A private donor is willing to pay DKK 100,000 to launch a new effort to translate the Koran into Danish, daily newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad reported on Monday. The donor, sculptor and professor Hein Heinsen, said a new translation could contribute to a better understanding and integration of Muslims in Denmark. The offer was received with enthusiasm at the University of Copenhagen, where a team of linguists and religious scholars is ready to embark on the project, estimated to cost DKK 3-5 million.
The only existing Danish translation of the Koran was published in 1967. It is neither acknowledged by Shia nor Sunni Muslims, as the translator, Abdul S. Madsen, belonged to the Muslim sect of Ahmadiyya, which teaches that a second prophet arrived after Mohammed. Nevertheless, Liberal Integration Minister Rikke Hvilshøj said the government would not contribute to the translation project. ‘If the state contributes to a project like that, there will be a lot of other things that should be translated as well,’ she told daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende. ‘I think it’s a fine idea if private or scholarly donors contribute to the cause, but it won’t happen with help from the Ministry of Integration.’