Sweden is the country where, a few weeks ago, the Danish anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan set fire to a Qur’an, sparking the usual outrage among Muslims worldwide. Now the Muslims in Malaysia have decided to help persuade the Swedes that they should reconsider having allowed this (which, in fact, they have already done), by sending them a gift of 20,000 Qur’ans translated into Swedish. The Malaysians are convinced that now that the Swedes will have had a chance to read, in their own language, that eloquent, splendid, never-to-be-surpassed text of the Holy Qur’an, they will realize the sheer wonderfulness of Islam and be just as outraged that anyone would set fire to it. They may also be hoping that some Swedes may even convert to Islam as a result. It’s touching, in a way, this faith expressed by the Muslims in Malaysia, who think that reading the Qur’an cannot help but persuade Western Infidels to end their Islamophobia, and even cause some of them to embrace Islam. The story of the 20,000 Qurans that Malaysians intend to distribute in Sweden is provided here: “Malaysia to send 20,000 translated Qurans to Sweden,”
Malaysia has set aside more than $2 million American dollars to fight Islamophobia. The money goes to translating and printing the Quran in several languages and distributing copies internationally.
Out of the 2 million copies, 20,000 will be shipped to Sweden. This is due to Rasmus Paludan, a far-right [Danish] politician, who publicly burned the Quran in Sweden last month during a protest.
The plan is meant to create a better understanding of Islam, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim told reporters after the International Forum on Islamophobia. An event held on Monday, Feb. 27, in the capital Putrajaya.
“We will print 20,000 in Swedish – and other languages too – for the purpose of better understanding,” he told reporters.
Anwar said the translations, publication and distribution will show wisdom and maturity in the face of unnecessary attacks on Islam.
The “wisdom and maturity” is shown by responding to Rasmus Paludan’s burning of the Qur’an not by threatening him with death or even murdering him – which so often in the past has been the response to presumed blasphemy or mockery of or attacks on Islam (see how Muslims have dealt with Theo van Gogh, Lars Vilks, the dozen cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo) — but by providing free Qur’ans, in all the main languages of the Infidels. These devout Muslims think that once Swedish have a Qur’an, they can read and refer to, they will cease to be alarmed about Islam. For who could read the beautiful words of the Holy Qur’an and not be swayed?
Joachim Bergström, Swedish ambassador to Malaysia, welcomed Anwar’s announcement.
“I am personally delighted that this important text will be more accessible in my native country and in Europe,” Bergström told BenarNews.
Joachim Bergström have spent many years living and working in the Muslim world. Between 2016 and 2021 he worked as Sweden’s special envoy to combat Islamophobia.
“I am convinced that knowledge and dialogue are the way to promote understanding and peace,” Bergström added.
Joachim Bergstrom is a kind of Swedish John Esposito, who like Esposito has spent his working life among Muslims and has come to sympathize with them and with their religion, becoming a Defender of the Faith – that faith being Islam. He identifies with Muslims, and parrots their claim of widespread “islamophobia,” a charge which is meant to shut down all criticism of the faith. Bergstrom claims he is “personally delighted” that 20,000 Swedish-language Qur’ans will now be made available, for free, in Sweden. This is the way, he says, to “promote understanding and peace.” The Swedes cannot help but recognize the truth and beauty of the Qur’an, and will be ashamed that they ever defended the troublemaking Islamophobe Rasmus Paludan, who, in the guise of upholding the right to free speech in Sweden, was simply trying to wound Muslims in the very depths of their being by setting fire to the Qur’an.
Are the Malaysians right? Will sending 20,000 Qur’ans in Swedish translation so move their Swedish readers that they will see Islam, and Muslims, in a new light? Will some perhaps even convert to the One True Faith? That’s the expectancy and hope of the Malaysians. I think they have got it exactly wrong. It is the ignorance of the Qur’an that has led Westerners to be insufficiently alarmed about the Muslim migrants now in their midst. Knowledge of the Qur’an’s contents will not soften, but harden, the Swedes’ antipathy toward Islam. Just imagine how Swedish Infidels will react upon learning that in the Qur’an, Muslims are described as the “best of peoples” (3:110), while non-Muslims are described as the “most vile of created beings” (98:6). There is no possibility of explaining away those two verses, or convincing anyone of sense that they do not really mean what they say.
