Informed is Forewarned: Read the Quran.

I’m almost half-way through my second reading of the Quran and find myself wondering what it would take to make Westerners understand Islamic ideology. I could explain how Islam is a religious, legal and political framework for life . . . but others have already written books about that. So I decided I’ll just frame the problem of Islam as briefly as I can and let the reader consult the Quran if they doubt me. If this leads to just one person reading the Quran, then I’ve accomplished something. Everybody should read the Quran. Informed is forewarned.

Ex-President Bush was incorrect to claim that "Extremists have hijacked Islam". It's the other way around: Islam has hijacked extremists. It's not the adherents that are the root problem: it's the religious, legal
and political ideologies of Islam. And Islam is based on the Quran.

Any Muslim, earnest about Islam, wants only to do Allah’s bidding. The
Quran, in turn, is the primary, immutable, source for information about
what Allah wants. Although Islam has internal divisions, Quran is the
same for all Muslims: and it’s in the Quran (and hadiths) that violent
militancy is enshrined.

This is why peace is rarely emphasized in Islam – except by its
apologists. The one exception I can think of is Sufism. But this
exception begs the rule: why are Sufi Muslims numerically insignificant
compared to Sunni or Shia Muslims? The answer returns to sources . . .
the militants can always point to the Quran as confirmation of their
piety. After all, militants don’t just talk the talk: they walk the
walk. Serious Muslims must admit that militant Muslims are more like
Muhammad than are moderate Muslims. The Quran makes it clear that
moderate Muslims are a disgrace in Allah’s eyes.

The Quran is the verbatim word of Allah. Its violence is personified by
Muhammad. Given this combination (the immutable truth of Allah’s word
and Muhammad’s manifestation of that truth), there is little chance
that ideological moderation can ever prevail in the hearts and minds of
common Muslims. I agree with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan and other
ex-Muslims: Islam (because of the Quran) is NOT reformable.

Views: 81

Comment by Mario Rodgers on April 28, 2010 at 5:05pm
The Bible--Written by superstitious desert rats with stones.
The Quran--Written by superstitious desert rats with swords.

Does that about sum it up?
Comment by Atheist Exile on April 29, 2010 at 11:33am
Hi Johan,

The Muslim reverence for the Quran imbues it with perfection, beauty and truth. It's anything but. How this charade has been maintained for so long defies logic. Could it be that Muslims really believe that xenophobia, violence and misogyny are perfect, beautiful and truthrul? I don't think so . . . not unless centuries of Islamic influence has actually turned these neuroses into ideals. What must be happening is that Muslims aren't reading the Quran critically or at all. I can't see how reverence for the Quran can develop without brainwashing.
Comment by Atheist Exile on April 29, 2010 at 11:39am
Yup, Mario, that about sums it up :-)

The New Testament is in a different league compared to the Old Testament or Quran. Jesus really had revolutionary ideas. Nonetheless, the Bible is stuck with the primitive barbarism of the Old Testament and Jesus is tied, by heritage, to it as well.
Comment by QM on April 30, 2010 at 2:16am
Hi Atheist Exile,

Nice post! You have summed it up quite well (as has Mario :-)).

But, I wonder that don't the Christians (today and during the Age of Enlightenment) believe that Bible was the word of god? I ask this question because even though there are fanatic Christians today (maybe not as many or as extreme as Muslims) the overall trend is positive at least in the sense that there are many open critics of Christianity living in Christian populated countries. Where as the critics of Islam are still in hiding, use pseudonymes and mostly not based in Muslim nations. The point I am trying to understand here is that how is Bible different to Christians (is it not like 'Quran' for them)

By the way, just one small clarification, that is the hadiths for most of the schisms in Islam are different, and I believe it is primarily that difference in hadiths that forms these sub-groups. The Quran remain the same though its interpretation becomes varied depending upon which set of hadiths you use to interpret it.
Comment by Atheist Exile on May 1, 2010 at 12:47am
Hi QM,

Christianity and Judaism have both undergone reforms over the centuries. Neither religion has the iron grip they once had over their adherents. At the height of its power, the Roman Catholic Church was much worse than Islam has ever been.

So to answer your first question, fundamentalism was once just as prevalent and absolute in Christendom, if not more so, than it is in Islam now.

The Old Testament has more egregious examples of violence than does the Quran but the Quran emphasizes it more (as a percentage of text).

The New Testament is a radical departure from the Old Testament and delivers a more sophisticated message than does the Quran. Jesus turned spirituality on its head by emphasizing love, forgiveness, peace and redemption. His was a kinder, gentler, message. Compare Muhammad to Jesus and the differences are stark. Jesus used parables to convey his ideas. Muhammad used edicts. Jesus was loving. Muhammad was hateful. Jesus espoused inclusive ideals. Muhammad espoused an us-versus-them, Muslim-versus-infidel, dogma.

As for the hadiths, I wondered if I would get away with that generalization . . . I guess not :-) Yes, you're right, that's why I said "virtually the same". There are 6 main "musannaf collections" in Sunni Islam, versus the collections of Ahl al-Bait and direct descendents of Muhammad in Shia Islam. They are virturally the same in that they are similar in scope, despite their different attributions and sources.
Comment by CJoe on May 2, 2010 at 11:36am
From reading a book called Misquoting Jesus, I think Jesus was less inclusive than people may think. In Matthew 15:22-, the story follows:

22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

I'm not sure if Christians would try to paint this as a test of the woman's faith, but his words (esp the ones italicized) are racist and cruel. Also, chapter 8 in the book of John tells the story of how Jesus saves a woman caught in adultery from being stoned by suggesting "he who is without sin cast the first stone", but that story is not found in the oldest manuscripts we have.

Although I'm sure Jesus was revolutionary for his time, I wonder if it has been blown out of proportion. I also read in the Book of Thomas (not included in the canon) that, when Jesus was a child, he was very ill-tempered and, actually, murderous and vindictive.
Comment by QM on May 2, 2010 at 4:38pm
My knowledge of Christianity and Bible is very very limited, so I would not be able to accurately compare it with Islam and Quran. However, I would say that Islam does include some element of inclusivity in the sense that it did command its followers to give respect to Moses & Jesus as well. Plus it has a mixed message about 'infidels' especially the Jews and Christians. While referring to them as people of the book and even going as far as saying that anyone who is righteous amongst them will enter heaven (I believe this is mentioned somewhere in Chap 2) and at other points it is commanding Muslims to fight them where ever they are.

There are some who believe that Islam is still young and it would take more time for it to reform, just as Christianity did. But I am not too optimistic on this. But I think the reason is not only that Quran is considered to be the word of god, there are other factors as well including economic ones.


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