Saturday, February 28, 2009

Robert Spencer on "context" and the Quran...

!WARNING! My audio was screwed up. The sound is muffled at the beginning but don't turn your speakers way up because at 1:18 the audio kicks in properly, only to be muffled again after 1:59. I took the liberty of typing up a transcript in case you can't understand some of it:

Look, there’s a certain kind of “Alice In Wonderland” aspect to the challenge of “hate-speech” being leveled at Geert Wilders and at others like him, and I think that it’s especially piquant that many of you if not all of you were provided with a specimen of it on your way in tonight. Did you get this paper? I love this. This paper says, and you can read along with me, it’s point 1, 2, 3, 4. “The excerpts of Quran in this film Fitna” which we will see soon, “are wrong. The excerpts of Quran in this film are wrong, he is also,” what do you think? “Taking them out of context!” Yes, it’s not possible for somebody like me or somebody like Geert Wilders to quote the Quran in context, it can’t be done. I’ve tried though and we’re gonna try again tonight.

Very briefly, I hope not to try your patience this is the "Tafsir Abdullah Lani" (?) which is an ancient and widely-respected mainstream Muslim commentary written by Muslims for Muslims on the Quran. And so, let’s give these folks their due. They made all this trouble to print this up and to give this out to us, and they said that Geert Wilders is quoting the Quran out of context, and so here’s some context, this is the- (applause).

This is one of the most popular and widely-respected and widely-cited, among Muslims, commentary on the Quran, alright? Now, a couple of verses are quoted in Fitna; Fitna the film that we’re going to see, and so I’m going to give you a little bit of a preview. There is for example Chapter 8 Verse 60 of the Quran which tells believers to "strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah." And of course we all know that I just took it out of context, because we all know that there’s a perfectly cuddly way to strike terror into the hearts of the infidels. If only we understood it in context everything would be great, and it really means “give them a hug.”

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