Reading the Koran, a Guest Op Ed

an_abridged_koran-400x533-334x450Political Islam, October 3, 2016:

This is a guest post on Bill Warner’s site by a first-time reader of the Qur’an who comes from a Buddhist/Hindu background & writes how shocked he was by the aggressive hatred toward all that is not Muslim. H/T Clare Lopez

I have never read the Koran before despite having travelled extensively in Muslim countries and read on many Eastern religions.

It took me two days to read the ‘Abridged Koran’ of Dr. Warner, which as the author himself writes is more of a study guide before beginning to read the real Koran. Now I have the context of history and other Muslim scriptures in order make sense of the Koran.

The Abridged Koran is an easy read but a disturbing read. You have heard of Christian and Hindu monks take a bath before reading their scriptures? I had to take a shower *after* reading the Koran because I felt spiritually unclean. It was like sitting through a non-stop horror movie with no breaks. I kept waiting for the good parts, the positive sections to begin. They never did. I found a minority of moral teachings scattered here and there, and just a few poetic descriptions in a very hateful book. About 3/4 of the way through it became as if a blur of hurtfulness and arrogance. The task felt like counting the flies on a corpse, it was so grotesque. I kept wondering ‘how could any rational and kind person, any normal human being actually accept this book as scripture?’ and ‘If they do and can, do we want such people in our country?’ After I completed my read, all I could think of was: ‘We must take steps to see this religion far away from us, and if possible destroyed permanently, erased from the planet except in history. I don’t care if people become Bahai’s, atheists, agnostics, Baptists or worship trees and dance around the Maypole naked. *Anything* but Islam will be a vast improvement’ in individual and group consciousness.

I learned why Muslims do things, why some get very upset and even violent when certain things happen. There are scriptural precedents. For example, ‘preventing’ Muslims from going to pray. Abu Jahl is criticized in the Koran for holding back a Muslim, his servant, who wants to pray. Perhaps employers at companies that do not eagerly pay for and permit pray times are likewise considered evil. Why ISIL Muslims degrade and abuse their enemies by placing a foot on the head and then turn the heads backwards after decapitating. Again Koranic precedent.

I made notes by colour-coding five tabs and writing succinct words according to my needs…

Priority 1, essential: red – fascinating fact or dangerous alert Priority 2, very important: orange – very interesting, a warning or something unique about Islam Priority 3, not so important: yellow – curiosity, something I didn’t know, a lead to something else, or an unanswered yet question Priority 4, useful to know: green – Islamic trilogy facts (Koran, Hadith, Sira) Priority 5, extra: blue – detail about the method or structure of Warner’s book

I ended up with 86 red, 129 orange, 143 yellow, 16 green and 15 blue. I find this curious because when I use a similar system reading other books, concerning the top three priorities, the ratio is usually much more bottom heavy versus top heavy. For example reading the encyclopedic Siva Purana of medieval Hinduism, or the mixed mythic and philosophical Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods, the ratio is closer to 20/120/400. Even the brutally caste-ridden Laws of Manu of Brahminism has some nobility. The war-themed Mahabharata of the epic period of Hinduism is replete with universal teachings. By comparison, Buddhist and Christian texts have much more humanistic themes than the Koran. The only thing I felt inspired to do after reading the entire Abridged Koran, was to get out in the fresh air and sunshine. So, be prepared with some drinking water and a place to take a break, otherwise you might feel sad and negative. Reading the Abridged Koran was a pivotal experience for me, unfortunately verifying my worst fears.

With The Abridged Koran, the tag ratio from my reading was skewed to the most alarming, a lot of ‘read this and weep.’ I made almost no notes of interest regarding Dr. Warner’s book itself, further reading or even the Trilogy of Islam. The content rests squarely on the malicious, envious and otherwise anti-civil society things that the Koran itself has to say.

While a considerable amount of Abridged Koran is contextual (i.e. explanation from author but more so information from other trilogy sources such as Hadith and Sira) herein I offer only Koranic verses. So, this is an assessment of the Koran itself not Dr. Warner’s study guide to it. My next step will be to read the Koran as it commonly presented, ordered according to length not chronological (real) history, and translated by a mainstream Islamic source which presumably has no anti-Islamic ‘axe to grind’. I am giving Islam the benefit of the doubt, even though it looks like an exercise in futility.

My list is not complete, it is just what I made notes on, and a conclusion based on the gist of it. For brevity, I have reduced my own tagged quotes to a fraction or what caught my attention. I suspect that the verse numbers I quote are inaccurate as I sometimes quote the entire group of verses and Dr. Warner does not itemize them but instead writes full thoughts. All of these assessments of categories I made after reading the Koran. Although I have read and heard of others repeat some of them as part of their arguments against the atrocity and obscenity of Islam these are taken directly from my reading, not from third party sources such as websites or other books. And if I made a tag on one section of verses I didn’t necessarily add other tags if another group of verses following saying similar followed. So, in other words, these are the *minimums*, there are more than I count herein.
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The following list is based on my own assessment, disregarding everybody else’s read (including the author’s), whether they agree with my own assessment or not.

