While we argue amongst ourselves as to whether there really is an Islamic threat in America, Muslims remain focused and continue to push forward with their agenda.
By Khalil AlHajal
DEARBORN — Many Dearborn residents have been wondering about the source of paperback Qur’ans found hanging from doorknobs throughout the city in recent months.
The group distributing free copies of an English translation of the Muslim holy book hopes to create better perceptions of Islam by simply making the scripture available.
About 18,000 to 20,000 copies have been distributed in and around Dearborn over the past year, according to Wajahat Sayeed, founder and president of Al-Furqaan Foundation, also known as the Book of Signs Foundation, an Illinois-based nonprofit Muslim organization dedicated to distributing modern English translations of the Qur’an throughout the U.S.
“It’s meant to build relationships outside the Muslim community,” Sayeed said.
While the intent is to reach non-Muslim households to dispel misconceptions and foster a better understanding of Muslims and Islam, the effort in Michigan started in Dearborn, where many Muslims live, because the group has connected with local mosques and recruited distribution teams in the city.
Including distribution in the Chicago and Houston areas, Sayeed said about 200,000 copies of the Qur’an have been hung on residential front doors in plastic bags since the effort began in 2007.
“The objective is to make a modern English translation of the Qur’an available as widely as possible in this country,” he said, “as a way to build a bridge between the communities and so that people understand the religion, not from the actions of people, but rather from what the book says itself.”
The version being distributed by the group is a translation by an American Muslim who had a Western audience in mind.
“Other translations were done — I don’t believe they have any particular focus,” Sayeed said. “This particular one is geared more toward a Western audience, beacuse the terminology, the experience base is very different… There is an aya [verse] in the Qur’an that talks about ‘slay them wherever you find them.’ This is very commonly quoted in the media, but the often neglected fact is that it is refering to a particular situation… Of course the media wants to talk about it as though it means ‘slay any non-Muslim wherever you find them,’ but that aya is referring to a particular situation, which was in a combat situation… I think most people in the Middle East, for instance, would know that it can’t possibly be referring to ‘slay them wherever you find them’ to indicate that you’re going to go around killing… That level of clarity — in some places [in this translation] you’ll find that it has been clarified that ‘wait a second, this is in a combat situation.'”
The ultimate, long-term goal of the project is to get a Qur’an delivered to every home in America, though the level of fundraising necessary would likely take decades.
Of course Sayeed does not mention that Islam is a religion of war.