Wednesday, February 18, 2009

British Government orders reverence for the Qur’an

According to The Daily Mail, libraries are being instructed by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council - a quango which answers to Culture Secretary Andy Burnham - to place the Qur’an on a top shelf in order to avoid giving offence to Muslims, who have allegedly ‘complained of finding the Koran on lower shelves, saying it should be put above commonplace things’.

Accordingly, librarians are being told to move the Bible ‘and all holy books’ to the top shelf as well.

The librarians reportedly consulted the Federation of Muslim Organisations and were advised that all religious texts should be kept on the top shelf: ‘This meant that no offence is caused, as the scriptures of all the major faiths are given respect in this way, but none is higher than any other’.

This is the sort of story designed to fracture community cohesion and engender ill feeling. It has already led to a lot of anti-Muslim prejudice from the usual reactionary and manifestly bigoted journalists, despite no organisation having been named as the source of the complaints, and no individuals being identified. This story has led to calls for Muslims to ‘go home’, with accusations of ‘outrage’ being their ‘default setting’.

Cranmer agrees with Civitas that books in libraries are simply books to be read; not works to be treated as objects of veneration. He also accords with the assertion that ‘libraries and museums are not places of worship. They should not be run in accordance with particular religious beliefs’. In short, one cannot be compelled to treat a textbook with veneration if one does not believe it to be an object worthy of such. It is not the business of libraries or museums to inculcate a sense of what is holy and or to determine what is sanctified and should be set apart.

But all the Daily Mail histrionics about making the Bible ‘inaccessible’, of ‘putting the scriptures beyond reach’ and of a ‘reversion to medieval times’ is utter nonsense. It is concerning to see it all thoughtlessly reproduced verbatim by The Daily Telegraph.

Books on top shelves are eminently reachable. The only offence here is to the Dewey Decimal System.

So Cranmer would like to know how the Hizb ut-Tahrir interpretation of Islam has been permitted to override the official method of book categorisation which has been in use in British libraries for more than a century, and with which British Muslims have hitherto had no problem whatsoever. The only issue of classification with which librarians ought to concern themselves is whether the Qur’an is a religious text or a political one. If it is religious, Dewey places it alongside the Bible, Torah, Adi Granth, Bhagavad Gita and the Wisdom of Yoda. If it is deemed to be a political text, it should be placed alongside Mein Kampf, the Communist Manifesto, the brief pamphlet entitled ‘The Wisdom of Gordon Brown’, or the one-page tract on 'The Moral Superiority of Socialism’.

And Cranmer would also like to point out that it is intrinsic to Islamic worship that only Muslims may touch the Qur’an, and then only after performing wudu – a ritual cleansing.

So could the Secretary of State please explain when washing facilities are to be installed in the nation’s libraries?


Anonymous Rick said...

My local newsagent has a similar system.

18 February 2009 at 13:07  
Blogger Summer said...

So will putting the Koran back on a lower shelf, heaven forbid the bottom one - now be considered and act of stirring up religious hatred: or whatever the dam law is.

I think the idea of Muslims who don't want to live in British Society going 'home' is an excellent one for all concerned. It would be an act of 'greater good' worthy of 'the devout'.

18 February 2009 at 13:22  
Blogger Yama said...

Behead all librarians and skewer them to the pavement.

18 February 2009 at 13:22  
Anonymous Buddy Satva said...

As a Buddhist I have no objection to the Koran and Bible being moved to the top shelf. However I would prefer Buddhist books to be kept at eye-level, where they are most obvious and accessible.

If people aren't going to use them, there's no point in having them.

18 February 2009 at 13:25  
Blogger Forlornehope said...

The Sikhs are clear on this. Their holy book is kept in their temples where it can be accorded the appropriate level of respect. I keep my copy of the Koran among religious books - it's the Penguin translation, which in itself is offensive to strict Muslims. There is much that is good in the Koran but as G K Chesterton wrote in a review:

"There is much that is new and much that is true but that which is true is not new and that which is new is not true."

18 February 2009 at 13:32  
Blogger Summer said...

Do you think we could put a dictionary on the most accessible shelf and reclaim our language.

Bigoted = unreasonably sticking to a view despite the evidence !! I think your use above is therefore incorrect.

Racist = someone who is unfairly biased against someone of another race, because they are of that race alone!! You haven't used it, but too many people do misuse it, with dire consequences for our liberty.

18 February 2009 at 13:35  
Blogger ProudGeordie said...

So now Islam discriminates against the right of short people to reach their Holy Book so it is forced upon all religions.

Will they complain to google if a search for 'the word of god' puts the qu'ran second or third in the results?

