Blog Template Theology of the Body: More on taking an oath on the Koran

Thursday, November 30, 2006

More on taking an oath on the Koran

Earlier today, MM referenced the discussion about Congressman Ellison taking an oath on the Qu'ran. For those of you so inclined, CNN ran a discussion with the author of the editorial MM referenced, Dennis Prager, and UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, of the excellent law blog, The Volokh Conspiracy.

But instead of discussing this from an American perspective (and, for the record, I completely agree with MM's take on this), I'm curious about this from a Muslim perspective. Can a good Muslim, in good faith, take an oath to serve a country that does not follow Muslim law? Given all of the fatwas pronounced against the U.S. by Muslim imams, is Ellison compromising his faith by serving the U.S. government? I'm not talking about his faith as we'd like for it to be, but his faith as is actually required by Muslim doctrine.

And here is another question: What kind of Qu'ran are they going to use? My understanding is that the only true Qu'ran is one written in Arabic, but no non-Muslim is allowed to touch one of these. Will they use an English translation of the Qu'ran? And if so, is that really taking a vow on the Qu'ran?

UPDATE: One of the comments asked about my assertion that non-Muslims aren't allowed to touch a Qu'ran. A brief description of this point can be found here. Non-Muslims are considered unclean (at the very least because we haven't done the appropriate ablutions prior to touching a Qu'ran) and the very act of something unclean touching a Qu'ran would deface it. I think the answer to my question is that someone with gloves could administer the oath of office.