See here. Quadrant opened the article for reader Comment, and the comments are of interest.
Durie states, early on in the piece, that “The Noble Quran”, one of the most widely-available editions of the Quran to be found in the English-speaking world and amongst English-reading Muslims, is “a book to start a war”.
That, of course, could be said not just about “The Noble Quran”, but about the Quran, period, in no matter what edition and/ or translation; and then there are its companion texts, the Sira and Hadiths.. suffused to no lesser degree with withering enmity and naked aggression.
Dr Durie must surely know that; and given his overall body of work, I was rather surprised, toward the end of the article, to find him writing this, “Of course, many Australian Muslims would, like Ahmed Farouk Musa, find the messages promoted through the footnotes and glosses of The Noble Quran to be utterly repugnant”, and am led to wonder whether he is being delicately sarcastic, given that he then goes on to remark, “It is disappointing that these well-meaning Muslims have not been able to determine which version of their own scriptures is to be placed in a pbulic prayer room designated for their use.” (Durie began his article by noting that “The Noble Quran” is the edition of the Quran that one finds in the “prayer room” at Canberra airport, and that it has been there for at least four years, available to anyone who cared to pick it up and read it).
The concluding observations are worth repeating.
Durie, having taken his readers on a calmly-scholarly guided tour of the malevolence and naked aggression of much classical Islamic thought and teaching past and present (and I encourage readers here to share the link far and wide, precisely because the article offers such a guided tour) writes – “One sometimes hears the view that it is not up to non-Muslims to express opinions about Islam, or its canonical texts, such as the Koran,. But The Noble Quran’s running comentary on the text, because it has so much to say about non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians, therefore gives non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians, every right to form their onw opinions about it. If a book talks about you, you have a right to make up your own mind about what it has to say.”
There are a few points at which it seems to me that Durie is – very puzzlingly, given everything I know about the man and his body of work – pulling his punches; nevertheless, it is an important article, well worth reading, and deserving of much wider circulation that it will receive at Quadrant (estimated readership 5,000). I encourage our NER readers to send it on its travels. Read it; make a copy; and share selected portions with everyone you can think of who might just possibly be prepared to listen. – CM