18 February 2009 at 14:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kepp them all under the counter...... :)

18 February 2009 at 14:14  
Blogger Microcosm said...

I do like the common sence of a buddhist, eye level is the place to be. Maybe the libraries could have a 'revealed' shelf slap bang centre and let you all argue about who revealed it and what it was.

I can bet you will not find any
"God of the United Kingdom"
mentioned in any of them no wonder the BBC treats the Constitution with Scorn.

18 February 2009 at 14:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do, of course, realise the consequences for a non-Muslim touching this book should an armed zealot be in the vicinity. Libraries just became a whole lot more exciting.

18 February 2009 at 14:43  
Blogger indigo said...

People go into their library to read the Bible? On mass of course! And this new top shelf rule will be the end of an already dead religion. (Google Chrome Cranmer)

18 February 2009 at 14:50  
Blogger Shlomo said...

'And Cranmer would also like to point out that it is intrinsic to Islamic worship that only Muslims may touch the Qur’an, and then only after performing wudu – a ritual cleansing.'

...and not to mention making the intention to read/recite for the sake of Allah alone, prefixed by the supplication to seek refuge followed by the basmallah, your Grace.

Timely, as always.

18 February 2009 at 14:55  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Leave the koran on the top shelf and put the Bible on the bottom shelf, far right hand side

Matthew 20:16

18 February 2009 at 14:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole business is a storm in a teacup. Provided library security personnel maintain a presence in the vicinity of the religious section, there is no reason why matters should escalate. As there are likely to be at least two parties involved in any incident, the security team will need to be staffed accordingly; with access to panic buttons, mace, police back-up and all the basics of a modern professional security detail. Storm in a teacup.

18 February 2009 at 15:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word "wudu" was a new one to me when I was recently mystified by a sign advertising "toilets and wudu" at Birmingham airport. I have travelled very extensively - including throughout the Islamic world and I have never seen wudu facilities in an airport before. So in answer to your question - it won't be long.

18 February 2009 at 15:06  
Anonymous Gnostic said...

Someone somewhere is taking the amber hued waste fluid.

18 February 2009 at 15:12  
Anonymous Bacon-rasher bookmark said...

Allah is the only deity of any religion who can be humiliated by humans (and pigs).

When you 'humiliate' the Koran, you are humiliating Allah.

18 February 2009 at 15:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wot Yama siad.

18 February 2009 at 15:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely the ideal place for any page of the Koran is on a nail in the Gent's or Ladies

18 February 2009 at 16:16  
Anonymous Shaven-headed tattooed knuckledragger said...


I suppose if you pronounce it with a German accent it sums Islam up in one word.

18 February 2009 at 16:20  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

I have no problem with the Koran being on the top shelf...(the top shelf of the fiction section).

18 February 2009 at 16:30  
Anonymous Shaven-headed tattooed knuckledragger said...

Anon "...on a nail in the Gent's or Ladies".

Oh dear! That's likely to produce either severe constipation among the faithful, or a full mobilisation of the Grand Old Duke of Rotherham's 10,000 men, or maybe both.

I quote:

"141. If a page from the holy Qur'an, or any sacred object like a paper on which the names of Almighty Allah or the Holy Prophet or the holy Imams are written, falls in a lavatory, it is obligatory to take it out and make it Pak with water, no matter what expenses it may entail. And, if it is not possible to take it out, the use of that lavatory should be discontinued till such time when one is certain that the page has dissolved and petered out. "


Actually, if you read all the voodoo-wudu on the above site, you begin to wonder whether Islam is a religion or an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Maybe banging their heads on the floor five times a day sends them nuts.

If so, it's a classic chicken and egg situation: Islam produces insanity, and insanity produces Islam.

18 February 2009 at 16:35  
Anonymous Glyn H said...

The Koran is a political tract as is Mein Kampf. Our forebears produced Charlie Chaplin and The Great Dictator to poke fun at the Furherer. We should do the same for todays seekers after totalitarianism in the name of a cult leader - but when a small and honest film is made (and I have viewed it) our pathetically inadequate and personally dishonest Home Secretary bans the maker. Well it certainly garnered him publicity.

18 February 2009 at 16:36  
Blogger Dr.D said...

But Cranmer, since the Quoran is pornography, what is the proper Dewey decimal category for that? Should it not be along side Playboy, Maxim, Penthouse, etc.?

18 February 2009 at 16:54  
Anonymous Shaven-headed tattooed knuckledragger said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

18 February 2009 at 17:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Non Muslims are not obliged to perform waddu to read or touch quran.

