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« The Meaning of Meaning | Main | Happiness Formula Wiki »

Comments

TJ

Dear Scott,

I am non-muslim Asian and familiar with the communal/militant /fanatical nature of Muslims.

While what you write in general on Islam/terrorism is really funny, i feel like I am having a last laugh.

In general the western world (including you and the Bush men ), lack the understanding of the psyche of Muslims. I dont know how the West can win the holy war, if for Muslims even blowing themselves & their kids to bits will also qualify as a Victory! ( not the general civilised muslims, but the militant ones ).

Let me tell you this; the Westerners can never even come close to understanding the islamic psyche. Its too complicated, and irrational. To think like that you have to be one of them. and its simply impossible where you guys come from. The faith and belief that comes from growing up in a family of 2 wives and 8 kids surviving on a monthly salary of less than 25 dollars, you cant even fathom.

rgds,
TJ.

John The Dentist

"I'm curious how many terrorists actually read the Koran."

Trick question. They would have already blown it up.

Professor Van Stormbergen

I've been undertaking considerable research towards translating the Koran for many years now. Problematically, I still have not been able to determine where precisely it instructs people to yell "AY-LALALALA" constantly.

Reenen

That's why the "Holy Koran" is not "holy" when translated.

You only get the real value if you are a speaker of the tongue it was written in. The language has changed, and who knows what "Daraba" meant way back when the Koran was written.

Gavin

Mmm, the posts about how certain other religious books are really well translated and have no mistakes in them at all are good fun, too. For some reason, the Jehovah's Witnesses are busy building their own translation of the Christian Bible because they don't think the current translations are reliable enough, even though there are already multiple translations. The very fact that some words and concepts in any given language may not exist in another language means that translations are always going to be difficult if not impossible. Occasionally, terminology may even be intentionally ambiguous or imprecise - words such as "punish" may be chosen to mean that some element of choice (gasp! You may have to think for yourself) exists for a given situation. Colloquial terminology further clouds the picture (I may get off may face, totally pissed, shitfaced this weekend. Try translating that into other languages. Particularly German).

As for mistranslations in Islam, a good example is this reward of 72 virgins; I'm pretty sure it actually says something about ample fruit - i.e. Heaven is somewhere where you'll never starve, rather than being a deeply misogynistic adolescent fantasy land. My guess is that this "mistranslation" is actually an attempt to willfully manipulate the all too gullible youth.

In other words, Scott's suggestion is already happening.

The Bible was definitely a product of its time - it was originally compiled for the convenience of the ruling elite. Certainly the King James Bible was subtly modified to better fit the politics of the day. What we should do is to regularly update these books - we do it with every other book. Perhaps it's now not so good to stone your kids or maybe it's OK to eat pork, now. The possibilities are endless.

Gavin

And perhaps you should leave English to the English, hackaback... Just because you're not an expert in something does not mean you should not comment. And besides, wasn't Scott talking about religion, not politics? (Oh, but this is Islam, so the two are one and the same...) I'm assuming you're an expert as you have commented? And I suppose that all politicians become experts in their field before talking about anything (I like that one - it's almost as funny as Scott's post ;-)).

Bertram Henze

Nice idea, if terrorists were really interested in the semantics of the Koran (unfortunately, they're not). And for an encore, you could find similar translation issues with the Bible and confuse those people with fish on their cars.

psg

scott,

just one question...why this deathwish!!!!! you got money, fame(a little bit) and success...enjoy it while it lasts...why risk your life pal?
good thing that you were not the president of the erstwhile USSR!! we would have been living in caves by now..given your penchant for raking up issues and inviting trouble!!!

I can almost hear you talking as the president ofthe USSR(in Russian of course, but translated to english, translation errors again!!)

boris, this vodka tastes like pee...this is pissing me off ...nuke em!!

Jayne Marie

Umm...the "original" not translated Koran??? Wow. I didn't know photocopiers/printing presses dated back that far...or is it presumed that transcriptionists (often illiterate) were able to perfectly copy every mark...and that later transcriptions were never tempted to make 'corrections' and that there is truly ONE holy version?

No wonder Wittgenstein argued we could never communicate...

James Langham

Hackaback said:

Your blog is hilarious. But the thing is you must have sufficient knowledge about something to speak on something and make people think your way.
You are a great humuorist . I read your blog for the first time three days back. but please leave the politics to politician

Posted by: hackaback | March 26, 2007 at 08:02 PM

I would argue politics is to serious to leave to politicians!

richard hunter

From the article "“I decided it either has to have a different meaning, or I can’t keep translating,” said Ms. Bakhtiar, an Iranian-American who adopted her father’s Islamic faith as an adult and had not dwelled on the verse before. “I couldn’t believe that God would sanction harming another human being except in war.”"