Top seven themes of the Koran

1. All non-Muslims are bad just by virtue of not being Muslim. And for other reasons too 2. Non-Muslims deserve to be killed, taxed and forced to submit, simply because they are non-Muslim 3. Non-Muslims are going to hell 4. Christians are bad, Jews are really bad, Idolaters are the worst 5. Good Muslims finance holy war and if possible engage in it themselves 6. Heaven is a comfy and scenic banquet hall with beautiful women and boys, tasty drinks and lots of fountains.
7. Hell is fire with torture, and it goes on forever.

The Koran spends a lot of text space criticizing other religions and in particular the *followers* of other religions, especially Jews and Christians. The Koran doesn’t observe the nicety of distinguishing between Jews and Judaism, for example. Coming from a background of Hinduism and having a fascination for the many streams of Buddhist traditions all over the world, I find the Koran bizarre and appalling. This ‘our way or the highway’ (the ditch actually) is contrary to any Indian-origin Dharmic religion or Indian-influenced religions, which generally have a compassionate and accepting attitude to other religions, accommodating them even into their own systems (for example the historical Buddha being considered as the ninth incarnation of Vishnu). The Koran is the antithesis of Indian Islam – with its the saint worship, festivals and music . I have spent considerable time upcountry and in the cities of India (as well as lived in Buddhist regions of Southeast Asia) and pure Islam, not tempered by the modifications of Java and Cambodia etc is like something from another planet. I find Koranic Islam’s stated objections to other religions so severe as to be anti-religion. They make the Catholic Church’s ‘we know best’ perspective seem downright cosmopolitan. Bishops might disagree with my critique of their Church, even vociferously. But they are not going kill me. Probably not even mock me. Maybe ignore me. Basically, Islam as presented in its primary scripture, the Koran, is completely incompatible with diversity and human rights. After reading the Abridged Koran I do not see Islam as a religion at all.

Read more

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Huffington Post: All Islamic Violence Comes From Hadith, NOT Quran

hadith.sized-770x415xc

PJ MEDIA, BY RAYMOND IBRAHIM, AUGUST 12, 2016:

The Huffington Post recently published an article titled “The Source of Muslim Extremism” authored by Mike Ghouse. He is described as “a speaker, thinker, and a writer” who “offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.”

Ghouse argues that all violence and intolerance committed under the banner of Islam is not due to the Quran:

[Islamic violence and intolerance is] coming from a single source; the secondary books. The Quran is the only authentic book and we cannot go wrong with it. Until we reject those other books, we don’t have a prayer.

Among these “secondary books,” Ghouse identifies the Hadith. The Hadith contains the words and deeds of Muhammad:

As a first step towards fixing our problems, we need to rehabilitate the Hadith.

By “rehabilitate,” Ghouse wants to expunge … :

 … [any hadith not] compatible with the statements that God is just and the Prophet is a mercy to the mankind.

Concludes Ghouse:

Let’s stick to the Quran, we simply cannot go wrong.

What to make of this argument?

Unfortunately, its thesis is built on a faulty premise. Even if every single Muslim was to reject the Hadith and other “secondary books,” that wouldn’t change the fact that the Quran is saturated with violent and intolerant teachings that need no clarification from supplemental literature.

First, it should be noted that Quranism is not original to Ghouse. This position belongs to a small sect of reformist/heretical (depending on who you ask) Muslims known as “Quranists.” Their movement, Quranism, traces back decades, with echoes even earlier. Quranism holds:

… the Qur’an to be the only authentic source of Islamic faith. Quranists generally reject, therefore, the religious authority and authenticity of hadith, Sunnah, and reject traditional Sharia Law, with the assertion that they are false attributes to the Islamic Prophet Muhammed. This is in contrast to the Sunni, Shia, and Ibadi doctrines, which consider hadith necessary for Islamic faith.

The benefits of rejecting all textual sources but the Quran should be obvious. The corpus of Hadith literature is immense, and seems to have something to say about every conceivable topic. Sahih Bukhari — the most authoritative collection of Hadith, which Sunni Muslims hold second to the Quran in legislative importance – consists of nine volumes of Muhammad’s words and deeds on countless minutiae.

(For example: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘When you drink (water), do not breathe in the vessel; and when you urinate, do not touch your penis with your right hand. And when you cleanse yourself after defecation, do not use your right hand.’”)

Many forms of appalling behavior — from drinking camel urine to “adult breastfeeding” — are justified by finding some reference in the Hadith.

