What's the reality behind the fabulous 42,000 Korans in Munich

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Dr. Christoph Heger

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Mar 30, 2001, 10:49:11 AM3/30/01
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Greetings to all,

Within the thread "What are you afraid of ???" it was an easy job for me
to return the reproach of "dirty tricks" against Christian missionaries
to a number of Muslim missionaries. In particular I pointed to the hoax
of the fabulous 42,000 Koran manuscripts collected in Munich before WWII
and showing no textual difference. I exposed this hoax in my latest
contribution to the above mentioned thread.

Now I will simply report what actually was the matter with this
collection in Munich.

In the 1920s Gotthelf Bergstraesser, Munich, had in co-operation with
Arthur Jeffery from Columbia University started the project of a
critical edition of the Koran text, based on the oldest manuscripts
available at that time. Their variant readings should be presented in
footnotes. As a prelimininary result there was finally gathered a
comprehensible mass of material stored with Bergstraesser in Munich, not
the least a collection of about 15,000 photographs of folios of very old
Koran codices from all over the world.

Please realize: 15,000 photographs and by no means 15,000 or even 42,000
Korans!

Bergstraesser died in 1933. His immediate successor Pretzl fell in WWII.
So Anton Spitaler, a pupil of Bergstraesser's and successor on his chair
in Munich, inherited the task of continuing his work after the war.
Spitaler however spread the rumour that the collected materials had
perished in the bomb attacks on Munich in the last months of WWII. Still
in a note from 1972 in a publication of his Spitaler fostered this
rumor. Nobody doubted this information, me included.

Now, in the ending 1990s it comes out that he was in possession of these
approximately 15,000 photographs all the time since 1945, apparently to
keep everybody else aloof from them in order to reserve exclusively to
himself the right and the possibility of exploiting them in the hope of
producing something outstanding in Koran scholarship - what in the end
he was obviously incapable to achieve.

Meanwhile he has transferred the photographs - or what is left of them -
to his pupil Angelika Neuwirth.

Kind regards,
Christoph Heger


M.S.M. Saifullah

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Mar 31, 2001, 9:54:55 PM3/31/01
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On 30 Mar 2001, Dr. Christoph Heger wrote:

Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

> Please realize: 15,000 photographs and by no means 15,000 or even 42,000
> Korans!

Heger thinks that we all are fools in SRI not to realize the difference
between photographs and MSS; more so the that 15,000 photographs does not
constitute 42,000 Qur'ans. It is what I called a classic case of preaching
>from the pulpit.

> Bergstraesser died in 1933. His immediate successor Pretzl fell in WWII.
> So Anton Spitaler, a pupil of Bergstraesser's and successor on his chair
> in Munich, inherited the task of continuing his work after the war.
> Spitaler however spread the rumour that the collected materials had
> perished in the bomb attacks on Munich in the last months of WWII. Still
> in a note from 1972 in a publication of his Spitaler fostered this
> rumor. Nobody doubted this information, me included.
>
> Now, in the ending 1990s it comes out that he was in possession of these
> approximately 15,000 photographs all the time since 1945, apparently to
> keep everybody else aloof from them in order to reserve exclusively to
> himself the right and the possibility of exploiting them in the hope of
> producing something outstanding in Koran scholarship - what in the end
> he was obviously incapable to achieve.
>
> Meanwhile he has transferred the photographs - or what is left of them -
> to his pupil Angelika Neuwirth.

So, who are the real culprits? The Germans, of course! What an interesting
expose? Heger wanted to show that Muslims like Hamidullah are
lying; whereas he ended up showing that it is the Germans who have
lied and cheated.

A good expose provided the story is true.

Wassalam
Saifullah

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/


MahmudTaha

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Apr 3, 2001, 3:35:29 PM4/3/01
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Wa-salam aleik, Saifullah,

>> Please realize: 15,000 photographs and by no means 15,000 or even 42,000
>> Korans!
>
>Heger thinks that we all are fools in SRI not to realize the difference
>between photographs and MSS; more so the that 15,000 photographs does not
>constitute 42,000 Qur'ans. It is what I called a classic case of preaching
>from the pulpit.

Give me a break, Saifullah! It was you and a number of other Muslims and
allegedly Dr Hamidullah, too, who spread the rumor of these 42,000 Korans in
Munich which were said to display no textual variances. So it is you who was
exposed to be wrong. And it is you who should be embarrassed to have spread
what easily could be recognized as a bombast and to have made fun of Muslim
scholarship.

Peace,
Mahmud K. Taha


M.S.M. Saifullah

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Apr 4, 2001, 9:23:43 PM4/4/01
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On 3 Apr 2001, MahmudTaha wrote:

Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatulahi wa barakatuhu:

Well, we did not spread the rumour. We backed up our claim with the
evidence from Hamidullah's book.

Now your claim is that we have been "exposed to be wrong". Wrong with
what? That Hamidullah did not meet Pretzl in Paris? Or that Pretzl did not
say (or did say) that 42,000 Mss photos that existed in Archive at Munich
did not show textual variance? Or 42,000 Mss photos did not exist at all?

Show me your evidence! Or we would be very happy to re-conclude that it
was Taha who is spreading the lies and that he should be ashamed of
it! You see it can be that simply if you do not bring your evidence.

Wassalam
Saifullah

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/


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