18 February 2009 at 18:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch this video: Quran is not from God. Why?

(How can I submit a link that opens right from the page, instead of people having to copy & paste the link in their browser -address-line to watch it?)

And: Jesus raised a former muslim woman from the dead:

18 February 2009 at 19:15  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

It is not the place of the government to order reverence to a book like the Koran that did not even exist when Mohammed died, but was after his death assembled by the secretary of Mohammed on the request of sheik Uthman for a private collection.

Then when muslim factions started to war against each other, he ordered a commission to review the Koran to come to an official Koran.

So the nonsensical claim of the Koran to be an exact copy of the 'original book' next to the throne of allah (who is NOT God!) can be easily concluded!

The Koran is full of errors, confusing Mary the mother of Jesus with Miriam the sister of Moses, to name just one.

And the English government has no sense than to order respect for such a demonically inspired book?

How can the government that orders respect for such a book, itself be respected?

How far are these fools prepared to go?

18 February 2009 at 19:21  
Blogger IftikharA said...


The western "values" suggest equality and freedom for all, that means society must allow religious freedom. The Christians and Jews have Church/ Jewish schools as well as kosher meat, yet when Muslims simply ask for the very same treatment,the Islamphobic secular right wing jump up and down screaming that somehow western values have been attacked.

The Jews throught out the western world have their own religious courts. Christians have been enjoying the right to be married in Church. Muslims should have the same right to get married in Masajid as well as they need Sharia Courts, dealing in marriage, civil matters and divorce.

It is easy to say" Go back to where you came from",but do not forget that British Muslims are actually born and educated here. They are in the unenviable position of trying to combine two diffent worlds. That is no easy.

Multiculturalism is not about separation, ghettoisation or balkanisation. It is, instead, a recognition of both diversity and the need for common ground, mutual respect,and cultural engagement.

Muslims all over the world never opposed English as a language what they did was opposition of the Western culture and their system of education. In Pakistan, the medium of instruction is Urdu and English and the official language is both English and Urdu. Pakistan is going to send English teachers to Korea for the teaching of English language.

Muslim parents would like their children to be well versed in standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity.

Majority of Muslim children leave schools with low grades because state schools with monolingual teachers are not capable of teaching English to bilingual children.At the same time, they need to learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry.

I am concerned with the education of the Muslim children. It is nothing to do with integration or segregation. Those state as well as Church schools where Muslim children are in majority, in my opinion, may be designated as Muslim community schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models.

Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.
Iftikhar Ahmad

18 February 2009 at 20:18  
Blogger Didactophobe said...

The Qur'an is only considered by Muslims to be genuine if it is written in the original 7th Century Arabic. Any translation into English, modern Arabic or any other language cannot be the precise word of Allah.

I suspect very few libraries stock authentic Qur'ans, and presumably only those can be put on top shelves. English translations should be placed on lower shelves so as not to cause offence.

Alternatively, why not leave them where they are?

18 February 2009 at 20:21  
Blogger indigo said...

Anonymous 19:15

Links that open direct from page.
First of all give your self a name, its annoying calling someone Anon 19:15.

Then Read THIS to understand HTML Tags, its easy peesy.

Then hope that your IP doesn't get banned so that you have to use Google Chrome to be part of democracy.

18 February 2009 at 22:04  
Blogger ZZMike said...

Clearly, the only reasonable course is to not have Korans in libraries at all. After all, they might become contaminated by all those other books.

A minor flap arose a few years back over here, when it was discovered that one of our bigger bookstore chains had the Koran on the top shelves. We were assured that it was all just a coincidence, and over time, as inventory rose and fell, so did their positions on the shelves.

[A brief digression into one of our 19th C writers, Ambrose Bierce, who wrote:

  The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.]

[2nd digression: I would not ordinarily presume to remark on your prose, but this sentence stands out:

"It is concerning to see it all thoughtlessly reproduced verbatim by The Daily Telegraph."

Obviously a scribal error by your temporary help, but it really should be "disconcerting".]

"... whether the Qur’an is a religious text or a political one."

I would argue that it belongs in "Historical Fiction".

"... only Muslims may touch the Qur’an..."

This is addressed simply. Only Muslims may be allowed to apporach it. An identity card, perhaps, or maybe a yellow crescent..... no, strike that last.

Here in the US, Bibles are so ubiquitous that the only ones you'll find in libraries are the big study Bibles with the complete concordance.

It may be time to form a Committee, whose task it will be to gain surreptitious access to these upper shelves and relocate the Korans to a more suitable place.

Either that, or check them out and disappear.

ProudGeordie "Will they complain to google if a search for 'the word of god' puts the qu'ran second or third in the results?" For God's sake, man, don't be giving them ideas!!!

