from politicians but also from many Muslims. The chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, said that the handing over of Korans is actually a good task. But he views the distribution of millions of exemplars critically because the “Word of God” is not a flyer that you distribute en masse. Moreover, he fears that some Korans could at worst be thrown away as waste paper.

The idea of the Koran landing into a waste bin is unbearable for most Muslims. Already in February, the burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan led to protests and deadly riots: “The Koran is for the Muslims the direct word of God,” says Abdurrahim Kozali, Professor of Islamic law and religious practice from the Center for Intercultural Islamic Studies at the University of Osnabrueck. Therefore, the Muslims have always tried to handle the Koran with respect. According to Islamic law, the Koran should not be touched without ritual ablution or put on the floor.

To bury it like a corpse

Porky and the KoranIf Arabic Korans are old and illegible, they should, in the opinion of most scholars, be wrapped in a cloth and buried as one would a dead body, says Kozali. It must be also made sure that the (burial) place is clean and that after the “funeral” nobody will enter the burial place anymore. According to Kozali, a minority of Islamic scholars say that the old Korans should not be buried, but burned.

They refer to the Caliph Osman (644-656) who, after having edited the official Koran, ordered the older versions to be burned. The Islamic theologian believes that rather than intending to distribute a standard Koran, he did so because he wanted to avoid debate and confusion over older versions. For this reason, the funeral of the Holy Book would preferably happen through incineration rather than by burying it.

“The Koran is for Muslims the epitome of holiness,” says Hartmut Bobzin, a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Therefore it is not surprising that the Koran enjoys special respect among Muslims. This reverential treatment towards a scripture by Islam comes from the Jewish tradition, scientists presume.

“God cannot be offended”

These rules and regulations towards the discarding of Korans refer, according to most Islamic scholars, only to Korans in Arabic. Because only these are the revealed word of God. Translations of the Qur’an are therefore “Transmission”. That’s why the versions of the Koran distributed by the Salafists have on their cover: “The noble Qur’an, the approximate interpretation in German language.”

In Judaism, the texts in which the Hebrew name of God appears are not thrown away. Instead, they are usually kept in the synagogues on a separate place, the “Genizah”. The burying of documents is the reason why significant archaeological treasures could be found in recent years. The famous Cairo Geniza of Kairo is an example to this. Ancient manuscripts of this kind regarding the Koran are kept in the Great Mosque of Sana’a in Yemen.

The Catholic Church also advises the burial of an illegible or corrupted Bible: According to a spokesman for the Catholic German Bishop Conference, it should be buried in consecrated ground, in a cemetery, for example. This process is, however, not canonically specified. The content of the book is what usually matters, and not the book itself.

John Frederick, chairman of the German Bible Society in Stuttgart and former bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria said that there are no rules for Protestants regarding the discarding of a Bible. “We believe that the Bible is God’s word which has been written by men. God cannot be offended if we treat the Bible with disrespect.” But other people’s feelings might be hurt.


Anonymous said...

Is re-gifting it like the proverbial fruitcake halal or haraam?

George Pal

goethechosemercy said...

These demands are nothing more than pagan magic.
They have no meaning in the mind of a rational person.

Steve in Greensboro said...

Keep it in he smallest room in the house, within easy reach.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, most Germans are filthy kufars (infedels), thus just touching the book by trying to pick it up off the floor will result in death threats and possible beheading. Since leaving the book on the floor will also be an insult, the only option left is conversion.

Anonymous said...

Find nearest pig farm, tear up Koran and toss the pieces into the pig pen.

Cathryn Paradise said...

Muslims lie when they say they are monotheists. Muslims worship three gods: Allah,Mohammed and the Koran.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is just insanity in its purest form. Just to think of it that normal, sane peopple are actually discussing this. That throwing away a thing that you don't want would become such an impossible mission. We sure do have the privilege of living in interesting (yet insane) times. The imam who stareted this probably knew this was the way it would turn out. Pardon my english, haven't written in english for a wery long time.

1389 said...

I just love your Curious George and Porky Pig illustrations!

My suggestion about what to do with unwanted printed matter:

Nordlys said...

# Cathlin Raradise - Muslims lie when they say they are monotheists. Muslims worship three gods: Allah,Mohammed and the Koran.

Ahahah, i never though about that. Now if a Muslim accuse a Christran that he workship Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Cristian know how to answer.
(i don't know if i wrote correctly, i'm not english or american)

Cathryn Paradise said...

All one needs to look at to see that Muslims worship 3 gods is by their reactions to what they call insults to Allah , Mohammed and the Koran. Most recently: US military burns Korans that are used to plan murders: result riots and killing. Cartoons depicting Mohammed in a bad way: riots and killing. Insult Allah :car-bombs Homicide (excuse me suicide)bombing. Kill people : a quiet demonstration.

laine said...

Another case of 1) proselytizing for Islam with the plan of showering a western country with millions of Korans and 2) simultaneously forcing non-Muslims to abide by shariah law instead of the law of the (western) land, this time regarding disposal of unwanted Korans. According to our laws, anything that is not stolen goods once given to us unsolicited becomes our property to do with as we please. This includes the Koran, a book of Muslim superstitions that we are free to discard as garbage if we so wish like any pamphlet delivered to our door. The fact that one set of Muslims wants to give western non-Muslims in the millions copies of the Koran (hoping to sway some weak brains) while other Muslims feel it their duty to riot and kill infidels to protest even the mere rumor of a SINGLE Koran being "dishonored" by the kuffar puts non-Muslims in a Catch 22. (Meanwhile, Muslims themselves are apparently allowed to blow up entire mosques and the Korans they contain with impunity). The Koran disseminating Muslims need to be told: you cannot command or expect respect for your holy book among non-Muslims in our own lands. We cannot be expected to treat Korans better than a Muslim mosque bomber does. Your fellow Muslims have demonstrated that they cannot control themselves and will harm, even kill non-Muslims for not abiding by shariah law that is not in force here. You see why you cannot distribute these books unless a) you agree the non-Muslims who did not ask for them have full discretion and do not have to treat Korans as a Muslim would and b) you guarantee not a single one of your coreligionists will punish non-Muslims for not following Muslim rules in western lands regarding Koran disposal. Western law, not Muslim is in force here. Are you clear on that?

goethechosemercy said...

The content of the book is what usually matters, and not the book itself.

This is the entire point.
Muslims, because their religion is magical and not doctrinal, imbue material items with significance and power that they do not have.
Only in Islam is filth so broadly defined.
Only in Islam is cleanliness so hard to obtain.
Rational religions and cultures can distinguish between the idea and the medium.
Islam has no reason, and knows no distinction between material and spiritual things.

Anonymous said...

Actually this should not be a problem because it is unlikely the books will be Korans - on the grounds they will be in German and not Arabic and Arabic script. So they can be put where they belong - in the trash.

Anonymous said...

I need one for my outhouse, I'm out of toilet paper.