05 September 2011

Iran irked by errors in Qurans from China

This news item didn't make the first pages of main newspapers and could have passed unnoticed:
Iranian publishers are complaining that cost-saving plans to print Qurans in China are yielding embarrassing results: A slew of typos. The head of Iran's Quran oversight office says some of the Chinese-printed versions of Islam's holy book are littered with spelling errors.
It is only thanks to our Signals Department's vigilance that the Elders received this news and acted quickly, intercepting a letter from above mentioned head of Iran's Quran oversight office to the manager of the Chinese publishing house where the erroneous holy books were printed. Here are some excerpts.
From Mr Ahmad Haji-Sharif,
By the will of his majesty Imam Khamenei (PBUH)
Head of Iran's Quran oversight office
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
To [omitted]

Subject: Quality issues with the first batch of the Holy Book of Quran

Dear Mr [omitted] PBUY,

It is with great sorrow and chagrin that I forced myself to write this letter. I have just returned from the office of his Islamic Highness the President of our glorious Republic Mahmoud the M Ahmadinejad, where, as you can imagine, I listened for a whole hour to His Highness's severe displeasure with the fact that one and a half million of copies of the Holy Book were distributed already in our country. Suffice to say that one of the mildest sentences was "We'll scatter these yellow Zionists to the four winds in the name of Allah!".

In short, your decision not to wait for the official Farsi copy of Holy Quran and, instead, translate again the original Arabic edition into Farsi using, as you said, your "in-house experts", was a grave mistake. Yes, I know that you have sufficient manpower to do it in 37 hours and that you put 48 of your experts on the translation task, however the results were horrendous, and I have teared most of my hair reading the resulting translation during the last night (the rest of it was teared out by our President (PBUH)). Follow several examples out of hundreds:

Sūra XLI

2. A resolution from (God).
Moist, Vicious and Cool

Should be:

2. A revelation from (God).
Most Gracious, Most Merciful

And what about those who
Share a joint while playing Go—

Should be:

And woe to those who
Join gods with God,—


48. "Hot liquid hazard!
Approach not close!

Should be:

48. "Then pour over his head
The Penalty of Boiling Water

Turn screw (7)
Using appliance (b2)
In watch direction
Till satisfying fully with

Should be:

"Seize ye him
And drag him
Into the midst
Of the Blazing Fire!


When the white sun had sunk in the Western Chasm
I hung up my chariot and rested my four horses.
Now, even the Maker of All
Could not bring the life back to my limbs.
Shape and substance day by day will vanish.
Hair and teeth will gradually fall away.

Should be:

Therein, thou wilt see those
In whose hearts is a disease
Looking at thee with a look
Of one in swoon at
The approach of death.
But more fitting for them

Sūra XLII.: Shūrā, or Consultation.

19. If you are industrious like a bee,
Strong as an ox,
Hardworking as a horse,
And get home tired as a dog,
Consult your vet - you may be an ass.

Should be:

19. Gracious is God
To His servants:
He gives Sustenance
To whom He pleases:
And He has Power
And can carry out
His Will.

My dear Mr [omitted], I hope that by now you have begun to understand the severity of the situation, and I haven't even mentioned the worst offense: the pictures. Apparently one (or more) of your more zealous employees decided to decorate the Holy Book with pictures! Such a sacrilege and desecration of the sacred texts wasn't yet heard about. What, for instance, has this picture to do with the Quran?

Dogs are considered unclean animals here, for crying out loud! Or this one:

I don't see its point at all. Or that:

Do you really intend to sell us anti-bacterial swimming suits for men? I fail to understand... and what about all these abominable semi-naked and naked female pictures?

[at this point the letter is barely readable due to smudged ink and other substances that stuck to the paper, so only fragmentary bits have survived ]

... added and instruction booklet for bicycle repair at home? Why?...

... ophet Muhammad never said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", it is a clea...

... assure you that not only this is forbidden, but is defini... not a pictu... of ..rophet Mu...

...cannot tell you how serious the situation has become. Because of my decision to employ your publishing house in this project I am now put on notice, and if a remedy doesn't....
We have decided to end the letter at this point, since the rest, full of further complaints, entreaties and even some thinly veiled threats is of no special interest to the public.

Regarding this story, we can only guess that the recent dust-up in China-Iran relations is related to the Quran fiasco. Well, Allah willing, the next version of the Holy Book will be more satisfactory with the client...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


Yitzchak Goodman said...

This explains the following at Korean News:

Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi called on Muslim nations and governments Thursday to preserve unity to prevent foreigners from meddling in the Islamic countries’ internal affairs.

Salehi made the call in separate messages sent to the Islamic countries to felicitate the Eid al-Fitr (Fast Breaking Feast).

Iran’s foreign minister further stressed Islamic vigilance against plots of foreigners.

He also underscored promotion of cooperation and solidarity among Muslim nations to foil those plots.

SnoopyTheGoon said...


Katie said...

I didn't find anything wrong with those pictures or the text.  Well translated.  Just might have to steal this.

jams o donnell said...

Haha, excellent!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Go ahead, you are welcome.

SnoopyTheGoon said...