Tariq Ramadan: "an outsider (infidel) cannot understand the glorious Koran!"

* Childish, silly, obsessive and delusional: frere Tariq, this ‘world reknown scholar of Islam’, gives us a deep look into his twisted and irrational psyche, while he sings with typical oriental hyperbole the praises of the Koran, that awful book that keeps more than a billion Muhammadans worldwide in shackles.

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* Now this PoS is what Islamofascists call a ‘scholar': Western dimwits pay him handsomely to lecture at time honored institutions of higher learning, but all it ever amounts to is da’awa, proselytizing in the name of Islam, because Islam must dominate, because Islam, Islam is all that matters…

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Tariq Ramadan Derailment Watch

The Islamist Argument on the Koran

By Douglas Farah

In the January 6 issue of the New York Times Book Review, Tariq Ramadan has an essay that argues, in its essence, that non-believers cannot really read or understand the Koran-because it speaks exclusively to believers.

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One’s heart, Ramadan argues, is one’s guide for understanding the Koran, and the heart can only lead you once “the heart has made the message of Islam its own.”


So, in essence, an outsider (infidel) cannot understand the text, therefore an outsider really cannot have a valid opinion about the text because an outsider does not understand what he or she is talking about, because it is not on a rational plane.

This is an argument that, of course, means looking at the historial record of Islam, the more explicit verses on killing Jews and infidels, and waging _jihad_, as well as the true meaning of _jihad_, cannot be debated by infidels.

Islamists themselves will define the texts and their meaning for us, on their terms exclusively. We need not bother even trying.

That is akin to saying that, if one is not a born again Christian one should not attempt biblical scholarship, and perhaps some argue that. In reality, the historical texts can be read, examined, looked at for internal consistencies and inconsistencies, debated and dissected.

That is the rational response to the endeavor to understand history. One can have a different interpretation of texts one believes to be divine, but that does not negate the validity of scholarship.

This leads directly to the issue raised by the decision of the Joint Chiefs to not allow attorney and US Army intelligence reserve Major Stephen Coughlin to continue with his work on Islamic law in the Pentagon.

The main problem for the Islamists such as Hasham Islam, and their fellow travelers, such as ISNA, MPAC, Fiqh Council and AMCE, inside and around the Pentagon who worked to get rid of him, is that Coughlin, as a non-Muslim, and a legal scholar, with decade of experience in legal texts working for Westlaw and LexisNexis, as well as in military intelligence, often knew the Islamic texts better than the Islamists themselves. Coughlin’s MA thesis is in Islamic law.

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How embarrassing to have a non-believer who is an expert on Sharia law, and the Islamic texts, be able to debate intelligently and articulately, and use the texts themselves to inform their analysis and argument.

The answer, of course, is to say he cannot understand because he is not a Muslim. This is a classic logical fallacy. Nevertheless, this argument seems to have prevailed, at least for the moment, in Coughlin’s case. As Bill Gertz has reported, there seems to be some rallying to his defense and against the indefensible action of silencing the only true scholar in these issues that the Pentagon has.

* This is important! Read the whole thing!

Update:

In last years conference ‘Islam in Europe’ it was  Tariq Ramadan who proclaimed the most worrying statement: The real intentions of Euroislam must be concealed from the general public. Quite a harsh and frank statement, considering that he must anticipate being quoted in the media. But maybe he just cynically relies on the negligence of “the infidels”?

Although much embarrassing criticism has been published about Tariq Ramadan and his version of Euroislam, it hasn’t done much harm to his reputation as a modern and moderate European Muslim who sincerely wants to work for the peaceful integration of Muslims into Western societies. Tariq Ramadan continues to be a frequent and acknowledged guest at official conferences all over Europe, not least in the Nordic countries, where he lately has been used as an expert on countering the radicalization of Muslim youths, among other things. He is held in high esteem among young educated Danish Muslims.

More from Gates of Vienna

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More ‘Interfaith’ Schlock from the UN

Thanks to Mullah

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18 thoughts on “Tariq Ramadan: "an outsider (infidel) cannot understand the glorious Koran!"”

  1. What the bloody hell is Ramadan smoking? I tried to read his NY Times article and it is just as freakin bizarre as the Koran. One jumbled freakin Coney Island freak out zone!!!!!! These people are demented along with the freakin media who indulge this crap!!!!!!!!!

  2. * “an outsider (infidel) cannot understand the glorious Koran!”

    On the one hand, infidels cannot understand the Koran. On the other hand, we are being
    led into an “Alliance of Civilizations” with those whe seek to destroy us … the UN pursues
    its iron & clay “solution” …

    * Ban Ki-moon to attend Madrid forum on bridging divide between Islam and West
    * http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0801/S00127.htm

    … the madness continues; the delusion grows stronger, and the bloodfest more imminent.

