Sunday, May 22, 2005
It's "Koran," not "Quran" or "Qur'an"
Stop calling it the Qur'an. It's the Koran. It's not Deutchland. Its Germany. It's not El Salvador', It's El Sal'vador. We are not Saudis, or Germans, or Salvadorians. We are Americans. The correct way to spell and pronounce foreign words in America is with the American spellings and pronunciations. You are succumbing to what the jihadis call "dhimmitude." Not only are you submitting to the cultural authority of foreigners, but you are doing your best to submit to Islam. ("Submission" is literal translation of "Islam.") From now on we should call you al-Newsweek.(Al-Newsweek is one of Ace-of-Spades' many fine inventions.)
Interesting how the "multi-culturalist" left says it values diversity, yet validates foreign spellings and pronunciations as "correct." Where is their storied non-judgmentalism? Reserved for America, obviously. They cannot be called un-American, since anti-Americanism is a long American tradition on the left, but they most certainly ARE anti-American.
Want to see a truly sick example of al-Newsweek-like dhimmitude? Infoseek's Koran entry describes the Koran as: "Revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad..." It does not say: "Believed by Muslims to be revealed by God." It says "Revealed by God." What dirtbags. I don't care if they are true-believing fundamentalist Muslims. This is an encyclopedia entry, borrowed from The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed., 2005, Columbia University Press. It is supposed to state facts. The fact is that Muslims believe that the Koran is the word of God. It is NOT a fact that the Koran IS the word of God. Anyone who confuses these two is moral trash, which explains a lot about our Islamist enemy, but what explains Columbia University?
Let's see what Infoseek/Columbia says about the Bible. Ah, this is better. The first line reads:
The traditional Christian view of the Bible is that it was written under the guidance of God and that it therefore conveys truth, either literally or figuratively.Multi-culturalists apply the requirements of moral logic to Christians (and to conservatives in general), but not to non-westerners, and not to themselves. Their great mistake is to believe that they can gain some advantage by allowing themselves the flexibility of moral irrationality. But as with any other failure to think straight, failing to think straight morally can only be detrimental to what one's own self would value. Only straight thinking addresses the real world. Error divorces cognition from reality, but only reality matters. Indulge error, and you can end up devoting all of your energies to doing evil, like the Islamists, or to accommodating evil, like the multi-culturalists.
(An earlier post on talking American--more specifically, talkin’ Texas--here.
John Steele Gordon (at Powerline) and Right Thinking both note that Qur' an is not a meaningful phonetic spelling. What is the apostrophe anyway? Is it supposed to indicate a contraction? Is it a stress mark? This isn't English.
Notably, the Deutschland/Germany issue isn't one of transliteration, but of a different word. I think the instances are quite distinguishable. We say the word the same either way.
Transliterating Arabic is... notoriously difficult
When the nominal experts have a hard time agreeing (or caring) about how arabic should be properly transliterated, a little leeway for those among us who don't have degrees in semtic languages might be in order.
And really, how is this different than the Yahweh/Jehovah distinction?
I agree that Newsweek is pandering to Islam, I simply disagree that this is an example of it. I don't belive that "Koran" is a meaningfully English word which can be seperated from the Arabic source.
Those who I don't want to smack upside the head, I still want to rally. Come on, America is under attack from within and without. The same principle that you are trying to stand up for as an individual--that your reasonable judgements should not be unreasonably attacked--needs to be asserted on national level as well. And how else does one counter the left's assertion that you SHOULDN'T use "Koran" except by using it? The unreasonable attacks on our usages create a reason for defending them. But it is not a duty. I guess it falls into the category of what philosophers call call "supererogation." Its good to do, but you don't have to.
Good article by Derbyshire on spellings and pronunciations. (Via Dean, who has an interesting comment thread.)
Not making gratuitous cultural concessions is especially important when we are at war with an Islamist culture that thinks the correct response to insult is murder, while devoting tremendous mental energy to finding ways to misinterpret whatever it can as insult. To pander to THAT is not generosity. It is appeasement.
Christianity is the only religion that one can embrace with fundamentalist zealotry and still be completely moral, so long as one is doing fundamentalism correctly (giving absolute priority to the Law of Love wherever it conflicts with the prescriptions of the Old Testament). NO ONE is absolved of responsibility for thinking straight morally.
The Islamists are evil because they refuse to think straight morally, and the Koran is problematic (at best) because it clearly encourages this immorality. Still, a moral Islam is not impossible. Muslims just need to go the way of the Jews and explicitly reject fundamentalism. So what if Mohammad claimed to be transcribing the literal word of God? If one accepts that he might have been wrong about that (the alternative is to accuse of God of being evil), he can still be valued for what he got right (transcribed right, if you want). The religion can still be rectified in accordance with the moral law, as Christianity rectified Judaism formally, and as Judaism rectified itself informally. Just don't hold your breath.
Bookleggar is right, it's just a better transliteration, with the apostrophe as a guttural stop.
skippy-san -- nice one, you just shot yourself in the foot. The albatross is from The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, and was a good spirit that the captain killed and had to wear around his neck because shooting it caused his crew to be killed. In other words, the albatross is a good thing.
The written word(koran ect) will depend upon your culture, vanity, depth of bile, morality and social concern.
Thank God for the left--we have to be thankful for individuals who refuse to buy into the plethora of pro neo conservative american rectitude.
Please enlighten us with all the instances where Arabic speakers Arabic-ify English words and get them exactly correct. Funny... when I hear an Arab speak English, his pronunciation is typically terrible, since his tongue is used to making consonant sounds of Arabic, not English. I'm sure equivalent bastardizations go on with Arabic speaking and spellings of American words.
Look in the mirror Mr. Easily-Offended. And... I'm sure Arabic pronounces and spells all other languages and cultures of the world perfectly as well... Chinese, Russian, Swahili. Give me a break fella.
I am not trying to insult Italians when I call the city they call Firenze, Florence. When speaking English why do I care what the Arabic for "Koran" or the Mandarin for "Peking" is?