Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Unofficial Qur'an for an Unofficial Swearing-In

First Muslim in U.S. Congress to use historic Koran - "
Representative-elect Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, requested the 18th century copy of the Koran for the unofficial part of his swearing in on Thursday, according to Mark Dimunation, chief of rare books and special collections at the Library of Congress in Washington.

. . .

Members are sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives as a group with no Bibles or other books involved; but in a country where three out of every four people consider themselves Christians, the Bible has traditionally been used in ensuing unofficial ceremonies.

These unofficial events among other things provide each member with a photo opportunity for themselves and their constituents.

. . .

The English translation of the Koran from Jefferson's collection dates to the 1750s. Jefferson sold his collection to the U.S. Congress after its library was lost when the British burned the Capitol during the War of 1812. Much of his collection was destroyed in an ensuing fire in 1851 but the Koran that Ellison will use survived, Dimunation said.
My understanding is that "translations" of the Qur'an lose their inspired character, so we're looking at an unofficial Qur'an being used for an unofficial swearing-in.

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