  3. This isn’t even a sick joke anymore, it’s a bloody dangerous one. Anyone else wonder when the politicians and the media will have their epiphany about islam, you know the epiphany any sane person would have had many years ago? Any day now……any day now.

  4. … the madness continues; the delusion grows stronger, and “THE BLOODFEST MORE IMMINENT”.

  5. The problem is Islam is a religion. If it were a non-theist ideology – like Naziism, there would be no problem in condemning it!!

  6. “Madrid will also see the launch of a multi-million dollar Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund, an initiative that will be run independently of the UN and set up by private philanthropists and media agencies to “support major film productions that help to promote cross-cultural understanding and combat stereotypes.” ”

    Goebbels and Troskey would be proud of this new agi-pop machine.

  7. Remember … you can’t understand Mein Kampf, unless you are a Nazi… after all only a true believer would understand the subtle nuances and verbage used… errr… ya… that’s the ticket.

  8. So, basically unless you accept islam (which is about that easy, unlike other religions which take a few or more sessions) all of a sudden then one can understand it?! One has an epiphany once you say a couple of words of a sort of ‘I do’ to isalm?!

    I think that the part of the acceptance of islam is that one has to scramble the brains up and then, and only then, can one understand the koran – because it is about that nonsensically violent. It is a book on tactics if you want to look at it that way. And that is why the don’t want you reading it – especially those Medina (violent) versese which are surahs 8 and 9.

  9. If an infidel can’t understand the inglorious Koran then why do they seek to convert us? Talk about stupid.

  10. It’s a revolution of monumental proportions in the medical field, the incision into the brain to perform a lobotomy is no longer required, it’s a miracle I tell you!!!

  11. * One’s heart, Ramadan argues, is one’s guide for understanding the Koran

    Unlike Christianity, where it is the Holy Spirit who will guide into all truth (John 16:13).

    Unlike Christianity, where Jesus Christ and His father are one, Islam mocks and blasphemes
    against Jesus Christ and claims that He was not crucified. Muslims may mock Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death and resurrection, but God will have them in derision … they are indeed “misunderstanders” of Christianity, and rejecters of God’s unmerited gift of salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

    Blasphemy such as this won’t go unnoticed, even if Christians have no mandate (or desire)
    to rampage through the streets calling for those who blaspheme against Jesus Christ to be
    beheaded …

    http://www.arabtimesonline.com/client/pagesdetails.asp?nid=10722&ccid=18
    [blasphemous] ‘Islamic Jesus’ hits Iranian movie screens

    No point in the “interfaith” crowd babbling on about “building bridges”, “common ground”
    and “dialogue” between Islam and Christianity, when Islam is inherently blasphemous
    against God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

  12. Spencer sez:

    I do not accept the foggy mystical idea that the Qur’an can only be understood in the Arabic original. Most Muslims today do not speak Arabic, and Arabic is a human language that can be translated like any other. If what you have asserted about Arabic were true, no Muslims would ever translate the Qur’an. Yet large numbers of Muslim translations exist. The idea that the Qur’an can only be understood in Arabic is simply an obfuscation thrown up by defensive Muslims who want to prevent non-Muslims from reading it and seeing what’s in there, or allowing themselves to understand what’s in there when they read it.
    *
    From Nick:

    Allah made the Qur’an clear, simple and easy? (44:58 54:22 54:32 54:40)and nowhere does Allah say “my words must be read with help of commentaries and tasfirs”? Allah asks the Muslims to believe the literal meaning and forbade interpretations in Qur’an 3:7 “He sent down to you this scripture, containing straightforward verses – which constitute the essence of the scripture as well as multiple
    meaning or allegorical verses. Those who harbor doubts in their hearts will pursue the multiple-meaning verses to create confusion, and to extricate a certain meaning…”

