Bayt Al Fann, questions, and Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an

Originally published at: Bayt Al Fann, questions, and Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an | Boing Boing


“ Jefferson’s 1734 translation of the Koran was not produced out of a special love for Islam, but rather to further Christian missionary efforts in Muslim lands”

But does that tell us why Jefferson wanted to own this? Jefferson was an evil dick; but he doesn’t seem to have been a Christian proselytizer.

As a Deist - he wouldn’t be considered Christian by most. And the “Jefferson Bible” certainly doesn’t seem well suited to promoting organized Christianity.



Moreover, the Koran wasn’t translated very often lists only the 1639 and the 1734 translations, so an accurate translation produced with less than reverent intent is better than a considerably older version that omits.

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It can be a minefield interpreting and unraveling religious texts, translations more so. To try and understand the ‘why’s’ and implications of the ‘reading’ of a translation in relation to a single ‘reader’ seems to me to be of a complexity that any inference becomes meaningless.

At the opening of an exhibition of Elvis memorabilia Priscilla, in an emotional reflection, talks of the Qur’an being a nightly read by her husband at a certain point in time. What translation and how did this effect his song writing? Maybe it just help him sleep like white noise. Who can tell?

As Laurie Anderson says “Language is a virus”.
“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” A quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi and used by some (many) Christians to both discredit Gandhi and the Hindu religion. Is there any evidence that he actually said this, unlikely. Still has power.

Once it is written and in print a minefield of dangerous conjecture opens up.

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