Friday, February 29, 2008

72 Raisins

So, in May of 2000, Christoph Luxenberg released Die Syro-Aramäische Lesart des Koran. Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Koransprache, which talks about the effects of Syriac on the language of the Koran, most famously asserting
Luxenberg, to the probable horror of all Muslim males dreaming of sexual bliss in the Muslim hereafter, ... conjure[s] away the wide-eyed houris promised to the faithful in suras XLIV.54; LII.20, LV.72, and LVI.22. Luxenberg 's new analysis, leaning on the Hymns of Ephrem the Syrian, yields "white raisins" of "crystal clarity" rather than doe-eyed, and ever willing virgins - the houris. Luxenberg claims that the context makes it clear that it is food and drink that is being offerred, and not unsullied maidens or houris.
This may have had some role in a panicky launch for plans of large scale terrorist attacks. If you had a bunch of men you believed were willing to martyr themselves for virgins, would you sit around while the risk grew that there was a reasonable chance they'd actually been promised raisins?

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