Link here. The author, very obviously well educated in both the Islamic religion as well as recent Islamic history, describes the real religious meaning of phrases like “Allahu Akbar” and “la ilaha illa Allah” and in the process outlines quite clearly the power-hungry goals of Islam, based on the religion itself.
This is also why “Allahu Akbar” and “la ilaha illa Allah” – both statements of faith that embody the religious concept of the supremacy of Islam and of Allah – are mistranslated. First it was the struggle to establish the supremacy of the monotheistic Islam over the pagan idols of seventh-century Mecca. Then it was a struggle for supremacy over other religions, including monotheistic ones, in the Arabian Peninsula, resulting in the expulsion of non-Muslims, as related in the compilation of hadiths on behalf of the Prophet Muhammad: “I shall take out the Jews and the Christians from the Peninsula” – a ban that is in force to this day against non-Muslim religious institutions. Later it was a struggle against other religious empires, such as the Persian and the Byzantine. However, the rendering of “Allahu Akbar” in the U.S. media as “God is great” omits the aspect of superiority in the word Akbar (which but means “greater” or “greatest,” not merely “great”) and blurs the specific reference to Allah rather than to another deity. In the same vein, “la illaha illa Allah” is often translated in the U.S. media as “There is no god but God” (rather than “There is no god but Allah”). Omitting the supremacy of Allah over all other deities is a mistranslation, and moreover leads to a logical fallacy – reminiscent of Carrollian nonsense verses.
One of the reasons for such mistranslations is the fact that in the modern Western world the struggle for supremacy among religions has almost completely ceased, and to the extent that it still exists, it is nonviolent. Therefore, statements of religious faith that embody a continuing historical struggle for divine religious supremacy lack a modern religious/cultural conceptual basis through which to be understood in the West, and consequently lack a linguistic equivalent. The American media, facing the risk of not being understood in translating these Islamic concepts, prefer to provide an approximate translation, even though these are inherently misleading.
This is not to say that “Allahu Akbar” is uttered only by jihadis continuing the age-old struggle for the supremacy of Islam and of Allah. Over the centuries it has come to be uttered by non-religious Muslims as well, and even by Christian Arabs. In many cases, it carries a variety of meanings – ranging from admiration for what is perceived as a wonderful act of Allah to an expression of shock and horror in the face of calamity.
A translation should always reflect the context, the speaker, and his intent. But what often happens in the U.S. media is that when “Allahu Akbar” is said by a jihadi, it is translated as if said by a non-religious Muslim or a Christian Arab. This is utterly wrong. And when such mistranslations occur time and again, whether intentional or out of ignorance, it results in a profoundly apologetic misrepresentation of the concept, and its cultural and religious meaning.
Note the history as described. Even if there are millions of Muslims who do not wish to conquer, oppress, and eliminate other religions, the fundamentals of Islam end up causing it to do these exact things, eventually. And these fundamentals are once again today driving the religion’s power elites. Woe to us here in the west if we do not heed this reality.
I strongly suggest my readers read the entire essay at the link. He documents his points in great detail, and quite thoughtfully.
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