Orgins of Islamophobia : Deliberate defamation & Propogation of Misconceptions.
When the European Kings were threatened by the invading Arab Kings, they came out with a blue print to protect their kingdoms, that gave birth to the idea of Islamophobia:
1. To label the Invading Kings as Muslim, as that was one of the ways to get their subjects to stand behind them and fight for them.
2. To mis-translate the Qur'aan to inculcate animosity towards the invading people.
3. To paint the religion negatively and as a Mohammedan cult.
4. To reinforce this strategy they roped in the Pope to issue a fatwa approving crusades.
Their Blueprint worked well for them and the Arab Kings were pushed back and defeated.
It is important to note that a majority of the kings were thieves and robbers, whose only purpose in life was to invade and annex the neighboring territories, loot their wealth, destroy their cultures and come back home stronger and erect a statue of themselves as Heroes. Very few of them wanted to spread their faith for the purpose of spreading piety and goodwill. Their goal was to control the resources and the people; in the process they destroyed civilizations, no different than today's Neocons.
The Neocons of middle ages were exceptionally successful in steering public opinion against Islam via the translations. The foundation they laid at that time has become the basis for building baseless theories against Islam. The kings happened to be Muslims that they were against, instead their propaganda turned against Muslims and Islam.
Dahlia Sabry is researching on the effects of this work and reports that " it was found out that translating the meanings of the holy Qur'aan offered an opportunity to distort and misinterpret its meanings. This played a crucial role in framing a negative and an inaccurate image of Islam. The problem can be ascribed mostly to translations by non-Muslims, however, also partially to translations by Muslims."
Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete (English: "Law of Mahomet the pseudo-prophet") was the first translation of the Qur'aan into Latin by Robert of Ketton in 1142. Peter the Venerable persuaded Robert to join a team he was creating to translate Arabic works into Latin in hopes of aiding the religious conversion of Muslims to Christianity. It was the standard translation for Europeans from its release until the 18th century. This translation is loaded with inaccuracies.
Another Latin translation by Ludovicus Marracci was published in 1698. It was supplemented with quotes from Qur'an commentaries "carefully juxtaposed and sufficiently garbled so as to portray Islam in the worst possible light" (Colin Turner,1997 p. xii). The title of the introductory volume of such translation was A Refutation of the Qur'an.
Such translations formed the foundation for a number of subsequent translations into English, French, Italian, German, etc. The first English translation was that of Alexander Ross published in 1649. In his introduction, Ross says "I thought good to bring it to their colours, that so viewing thine enemies in their full body, thou must the better prepare to encounter … his Alcoran" (p. A3).
Similarly, H. Reckendorf (1857) says in his Hebrew translation of the Qur'an, "I can now stop writing and ask God's pardon for the sin I committed when I profaned our sacred language and transferred to it the talk of lies and falsehood" (as cited in Abdul Aal, January 29, 2006, p. 78).
In 1734, George Sale’s translation came out based on Marracci’s earlier notorious work. In 1861, J. M. Rodwell’s work provided a further example of a writer "gunning for Islam" (Turner, 1997, p. xii).
That was the story of Neocons who shamelessly wore the Christian label, similar inaccurate and brazen translations were made by Muslims as well. The Noble Qur'an, also informally known as the Hilali-Khan translation was published in early 1900's and is despicable. http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Quraan/Not-like-Jews-and-Christians.asp
Religions emerged to allay individual fears and bring a balance in one's life and peace for the society. It is obvious that the Kings of the past have raped the religion to their own advantage and we must not give them the religious label. Their purpose was simply expansion, exertion and oppression and religion did not figure in the conquests, they were far from it.
It is time for us to strip the wrongs people have ascribed to religion, every religion, and get to know the truth. I am amazed neither the Universities, nor the responsible Governments have under taken research project to dismantle the false castles of hate from the past. It is time now, and we have begun this process.
Today, there a host of Neocons, men who are insecure and afraid of imaginary enemies. They have become the torch bearers to continuously highlight the mistranslations of Qur'aan. Indeed it is a business to them. As long as we have the nincompoops who believe anything against Islam, the neocons dish them out the material relentlessly and keep receveing financial support.
I sincerely hope, the gullible funders should ask every one, before they fund the necons, the obejctives of such a propaganda. If it is to create a barrier or to kill the Muslims, it ain't going to happen, instead it will become a life long battle and no one will live in peace. But if the objective is to mitigate conflicts and bring the opposing parties closer to an understanding of co-existence and peaceful co-existence, by all means fund them. Because it gives hope to live safely and in peace.
Roots of Islamophobia in the early Orientalist Translations
Courtesy: Ibrahim Saleh & Dahlia Sabry Researchers at Al-Azhar University, Cairo