    Tasfir ibn Kathir (3:7): “Allah states that in the Qur’an, there are Ayat that are Muhkamat, entirely clear and plain, and these are the foundations of the Book which are plain for everyone. And there are Ayat in the Qur’an that are Mutashabihat not entirely clear for many, or some people. The Muhkamat are the Ayat that explain the abrogating rulings, the allowed, prohibited, laws, limits, obligations and rulings that should be believed in and implemented. As for the Mutashabihat Ayat, they include the abrogated Ayat, parables, oaths, and what should be believed in, but not implemented. (So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation) meaning, those who are misguided and deviate from truth to falsehoood (they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof) meaning, they refer to the Mutashabih, because they are able to alter its meanings to conform with their false interpretation since the wordings of the Mutashabihat encompass such a wide area of meanings. As for the Muhkam Ayat, they cannot be altered because they are clear and, thus, constitute unequivocal proof against the misguided people. This is why Allah said,
    (seeking Al-Fitnah) meaning, they seek to misguide their following by pretending to prove their innovation by relying on the Qur’an — the Mutashabih of it — but, this is proof against and not for them. For instance, Christians might claim that [`Isa is divine because] the Qur’an states that he is Ruhullah and His Word, which He gave to Mary, all the while ignoring Allah’s statements,(He [`Isa] was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him.) [43:59], and, Al-Bukhari recorded a similar Hadith in the Tafsir of this Ayah [3:7], as did Muslim in the book of Qadar (the Divine Will) in his Sahih, and Abu Dawud in the Sunnah section of his Sunan, from `A’ishah; “The Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah,(It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are entirely clear,)

    “Verses that are entirely clear.” “Entirely clear and plain”. You know, like kill the unbelievers.
    Can you tell us in what way kill the unbelievers actually means kiss the unbelievers?

  13. So sad that we cannot seem to live in peace. I am a Christian and in no way wish to force my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my faith on anyone. I wish to share it in a loving and peaceful way. I do not see that Islam is the same in that regard. As I understand it you will be forced or die. That is very extreme. If I am wrong, please correct me and show me in the Koran where this is backed up. I pray that Jesus Christ; who is fully God (One God in three persons) will grant all of us understanding, peace and acceptance of one another. Let us not force our faith on anyone, share it with love and compassion. If someone does not wish to accept or hear it, please respect their wishes. Remember God is the final judge, even if they do not believe in God.

  14. There ain’t anything glorious about Mein Qurampf… Want to call it by a suitable adjective? Call it the glory-ass quran then…

  15. January 6, 2008
    ESSAY in the NYT
    Reading the Koran

    By TARIQ RAMADAN

    For Muslims the Koran stands as the Text of reference, the source and the essence of the message transmitted to humanity by the creator. It is the last of a lengthy series of revelations addressed to humans down through history. It is the Word of God — but it is not God. The Koran makes known, reveals and guides: it is a light that responds to the quest for meaning. The Koran is remembrance of all previous messages, those of Noah and Abraham, of Moses and Jesus. Like them, it reminds and instructs our consciousness: life has meaning, facts are signs.

    It is the Book of all Muslims the world over. But paradoxically, it is not the first book someone seeking to know Islam should read. (A life of the Prophet or any book presenting Islam would be a better introduction.) For it is both extremely simple and deeply complex. The nature of the spiritual, human, historical and social teachings to be drawn from it can be understood at different levels. The Text is one, but its readings are multiple.

    For the woman or the man whose heart has made the message of Islam its own, the Koran speaks in a singular way. It is both the Voice and the Path. God speaks to one’s innermost being, to his consciousness, to his heart, and guides him onto the path that leads to knowledge of him, to the meeting with him: “This is the Book, about it there can be no doubt; it is a Path for those who are aware of God.” More than a mere text, it is a traveling companion to be chanted, to be sung or to be heard.

    Throughout the Muslim world, in mosques, in homes and in the streets, one can hear magnificent voices reciting the divine Words. Here, there can be no distinction between religious scholars (ulema) and laymen. The Koran speaks to each in his language, accessibly, as if to match his intelligence, his heart, his questions, his joy as well as his pain. This is what the ulema have termed reading or listening as adoration. As Muslims read or hear the Text, they strive to suffuse themselves with the spiritual dimension of its message: beyond time, beyond history and the millions of beings who populate the earth, God is speaking to each of them, calling and reminding each of them, inviting, guiding, counseling and commanding. God responds, to her, to him, to the heart of each: with no intermediary, in the deepest intimacy.

    No need for studies and diplomas, for masters and guides. Here, as we take our first steps, God beckons us with the simplicity of his closeness. The Koran belongs to everyone, free of distinction and of hierarchy. God responds to whoever comes to his Word. It is not rare to observe women and men, poor and rich, educated and illiterate, Eastern and Western, falling silent, staring into the distance, lost in thought, stepping back, weeping. The search for meaning has encountered the sacred, God is near: “Indeed, I am close at hand. I answer the call of him who calls me when s/he calls.”

    A dialogue has begun. An intense, permanent, constantly renewed dialogue between a Book that speaks the infinite simplicity of the adoration of the One, and the heart that makes the intense effort necessary to liberate itself, to meet him. At the heart of every heart’s striving lies the Koran. It holds out peace and initiates into liberty.

