CAIR Distributes Quran Banned as Antisemitic

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As a goodwill response to the Newsweek “Koran desecration” fiasco, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is distributing free copies of the Koran—an edition of the Koran that was previously banned by the LA School District because it contains openly antisemitic commentary, courtesy of our friends the Saudis: CAIR distributes Quran banned as anti-Semitic. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

In an attempt to quell the rancor resulting from Newsweek’s retracted Quran-desecration story, a controversial U.S. Muslim lobby group is giving away free copies of Islam’s revered book.

The particular edition, however, “The Meaning of the Holy Quran,” previously was banned by the Los Angeles school district because commentary notes accompanying the text were regarded as anti-Semitic.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has included the edition in the Islamic book-package it offers libraries nationwide and now is giving it away to help “improve America’s image” through a program called “Explore the Quran.”

“We want to turn a negative image into a positive one,” said CAIR’s Florida director, Altaf Ali, at a news conference in Cooper City, Fla, announcing the project. “America’s image is taking a beating, and it’s affecting us all, of different faiths.” WorldNetDaily contacted Ali at his Florida office, but he refused to be interviewed for the story.

CAIR’s library project, begun in September 2002, was funded in part by a $500,000 donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. In 2001, bin Talal’s $10 million donation to New York City was rejected by then-Mayor Rudolph Guiliani after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Saudi-funded CAIR is a spin-off of a group described by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for the terrorist group Hamas in the U.S. Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terror-related charges.

A Florida-based group, Americans Against Hate, drew attention to CAIR’s distribution project, noting the book’s commentary and index makes it clear the Quran’s references to “apes” and “pigs” are descriptions of Jews.

Khaleel Mohammed, an assistant professor of religious studies at San Diego State University, says the Saudi-approved edition was first published by Abdullah Yusuf Ali in 1934 at “a time both of growing Arab animosity toward Zionism and in a milieu that condoned anti-Semitism.” Ali, according to the professor, constructed it as a “polemic against Jews.”

Until recently, he said, it’s been the most popular version among Muslims. Yet, despite revisions over the years, Mohammed added, the footnoted commentary about Jews “remained so egregious” that in April 2002 the Los Angeles school district banned its use at local schools.

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