Indigo: "People go into their library to read the Bible? On mass of course!"

No, only Catholics go to Mass.

My learned colleague knuckledragger sums it up eloquently:

"Islam produces insanity, and insanity produces Islam."

dutchlionfrans1953 opens up an interseting line of inquiry: "... the Koran that did not even exist when Mohammed died, but was after his death assembled..."

I will submit a formal request that the works of our great American holy man, L. Ron Hubbard, be accorded equal treatment.

Iftikhara's points are well made. However, most of us here will realize that equality is not the goal.

"...yet when Muslims simply ask for the very same treatment,..."

You do not ask for the very same treatment. You ask that our values be suppressed, that you get even better treatment - such as extra washing facilities at schools. Others can supply many examples.

Yet another example is found on the Hizb ut-Tahrir site:

"Only the return of the Khilafah {Caliphate] will stop the relentless surrender of Islam. ...the Khilafah would mobilise all its strength to respond ... in the past colonial states were fearful of the Khialfah's stern response ... they were shaken by the mere thought of the response ..."

Does this sound like "simply asking for equal treatment"?

18 February 2009 at 22:26  
Blogger indigo said...

Is it just ME or does anyone else star to lose the plot running it all through your head? I usually start off at Abraham and then go backwards and forwards between Genesis and the New Testament, and then after a while it all gets insane.

18 February 2009 at 23:24  
Blogger indigo said...

Its as easy, or as difficult as you make it I suppose. Thing is though, if it wasn't so insane, I would end up going mad anyway. I suppose real insanity is eating grass in a field all day and saying "Moo" or "Bah" and having no reason say or do anything else.

18 February 2009 at 23:54  
Anonymous mouse said...

Your Grace: 'with accusations of ‘outrage’ being their ‘default setting’.' - refreshing originality in the new vernacular!

btw - whoever said non-mozzies have no place in their schools - --- i) I can't imagine anything more horrible than going near one of their schools ii)What are they doing in our schools (e.g. LSE), then?

Finally - simple solution BAN THE KORAN!!!! Make a huge bonfire and destroy every copy in the land.

19 February 2009 at 02:14  
Anonymous sfauthor said...

Nice postings. Do you know about this edition of the Gita?

19 February 2009 at 03:45  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Do they have a cartoon version of the Koran or one in Pidgin English ? Surely the libraries should stock a variety of copies such as The Feminist Koran and have copies bound in pigskin.

19 February 2009 at 03:59  
Anonymous Secular_and_Happy said...

Just to be totally fair (if that's what the librarians want) will the current glut of Darwinist tomes also be placed next (or ideally atop) the Koran and all the other corrupting top-shelf material?

(WV: prohets - almost!)

19 February 2009 at 08:59  
Anonymous Who is stirring said...

Who is it, hiding behind the shadows who is stirring this up, promoting division.

19 February 2009 at 09:33  
Anonymous Shaven-headed tattooed knuckledragger said...

Who is Stirring?
Check Dar al-Harb vs Dar al-Islam

19 February 2009 at 10:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This hierarchy of books in libraries is obviously unfair. We need to move to a single shelf system as soon as possible; no book should be disadvantaged by it's location. Libraries would have to become a lot larger and more expensive but we simply can't leave things the way we are!

Of course, some books are taller than others and will still end up being higher, so perhaps we should glue the books to the bottom of the shelf instead. That way the books will all be at exactly the same height. This arrangement would also save money by cutting down on book theft and wear and tear!

19 February 2009 at 11:25  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

Watch this video: Quran is not from God. Why?

And: Jesus raised a former muslim woman from the dead

@ Indigo: Thanks for your information; I hope it worked here. As far as being Anonymous there, this happened by accident

19 February 2009 at 12:16  
Anonymous indigo's soul said...

Dutch lion person 1953

No problem my friend. I enjoyed the video about the Koran. I to have made my own version of the Koran, it comes on a roll and I use it in the bathroom.

indigo has declared himself dead.

19 February 2009 at 20:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No-one here has yet commented on the interesting fact of the unlikelihood of finding an unabridged copy of the Babylonian Talmud in a public library.

Could it be because there's just as much incitement to hatred against non-Jews within that ancient set of volumes as there is in the Qu'ran against non-Muslims?

One has to step outside all the religious/political systems to see them for what they are; Hegelian-dialectically opposing systems; one group set intentionally against another in order to cause mayhem, with a view to bringing about a one world religion/government. Those at the top of each religious/political pyramid are all in it together. It's those at the bottom of each who are unaware of the fact that we are all being manipulated and deceived into hating each other.

19 February 2009 at 23:03  

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