Political 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.
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.