Translating a Book Could Cost you your Life

by David

(Kabul, Afghanistan) Six men have been imprisoned for their part in translating the Quran into one of the languages spoken in Afghanistan. They are accused of modifying and trying to supplant the original Arabic version of the Quran, Islam’s holy book. The men will go on trial on Sunday.

The translation was made in an attempt to help Afghans who don’t speak Arabic, but has caused an outcry among Muslims who insist that the original Arabic verses should have appeared alongside the translated version.

Afgahnistan has no laws against translating the Quran, but Zalmai is accused of translating the book in violation of Islamic Shariah law.

Ahmad Ghaws Zalmai, who printed the translation, was arrested as he tried to flee to Pakistan, and now faces a death sentence.

Translators have commented that a translation becomes a separate, but related text and does not replace or challenge the veracity of the original.


2 Comments  leave one »

08.Feb.2009 - 10:54 am

Thats truly sad!

10.Feb.2009 - 9:33 am

It’s frightening and absurd that religion can be so rigid and cruel, but on a liguistic level it’s frightening but not absurd.
Translations skew meanings, but sometimes, I think, the skewing of a meaning is enriching. It’s very sad that people should not be permitted to translate anything. The Moslems of yore translated Plato and Aristotle preserving western culture while the occidental world fell into the dark ages. Now, look who’s in the dark ages. The tables have clearly turned.


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