    Indeed, the Koran may be read at several levels, in quite distinct fields. But first, the reader must be aware of how the Text has been constructed. The Koran was revealed in sequences of varying length, sometimes as entire chapters (suras), over a span of 23 years. In its final form, the Text follows neither a chronological nor strictly thematic order. Two things initially strike the reader: the repetition of Prophetic stories, and the formulas and information that refer to specific historical situations that the Koran does not elucidate. Understanding, at this first level, calls for a twofold effort on the part of the reader: though repetition is, in a spiritual sense, a reminder and a revivification, in an intellectual sense it leads us to attempt to reconstruct. The stories of Eve and Adam, or of Moses, are repeated several times over with differing though noncontradictory elements: the task of human intelligence is to recompose the narrative structure, to bring together all the elements, allowing us to grasp the facts.

    But we must also take into account the context to which these facts refer: all commentators, without distinction as to school of jurisprudence, agree that certain verses of the revealed Text (in particular, but not only, those that refer to war) speak of specific situations that had arisen at the moment of their revelation. Without taking historical contingency into account, it is impossible to obtain general information on this or that aspect of Islam. In such cases, our intelligence is invited to observe the facts, to study them in reference to a specific environment and to derive principles from them. It is a demanding task, which requires study, specialization and extreme caution. Or to put it differently, extreme intellectual modesty.

    The second level is no less demanding. The Koranic text is, first and foremost, the promulgation of a message whose content has, above all, a moral dimension. On each page we behold the ethics, the underpinnings, the values and the hierarchy of Islam taking shape. In this light, a linear reading is likely to disorient the reader and to give rise to incoherence, even contradiction. It is appropriate, in our efforts to determine the moral message of Islam, to approach the Text from another angle. While the stories of the Prophets are drawn from repeated narrations, the study of ethical categories requires us, first, to approach the message in the broadest sense, then to derive the principles and values that make up the moral order. The methods to be applied at this second level are exactly the opposite of the first, but they complete it, making it possible for religious scholars to advance from the narration of a prophetic story to the codification of its spiritual and ethical teaching.

    But there remains a third level, which demands full intellectual and spiritual immersion in the Text, and in the revealed message. Here, the task is to derive the Islamic prescriptions that govern matters of faith, of religious practice and of its fundamental precepts. In a broader sense, the task is to determine the laws and rules that will make it possible for all Muslims to have a frame of reference for the obligations, the prohibitions, the essential and secondary matters of religious practice, as well as those of the social sphere. A simple reading of the Koran does not suffice: not only is the study of Koranic science a necessity, but knowledge of segments of the prophetic tradition is essential. One cannot, on a simple reading of the Koran, learn how to pray. We must turn to authenticated prophetic tradition to determine the rules and the body movements of prayer.

    As we can see, this third level requires singular knowledge and competence that can only be acquired by extensive, exhaustive study of the texts, their surrounding environment and, of course, intimate acquaintance with the classic and secular tradition of the Islamic sciences. It is not merely dangerous but fundamentally erroneous to generalize about what Muslims must and must not do based on a simple reading of the Koran. Some Muslims, taking a literalist or dogmatic approach, have become enmeshed in utterly false and unacceptable interpretations of the Koranic verses, which they possess neither the means, nor on occasion the intelligence, to place in the perspective of the overarching message. Some orientalists, sociologists and non-Muslim commentators follow their example by extracting from the Koran certain passages, which they then proceed to analyze in total disregard for the methodological tools employed by the ulema.

    Above and beyond these distinct levels of reading, we must take into account the different interpretations put forward by the great Islamic classical tradition. It goes without saying that all Muslims consider the Koran to be the final divine revelation. But going back to the direct experience of the Companions of the Prophet, it has always been clear that the interpretation of its verses is plural in nature, and that there has always existed an accepted diversity of readings among Muslims.

    Some have falsely claimed that because Muslims believe the Koran to be the word of God, interpretation and reform are impossible. This belief is then cited as the reason why a historical and critical approach cannot be applied to the revealed Text. The development of the sciences of the Koran — the methodological tools fashioned and wielded by the ulema and the history of Koranic commentary — prove such a conclusion baseless. Since the beginning, the three levels outlined above have led to a cautious approach to the texts, one that obligates whoever takes up the task to be in harmony with his era and to renew his comprehension. Dogmatic and often mummified, hidebound readings clearly reflect not upon the Author of the Text, but upon the intelligence and psychology of the person reading it. Just as we can read the work of a human author, from Marx to Keynes, in closed-minded and rigid fashion, we can approach divine revelation in a similar manner. Instead, we should be at once critical, open-minded and incisive. The history of Islamic civilization offers us ample proof of this.

