The year 2000 saw the pseudonymous publication of “The Reading of the Koran” setting out Christoph Luxenberg’s thesis that certain passages of the Koran should be understood not according to the Arabic sense of the words but to an underlying Syriac-Aramaic sense, thereby giving the Koran a whole new meaning.
On February 3, 2002, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (German: Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland – ZMD) passed an “Islamic Charter”, which is supposed to be a Muslim “manifesto regarding the German state and society”.
Always remembering that according to the tenets of Islam the text of the Koran can never legitimately be translated, only its “meaning” (p. xi), this is certainly the most significant Islamic Arabic-German version to date, even if the Introduction (p. xii) implies at the first glance it is the first ever by completely passing over the Ahmadiyya translation which has been available for decades.
This is not only an atlas with numerous maps that illustrate the history of Islam from its origins through the modern age. At the same time it uses numerous articles, charts and pictures to convey much more information about Islam in the Near and Middle East, in Europe and North Africa than the title would allow one to assume.
This book presents a debate from March 2001 that dealt with the issue of establishing a professorship for Islamic Theology at the University of Hamburg. By way of this professorship Muslim teachers would receive academic training in Islam; thus, it was thought, leaders of mosques (Imams), teachers at Koran schools and religion teachers would be trained in Germany.
The public debate over women’s role in Islam tends in the West to centre round the issue of the head-scarf, seen as symbolizing women’s inferiority, yet not all practising Muslim women wear the scarf and not all of them are of the opinion that this is undispensable. In fact it is Islamic marriage law which cements women’s inferior legal status as divinely ordained.
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