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A book event with Ibn Warraq: “Christmas in the Koran”

Christmas in the Koran: Luxenberg, Syriac, and the Near Eastern and Judeo-Christian Background of Islam

Ibn Warraq

September 9, 2014

6:30 – 7:45 p.m.

In his newest book, author Ibn Warraq focuses on the pioneering work in Syriac and Arabic linguistics of Christoph Luxenberg, a native speaker of Arabic who lives in the West and writes under a pseudonym. This anthology of scholarly yet accessible studies of the Koran makes a convincing case that Islam’s holy book borrowed heavily from Christian texts in Syriac and other Near Eastern sources.

Ibn Warraq supplies English translations of key articles by Luxenberg that originally appeared in German and have never before been available to an English readership. This is followed by commentary by other scholars on Luxenberg’s work. Also included are articles by earlier specialists who anticipated the later insights of Luxenberg, and more recent scholarship inspired by his methodology.  Erudite but accessible, this groundbreaking collection is must reading for anyone with an interest in the origins of the Koran and the early history of Islam.

Ibn Warraq is the author of eight previous books, including The Origins of the Koran, 1998, The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, 2000, and What the Koran Really Says, 2002. Warraq’s op-ed pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian, and he has addressed distinguished governing bodies all over the world, including the United Nations in Geneva and Members of the Dutch Parliament at The Hague. In 2007 Mr. Warraq completed a critical study of the thought of Edward Said, entitled Defending the West, which Paul Berman, author of Terror and Liberalism, described as “a glorious work of scholarship, and it is going to contribute mightily to modernizing the way we think about Western civilization and the rest of the world.”

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