Although the Quran suggests that only Allah may torture with fire, a Sahih Bukhari hadith documents Muhammad using fire as a form of torture. Accordingly, the Islamic State referenced this hadith in their fatwa to justify burning a Jordanian pilot alive.

While Quranism resonates with the Western mentality — it’s simply the Islamic version of Protestantism’s sola scriptura — it is heresy in the Muslim world. Mainstream Muslim scholars, including so-called “moderates,” regularly and often denounce Quranists as apostates from Islam. They point out that Quran 33:2 commands Muslims to follow Muhammad’s example. And his example — his sunna, which 90 percent of the world’s Muslims are named after — is derived from the Hadith.

Of course, this is precisely why many lackadaisical Muslims (quietly) favor the elimination of the Hadith. As one more fervent cleric put it:

[M]uch of Islam will remain mere abstract concepts without Hadith. We would never know how to pray, fast, pay zakah, or make pilgrimage without the illustration found in Hadith.

Surely then, Quranism is welcome news to lukewarm Muslims? Unsurprisingly, Quranists are regularly persecuted and killed for their position:

— Rashad Khalifa, an eccentric Quranist, was found stabbed to death in Tucson, Arizona in 1990.– India’s Chekannur Maulavi disappeared in 1993 under “mysterious circumstances” and is believed to be dead.

— Egypt’s Ahmed Subhy Mansour was denounced by and fired from Al Azhar University (The world’s most influential Islamic university), imprisoned, and finally exiled.

Of all strategies dedicated to creating a “moderate Islam” — most of which have no theological basis, and are simply built on Western projections of itself onto Islam — Quranism is commendable in that it is at least methodologically viable.

But it rests on an immediately negated claim about the Quran.

Well over one hundred verses within the Quran itself call for nonstop war, or jihad, on non-Muslims. If “infidels” are beaten and still refuse to convert to Islam, they must live as third class subjects and pay tribute “while feelingly humbled” (e.g., 9:29).

The Quran itself prescribes draconian measures — crucifixions, whippings, amputations, stonings, and beheadings — as punishments.

The Quran itself requires the absolute subjugation of women (e.g., 4:34), with particularly devastating results for non-Muslim women.

In short, the first premise of Quranism — that “The Quran is the only authentic book and we cannot go wrong with it,” to quote Ghouse — may only ease the daily life of the Muslim.

But Quranism brings no solace at all to the “infidel.”

The Basics of Islam 5: Robert Spencer on the Peaceful Verses in the Qur’an

Published on May 9, 2016 by JihadWatchVideo

In this fifth segment of his Basics of Islam series, Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer discusses the verses of the Qur’an that appear to teach peace and tolerance of non-Muslims.

Koran at a Glance

define-abrogation-islamCitizen Warrior, April 30, 2016:

A new online version of the Koran is available, with some unique and useful features:

  1. It is in chronological order.
  2. It gives a visual impression of how Mohammed’s message changed over time.
  3. Verses relating to different themes (Allah, Believers, Unbelievers, Jihad) are color-coded and highlighted.
  4. All abrogated verses are highlighted with popups of their abrogating verses.

Check it out: Koran at a Glance.

Why SO Much Confusion regarding Islam? 3 words: Law of Abrogation

define-abrogation-islam
Published on Apr 22, 2016 by Hazem Farraj

Perhaps the number one reason there is conflicting ideas regarding Islam is due to this law in Islam. Its called the Law of Abrogation. This video will explain this theological Islamic practice and how it only fuels the conflicting topic.

Mohammed, ISIS and Women. ((This is actually taught))

islam koran beat women
Published on Apr 15, 2016 by Hazem Farraj

In this video, we will search Islam’s past to conclude whether ISIS’ abuse of women and their slave-trade is warranted or not. The answer may surprise you. The ONLY valid opinion to believe is the source of authentic Islamic doctrines. Everything used within this video is considered authentic credible sources.

A Comparison of Violence in the Bible and the Koran

April 13 2016, by Bill Warner

A recent study  makes the claim that the Bible is as violent as the Koran. Hence there is no need to worry about with Islam. It is just like Christianity and Judaism.

My only interest is in political violence, not when Cain killed Able. Political violence is when a group attacks those outside of it. It is political when Muslims kill Kafirs in jihad, for instance. This eliminates counting personal violence and internal wars.

We want to measure ideas, so we count more than individual sentences. We need to count all the content that applies to the political violence.

There is no political violence in the New Testament, There are 34,000 words about political violence in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and 328,000 in the Koran, Sira (life of Mohammed) and the Hadith (his traditions). In short, there is nearly 10 times as much political violence in Islamic doctrine than there is in the Bible.

The violence in the Old Testament is historical in nature, not prescriptive. The violence in Islam is prescriptive applicable to all people and times. Jihad is forever.

violence in texts

This data all makes sense. It will be Muslims committing murder in the morning news, not Methodists or Mennonites.