It won’t any longer be possible for Muslim apologists to claim to Swedish readers that the Qur’an is a book of peace and tolerance. After all, the Swedes — or the 20,000 of them who are provided with the Swedish-language Qur’ans — will have read, and remembered because their virulent contents would certainly have startled them, such verses as 2:191-193, 3:151, 4:89, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, and 98:6.
How do you explain all that away to Swedes who no longer need depend on Muslim apologists who soften the meaning of the verses, claiming that they have to be “contextualized,” which meant that they were never meant to apply to all people for all time, but applied only to non-Muslim enemies of the 7th century? A true reading of the Qur’an shows that these verses were not directed only at Infidels of a certain time and place, but to all Infidels, everywhere, and for all time.
Imagine a Swedish reader who reads these verses commanding Muslims to behave in a certain way toward Infidels:
2:191: “And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter.”
3:151: “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe partners to Allah, for which no justification has been revealed. Their dwelling is the fire, and wretched is the dwelling place of the wrongdoers.”
4:89: “They wish that you would disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that you may be on the same level. So do not choose friends from them until they migrate in the way of Allah, if they turn back, then take them and kill them wherever you find them, and choose no friend or helper from among them.”
8:12: “When your Lord inspired the angels, I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then strike the necks and strike their fingertips.”
8:60: “Make ready for them all that you can of force and of warhorses, so that by them you may strike terror in the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom you do not know. Allah knows them. Whatever you spend in the way of Allah, it will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged.”
9:5: ”Then, when the sacred months have passed, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and besiege them, and prepare for them every ambush. But if they repent and establish prayer and give alms, then leave their way free. Indeed, Allah is forgiving, merciful.”
9:29: “Fight against those do not believe in Allah or the last day, and do not forbid what Allah and his messenger have forbidden, and do not follow the religion of truth, even if they are among the people of the book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.”
47:4: “Now when you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks until, when you have subdued them, then make fast the bonds, and afterward either generosity or ransom until the war lays down its burdens. That, and if Allah willed, he could have punished them, but so that he may test some of you by means of others. And those who have been killed in the way of Allah, he does not make their actions useless.”
98:6: “Indeed, the unbelievers among the people of the book and the idolaters will remain in the fire of Gehenna. They are the most vile of created beings.”
It will be much more difficult for Muslim apologists to convince Swedes of the “real meaning” of the Qur’an; they will now be able to read and understand the verses above (and there are many others equally offensive and threatening toward Infidels), that the Qur’an is a book of peace, rather than what in truth it is – a handbook of war. How salutary it would be if those Malaysians were to send to Sweden not 20,000 Qur’ans, but two million. The more the Infidels can read the Qur’an for themselves, without relying on the misleading paraphrases of the apologists, the more accurate will be their understanding of the text. And that, in turn, should increase their alarm over the Muslims whom, out of ignorance, they have allowed to settle by the millions in their midst.
In fact, why stop with translating the Qur’an in Swedish? Why can’t ex-Muslims translate into the two dozen languages of Europe the most important ahadith – the acts and sayings of Muhammad –-and excerpts, too, from Ibn Ishaq’s biography of the Prophet, so that both could be published in the same pamphlet, in a press run of half-a-million?
Wouldn’t it be useful for Europe’s non-Muslims to learn that Muhammad said “I have been made victorious through terror” and “War is deceit,” as reported in Sahih Bukhari? Shouldn’t they also be provided with the hadith in Bukhari that recounts Muhammad’s marriage to little Aisha when she was six years old and tells us, too, that he consummated that marriage when Aisha was nine and he was fifty-four? That is not something Muslims want Infidels to know, which is exactly why it should be included in that possible pamphlet. Nor do Muslims want Infidels to know about Muhammad expressing a wish that “someone would rid me” of three people who had refused to accept Islam and had mocked him in verse. The three were a woman poet, Asma bint Marwan, a 90-year-old Jewish poet, Abu ‘Afak, and still another Jewish poet and community leader, Ka’b bin al-Ashraf. All three were murdered, one after another, by dutiful followers of Muhammad who were hoping thereby to win his favor.
Of course, we already have in English, the world’s lingua franca, exactly the Qur’an English speakers need, with copious glosses on the meaning of difficult verses. It is The Critical Qur’an of Robert Spencer. If you haven’t yet read and studied it, you are urged to do so now. You won’t regret it.