- says a lot, she honestly beleives her God sits on top of a mountain and shouts down 'DO NOT HURT ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.........unless in War.............or in road rage..........or slightly miffed'

Also it is a good religion that allows me to chop and change when I like 'I was translating the bible into Welsh when I came across the paragraph that alleged God told Adam not to eat apples, I can not beleive my God would say such a thing, we all know 5 a day is important, so I beleive he told Adam not grapple, which indicates wrestling is the work of the devil'

and so starts a new religion

Nick

First comes the need then comes the excuse !

Carlbert

I suspect the problem is that the terrorists ARE reading the original Arabic, rather than the modern politically-correct version.

Arifi Waked

One again, your flaunting of the way you so perfectly fit the stereotype of an ignorant American both saddens and worries me.

1) There are literally thousands of people who have memorized the Quran word for word. Trust me, we'd notice.

2) There have been literally thousands of scholars throughout history who have dedicated their lives to trying to reinterpret the exact meaning of each word in each situation and context in which it occurs in the Quran. The Quran is meant to be a book that transcends time and all Muslims know that there is more in it than we have already discovered and hopefully will continue to search beyond the surface interpretation of the literal word in it's most common use at this point. Unlike English, classical Arabic is a frozen language. What is used now, Modern Standard Arabic, is very different from the Arabic of the Quran. Words that now mean one thing may have meant something very different over a thousand years ago.

3) There is nowhere in the Quran where it says to kill infadels. The only reason we're allowed to kill anyone is if it's in self defense. The whole concept of an infidel doesnt even exist in Islam. There is actually a passage in the Quran that tells Muslims to look to the Christians when we have questions of faith. Islam is to Muslims only the continuation of the Judeo-Christian tradition. We believe that there were prophets sent by God all over the world, many of which are mentioned in none of the holy books to come from Arabia. As such, we are supposed to respect Budists, Christians, those following any Native American tradition or really any other religion where one aspires to become closer to God and live a more spiritually fulfilling existence.

You are a public figure and as such have a responsibility to not spread hate and religionist and which ultimately and inevitably becomes racist propaganda. If you really are so dedicated to providing meaning to your life by serving the higher purpose of helping us all be happy, than the very least you could do is a simple google or wikipedia search before you post something so disgustingly offensive.

But, hey, if you enjoy propagating stereotypes about your own people and giving Arabs and the rest of the world even more of a reason to think that all Americans are willfully ignorant, you just go right no posting whatever offensive notions float into that propaganda filled head of yours.

Arifi Waked

One again, your flaunting of the way you so perfectly fit the stereotype of an ignorant American both saddens and worries me.

1) There are literally thousands of people who have memorized the Quran word for word. Trust me, we'd notice.

2) There have been literally thousands of scholars throughout history who have dedicated their lives to trying to reinterpret the exact meaning of each word in each situation and context in which it occurs in the Quran. The Quran is meant to be a book that transcends time and all Muslims know that there is more in it than we have already discovered and hopefully will continue to search beyond the surface interpretation of the literal word in it's most common use at this point. Unlike English, classical Arabic is a frozen language. What is used now, Modern Standard Arabic, is very different from the Arabic of the Quran. Words that now mean one thing may have meant something very different over a thousand years ago.

3) There is nowhere in the Quran where it says to kill infadels. The only reason we're allowed to kill anyone is if it's in self defense. The whole concept of an infidel doesnt even exist in Islam. There is actually a passage in the Quran that tells Muslims to look to the Christians when we have questions of faith. Islam is to Muslims only the continuation of the Judeo-Christian tradition. We believe that there were prophets sent by God all over the world, many of which are mentioned in none of the holy books to come from Arabia. As such, we are supposed to respect Budists, Christians, those following any Native American tradition or really any other religion where one aspires to become closer to God and live a more spiritually fulfilling existence.

You are a public figure and as such have a responsibility to not spread hate and religionist and which ultimately and inevidably becomes racist propoganda. If you really are so dedicated to providing meaning to your life by serving the higher purpose of helping us all be happy, than the very least you could do is a simple google or wikipedia search before you post something so disgustingly offensive.

But, hey, if you enjoy propagating stereotypes about your own people and giving Arabs and the rest of the world even more of a reason to think that all Americans are willfully ignorant, you just go right no posting whatever offensive notions float into that propaganda filled head of yours.

Arifi Waked

One again, your flaunting of the way you so perfectly fit the stereotype of an ignorant American both saddens and worries me.

