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The Koranic Challenge

Reader comment on item: Winston Churchill Compares "Mein Kampf" to the Koran
in response to reader comment: Why the west is against Islam

Submitted by Paul R. (Netherlands), Feb 25, 2008 at 12:29

The Koran contains this challenge. It was Mohammed's rather weak response to the taunt that he couldn't work miracles like the prophets of old. But if we examine this challenge more closely: what does it really amount to? Who is going to judge whether some Arabist with a knowledge of 6th century Arabic fails or succeeds in writing a sura. Is it enough for the text to be (in Churchill's words) turgid and verbose with a content of stereotypical threats to the infidels, or should it also resonate with the poetry of a text that one has been familiar with from childhood, that has become sacred and venerable with age?

And, by the way, what if any of Mohammad's contemporaries had risen to the challenge, Abdoul? Be honest, would they have been given an honest hearing? Ah, here's another one who claims to be divinely inspired. Let's hear this! Hm, not bad, keep working at it. Maybe it just falls short of divinity, but you're on the way to prophethood, old chum!

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