    When dealing with the Koran, it is neither appropriate nor helpful to draw lines of demarcation between approaches of the heart and of the mind. All the masters of Koranic studies without exception have emphasized the importance of the spiritual dimension as a necessary adjunct to the intellectual investigation of the meaning of the Koran. The heart possesses its own intelligence: “Have they not hearts with which to understand,” the Koran calls out to us, as if to point out that the light of intellect alone is not enough. The Muslim tradition, from the legal specialists to the Sufi mystics, has continuously oscillated between these two poles: the intelligence of the heart sheds the light by which the intelligence of the mind observes, perceives and derives meaning. As sacred word, the Text contains much that is apparent; it also contains the secrets and silences that nearness to the divine reveals to the humble, pious, contemplative intelligence. Reason opens the Book and reads it — but it does so in the company of the heart, of spirituality.

    For the Muslim’s heart and conscience, the Koran is the mirror of the universe. What the first Western translators, influenced by the biblical vocabulary, rendered as “verse” means, literally, “sign” in Arabic. The revealed Book, the written Text, is made up of signs, in the same way that the universe, in the image of a text spread out before our eyes, abounds with these very signs. When the intelligence of the heart — and not analytical intelligence alone — reads the Koran and the world, the two speak to one another, echo one another; each one speaks of the other and of the Unique One. The signs remind us of meaning: of birth, of life, of feeling, of thought, of death.

    But the echo is deeper still, and summons human intelligence to understand revelation, creation and their harmony. Just as the universe possesses its fundamental laws and its finely regulated order — which humans, wherever they may be, must respect when acting upon their environment — the Koran lays down laws, a moral code and a body of practice that Muslims must respect, whatever their era and their environment. These are the invariables of the universe, and of the Koran. Religious scholars use the term qat’i (“definitive,” “not subject to interpretation”) when they refer to the Koranic verses (or to the authenticated Prophetic tradition, ahadith) whose formulation is clear and explicit and offers no latitude for figurative interpretation. In like manner, creation itself rests upon universal laws that we cannot ignore. The consciousness of the believer likens the five pillars of Islam to the laws of gravitation: they constitute an earthly reality beyond space and time.

    As the universe is in constant motion, rich in an infinite diversity of species, beings, civilizations, cultures and societies, so too is the Koran. In the latitude of interpretation offered by the majority of its verses, by the generality of the principles and actions that it promulgates with regard to social affairs, by the silences that run through it, the Koran allows human intelligence to grasp the evolution of history, the multiplicity of languages and cultures, and thus to insinuate itself into the windings of time and the landscapes of space.

    Between the universe and the Koran, between these two realities, between these two texts, human intelligence must learn to distinguish fundamental and universal laws from circumstantial and historical models. This intelligence must display humility in the presence of the order, beauty and harmony of creation and of revelation. At the same time it must responsibly and creatively manage its own accomplishments or interpretations, which are sources of extraordinary success, but also of injustice, war and disorder. Between Text and context, the intelligence of the heart and that of the analytical faculty lay down norms, recognize an ethical structure, produce knowledge, nourish consciousness, and develop enterprise and creativity in all spheres of human activity.

    Far from being a prison, or a constraint, revelation is an invitation to mankind to reconcile itself with its deepest essence, and to find there both the recognition of its limitations and the extraordinary potential of its intelligence and its imagination. To submit ourselves to the order of the Just One and of his eternity is to understand that we are free and fully authorized to reform the injustices that lie at the heart of the order or disorder of all that is temporally human.

    The Koran is a book for both heart and mind. In nearness to it, a woman or a man who possesses a spark of faith knows the path to follow, knows her or his own inadequacies. No sheik is needed, no wise man, no confidant. Ultimately, the heart knows. This was what the Prophet answered when he was asked about moral feelings. In the light of the Book, he said, “Inquire of your heart.” And should our intelligence stray into the complexities of the different levels of reading, from applied ethics to the rules of practice, we must never forget to clothe ourselves in the intellectual modesty that alone can reveal the secrets of the Text. For “it is not the eyes that are blind, but the hearts within the breasts.” Such a heart, humble and alert, is the faithful friend of the Koran.

    Tariq Ramadan is a professor of Islamic studies at Oxford and at Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

  16. If you follow Islam you may as well also believe in the tooth fairy……it’s a load of b0llox dreamt up to keep the working classes down,the working classes in the West have gotten a bit more savvy so can see that Islam is bullsh1t,the working classes in Asia/Africa etc aint as educated so can still be fed this tripe and actually believe it………laughable if it wasn’t so serious……………

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