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re: Submitted by Jan (Belgium), Mar 21, 2006 at 11:50

Reader comment on item: Sudden Jihad Syndrome (in North Carolina)
in response to reader comment: My dear Ahmed Zafire, please read the Quran together with the Hadith

Submitted by plusaf (United States), Jan 25, 2008 at 00:07

a few years ago, a friend of mine decided to do an interesting project: he decided to read the Koran and relevant historical information, in the original language, and translate it for a discussion group we belonged to.

here are some of the things i remember from his readings.....

  • Mohammed was illiterate
  • he dictated the Koran to scribes over a period of several decades
  • he'd been part of discussions with the Jews to create a "unified religion" between the two groups
  • the Jews declined the offer

here are some of the take-aways i got:

  • if he dictated his visions to many scribes over many years, some of them might not have written down what he said, but more what they'd wanted to hear
  • if they didn't write down what Mohammed said, there was no way for Mohammed to verify that the scribes didn't put his "true words" down, because if he asked them to "read it back" they'd just read back what he said, not what they wrote
  • the early parts of the Koran were more gentle. the later parts were more male-centric, anti-women and anti-Jew.
  • this might be the result of the Jews' rejection and the changes in "conservatism" as a man ages...

as an atheist of Jewish background and heritage, i am loath to blindly accept words that have been written on paper, papyrus or clay tablets by anyone claiming to have received those words "from on high," whether they were the ancient Jews, followers of Jesus or Mohammed or John Smith. i find it very easy to accept the idea that all religions of the world are the collected writings of people who were trying to understand the world they lived in and tried to codify rules in order to create a manageable, sustainable society.

given the fairly undisputable fact that most wars [at least until the big ones of the past 75 years or so] were wars of one religious group upon another, it drives me more and more in the direction of believing that if laws could be codified or even just agreed to, which led people to live in harmony without killing or injuring anyone else for reasons like "you left our religion" or "you were raped" or other such nonsense, then the world would be a much better place.

and if those codified or agreed-upon tenets didn't include any reference to ANY god at all, it would not make any difference, if the result were peace and joy.

but i see no possiblitiy of that during my lifetime or those of any of my relatives or their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. human beings aren't anywhere near that "mature" yet. decades ago, i opined that it might be three or four more generations before the "human race matured" to the point of no more wars, hatred and such.... today i think it's probably more like ten or twenty MORE generations.

and religions that believe that it's proper to take a human life because someone concludes that they no longer wish to follow that religion are among the lowest, most barbaric kinds of all.

if you think i'm wrong, show us examples of other religions which kill those who leave the religion. there are few, but not none. ii know of only one. and you're defending it.

if those kinds of beliefs "win in the end" [by force, of course... there's no logic or reason involved,] it will be a truly sad ending for human civilization. i only hope i'm not here when the battles start, because they will be brutal and devastating.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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