Tehran: An Iranian watchdog overseeing
publications of the Muslim Holy book has criticised the poor
quality of "smuggled" copies of the Quran printed in China,
the governmental Iran daily reported on Tuesday.
"Most of these books are smuggled, and illegally enter
the country," said Ahmad Haji Sharif, an official with the
watchdog, Dar al-Quran Organisation.
"The low cost of printing in China has tempted some
publishers to have their Qurans published there, but these
(copies) of the Holy book mainly contain spelling mistakes and
have not been validated," added Haji Sharif, whose
organisation also grants publication rights for printing
He did not specify whether he was referring to Iranian
publishers or printing houses in other countries.
The official said his organisation was working with the
Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to take the books off
the market, describing the task as "cumbersome and time-
His comments come after recent media reports charging
that careless mistakes were rife in copies of the Chinese made
Haji Sharif said there were also "glaring mistakes"
involving accents, which when misplaced could change the
meaning of a word in Arabic, and the Islamic phrase "Bismillah
Al-Rahman Al-Rahim" (In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most
In decorative frames with calligraphed suras --
chapters of the Quran -- the phrase was printed in the middle
of the verses rather than at the beginning of it.
The Quran is taught at all of the educational levels of
the Iranian school system, and university students must pass
mandatory courses on the Holy book.
The memorisation of the Quran and reciting ceremonies are
widely held and promoted in the Islamic republic, where the
copies of the Holy book contain the Persian translation
alongside the Arabic verses.
Beijing and Tehran have become major economic partners in
recent years, with many Chinese manufactured goods finding
their way into Iranian markets.
However, local media has constantly criticised the
low-quality of Chinese imported goods.