Can anyone find a copy, paper or electronic, of the July 28th, 2003, issue of Newsweek that contains an article titled "Challenging the Koran"? That linked-to story mentions the article, but the magazine's search functionality returns zero hits for "challenging the Koran" in 2003. In fact, searches for "koran" turn up nothing either. Hm.

According to the BBC article above regarding "Challenging the Koran":

Although the government statement does not specifically say so, the ban is likely to have been triggered by a report titled "Challenging the Koran".

It explains how a German linguist has come to the conclusion that the Koran, believed by Muslims to contain divine messages revealed to Prophet Mohammed by the angel Gabriel, was originally written in a language closer to Aramaic than Arabic.

The linguist, who uses the pseudonym Christoph Luxenberg, says seen in this light, many verses of the Koran have been "misinterpreted" and "misunderstood".

Interesting, no? Not mentioned as frequently as the yearly articles attempting to "debunk" the Bible. It isn't easy to find MSM articles about the Koran at all, though this cartoon "controversy" has spawned some discussion as people wonder "why can't Muslims take a joke?". (Spengler also mentions the Newsweek article, which is how I came across his pointed piece.)

With freedom of choice and access to information come doubt. Western scholars doubt whether Mohammed ever existed [2] or, if he existed, whether the Koran was invented two centuries after his death, or indeed whether the Koran even was written in Arabic. Christianity and Judaism are bloodied - indeed, drained almost dry - by nearly two centuries of scriptural criticism; Islam's turn barely has begun.

More revealing than the refusal of the mainstream American media to repost the Mohammed cartoons is the disappearance of more dangerous material previously available. Newsweek's "Challenging the Koran" story of July 28, 2003, has vanished from the magazine's website. The government of Pakistan had banned that issue, which among other things reported a German philologist's contention that the Koran was written in Syriac rather than classical Arabic, translating the "virgins" of Paradise as "raisins". As I observed before, the topic of Koranic criticism has disappeared from the mainstream media. Since the suppression of the Newsweek story the Western media have steered clear of the subject.

He has many interesting observations on the plight of Islam and its struggle for survival in the face of modernity, including charts that defuse demographic worries and show how literacy and population growth correlate even more negatively in Muslim countries than in the rest of the world.



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