1) There are literally thousands of people who have memorized the Quran word for word. Trust me, we'd notice.

2) There have been literally thousands of scholars throughout history who have dedicated their lives to trying to reinterpret the exact meaning of each word in each situation and context in which it occurs in the Quran. The Quran is meant to be a book that transcends time and all Muslims know that there is more in it than we have already discovered and hopefully will continue to search beyond the surface interpretation of the literal word in it's most common use at this point. Unlike English, classical Arabic is a frozen language. What is used now, Modern Standard Arabic, is very different from the Arabic of the Quran. Words that now mean one thing may have meant something very different over a thousand years ago.

3) There is nowhere in the Quran where it says to kill infadels. The only reason we're allowed to kill anyone is if it's in self defense. The whole concept of an infidel doesnt even exist in Islam. There is actually a passage in the Quran that tells Muslims to look to the Christians when we have questions of faith. Islam is to Muslims only the continuation of the Judeo-Christian tradition. We believe that there were prophets sent by God all over the world, many of which are mentioned in none of the holy books to come from Arabia. As such, we are supposed to respect Budists, Christians, those following any Native American tradition or really any other religion where one aspires to become closer to God and live a more spiritually fulfilling existence.

You are a public figure and as such have a responsibility to not spread hate and religionist and which ultimately and inevidably becomes racist propoganda. If you really are so dedicated to providing meaning to your life by serving the higher purpose of helping us all be happy, than the very least you could do is a simple google or wikipedia search before you post something so disgustingly offensive.

But, hey, if you enjoy propagating stereotypes about your own people and giving Arabs and the rest of the world even more of a reason to think that all Americans are willfully ignorant, you just go right no posting whatever offensive notions float into that propaganda filled head of yours.

[Wonderfully ironic. -- Scott]

Hoddy

"If you want to end islamic terroism you need to do only one thing: Point out that the Saudi's have only one product and only one customer. An awake capitalist would know it's a buyer's market."

The Saudis KNOW this. Which is why they funded G W Bush's oil career and invest so heavily in the USA. The Saudis own ~ 8% of the USA's economy.

This is why, despite 13/14ths (?) of the 9/11 terrorists being Saudis, the USA attacked Afghanistan and Iraq.

Who's the bitch now?

Kevin Kunreuther

Jeff The Human Ashtray - very funny - it's gonna' be a good week.

Richard

Devon,

"For Christians that have done horrible things, their is no justification from a Biblical pov..."

I would like to point out most respectfully that the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the witch burnings were perpetuated by Christians. They may not be excessivley bad, true, but it's the only bad things that I could come up with. That, and some German Christian guy with a weird moustache. But yeah, you Christians are the most pious people ever! No intolerance built into *your* holy book!

David

That would never work. You might not have noticed, but religious nuts who refer to religious texts for guidance don't actually pay attention to what the text says. They think they do, but they don't.

I mean, have you ever actually READ the Bible? There's some really messed up stuff in there. Even though the Bible often advocates behavior which any priest would tell you is highly immoral (stoning disobedient children to death, anyone?), we still call it a blueprint for morality. Obviously, nobody actually pays attention to what it says.

Richard

For all those that believe that people should leave "politics for the politicians", I would like to humbly state that that is a stupid and dangerous idea. We all have our opinions and we all have something to contribute. Also, we live in a democracy. If you really don't care for politics, fine, a monarchy wouldn't be too much more different for you. But for those that have things to say and ideas to shape, why would you stop them from doing so just because it's not their profession?

Oh right. You aren't a designated thinker, so therefore...

Maya

Great article.I hope people realize that the Koran is actually misinterpreted by the jehadis/terrorists.The level of terrorism in the world as preached by these anti-social elements is scary.

Screen Name

What did the first terrorist woman say to the second terrorist woman?

"Does my bomb look big in this?"

Robert Hamilton

Dilbert Fans, it looks like we're going to have to set up an underground railroad to save Scott's ass if we want to continue to read the strip. We'll need some peanut butter and an Internet connection, preferably with a 1200 baud aoustic modem or better, I'll need good maps of the mountain trails in Paraguay, 2 tins of chewing tobacco (better than money, there) and 2 pencils. Let's move people!

DJ

Scott, PLEASE be careful. You could get lynched for this. I'm not joking. It has happened before. Please take the advice of your biggest fan (yours truly) and please delete this blog and all the comments under it. Meanwhile, I'm wringing my hands hoping no fanatic is reading this. :-(

PS: The Induhvidual that I am, I pasted this comment on the wrong blog. Bah!

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