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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Furor over a five-letter word - Leslie Scrivener

We ostensibly profess to follow a Book, that says in scores of places 'read, understand, follow' ...paRho, ghore o tadabbur karo, a'mal karo...and virtually abandoning these injunctions we get agitated and at times get violent in defense of what we perceive to be sacrosanct. To read the rest of the following article please click on the heading.

For seven years Laleh Bakhtiar laboured over her English translation of the Qur'an, a version that is written from a woman's point of view and is also welcoming to non-Muslim readers.

Of all the 90,000 words she translated, there is just one, in chapter four, verse 34, that led to sharp criticism and controversy. It's from the section on women and describes how to deal with one who is "disobedient."

Most translations of the Qur'an, which Muslims believe to be the word of God revealed to Muhammad, say the woman should first be admonished, then left alone in her bed and then beaten, albeit lightly.

"When I got to chapter four I had to really look at this carefully," says Bakhtiar, a Chicago Islamic scholar who is the featured speaker at the 25th annual conference of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, which opens on Saturday at Toronto's Noor Cultural Centre. "It took a lot of research time to see what it means.


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