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Read the Koran!

Reader comment on item: Study the Koran?

Submitted by Rick Flanders (United States), Jan 20, 2004 at 12:45

Thanks for another insightful newsletter, as usual. However, I must respectfully disagree.

It is the Islamists who quote the Koran to justify their "holy" war on the infidels. What better way to understand the moral justification of terrorists, than to read the text they quote? You are correct, that the Koran is hard to understand. It is complex and contradictory, apparently because Allah kept changing his rules to suite Muhammad's immediate needs. It is disorganized and contains historically inaccuracies and misquotations that have been reconciled through slight of hand rather than good scholarship.

The biggest problem with the media's understanding of Islam is that it is second or third hand knowledge. People need to read primary sources! It is also important to understand the history of Muhammad, especially from Islamic sources. He was not a man of peace. His men were highway bandits who robbed camel trains for a living. He authorized genocide against a Jewish community. He authorized stealing, lying, torture and murder in the furtherance of Islam. Modern terrorists are emulating their spiritual leader.

Of course, most Muslims are peaceful people who want everyone wants, to raise families in prosperity and peace. However, it is wrong to ignore their holy book and its various interpretations, whether moderate or fanatical. And it does not matter whether some scholars say that the criminal aspects of the Koran have been abrogated. Those who commit murder in Allah's name say they are not. Modern terrorism is not new. Muhammad was involved in numerous battles. And after his death his followers tried to conquer the world by force over a millennium ago.

So reading the Koran may cause confusion. But not reading it will cause even more! Read it!
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