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Changing interpretations of the Koran

Reader comment on item: The Rushdie Rules, 25 Years Later

Submitted by JAMES MATKIN QC (Canada), Nov 11, 2014 at 17:53

Yes Daniel Pipes is right that the interpretations of the Koran like other so called holey scriptures have changed over time. Will they become more moderate like Mormon scriptures, for example, rejecting the historical practice of Polygamy or will they follow the current trend to more violence like ISIS? Also because there are many contradictions among the verses in the Koran so the Muslim rules are easily changed on this basis. There is a unique principle of "abrogation" in Islam holding that later verses of the Koran abrogate earlier ones of the same subject, although the chronology is an issue. Of particular note are contradictions about compulsion to convert and not leave the faith. For example there is an earlier verse that, "There is no compulsion in religion." (sura 2:256), but a number of later verses abrogate such as, "make war on the unbeliever in Allah, until they pay tribute," (sura 9:29) and "fight and slay the pagan (idolators) wherever you find them" (sura 9:5).

See article by David Bukay, Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam in Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2007, pp. 3-11.

http://www.meforum.org/1754/peace-or-jihad-abrogation-in-islam

"How does the theological debate over abrogation impact contemporary policy formulation? While not all terrorism is rooted in Islam, the religion is an enabler for many. It is wrong to assume that more extreme interpretations of religion are illegitimate. Statements that there is no compulsion in religion and that jihad is primarily about internal struggle and not about holy war may receive applause in university lecture halls and diplomatic board rooms, but they misunderstand the importance of abrogation in Islamic theology. It is important to acknowledge that what university scholars believe, and what most Muslims—or more extreme Muslims—believe are two different things. For many Islamists and radical Muslims, abrogation is real and what the West calls terror is, indeed, just."

Sadly mixed into this issue of changing interpretations is the 1400 year schism between Sunni and Shia being played out with the war against the ISIS.


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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Reader comments (22) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
The Islam of Arabs and Persians and Others [472 words]RobertDec 15, 2016 08:11234698
getting better [26 words]y Brandstetter MDJan 8, 2015 03:37220165
defeatism the 4th -ism [298 words]mythNov 12, 2014 14:28219287
Changing interpretations of the Koran [331 words]JAMES MATKIN QCNov 11, 2014 17:53219283
4Telling God to shut his mouth [74 words]Wallace SchwamNov 10, 2014 11:18219272
... and our countries should be safe, and safe from the brutality of Islam. [106 words]FactsRuleNov 10, 2014 00:59219261
Sadly democracy and human rights are at odds with the Islam faith even with a moderate interpretation [387 words]JAMES MATKINNov 9, 2014 20:38219255
I'm with Wilders [77 words]Thomas FNov 9, 2014 15:54219252
Two different people? [245 words]Ron ThompsonNov 9, 2014 15:15219251
2No it wil not getting better - it had 1400 years of getting better [28 words]HermanNov 9, 2014 14:51219250
One man's thought [136 words]macdaddyNov 9, 2014 14:18219249
1Wilders Is Correct on Abrogation [286 words]Mike RamirezNov 9, 2014 13:04219248
1Q2:256 [73 words]dhimmi no moreNov 19, 2014 07:06219248
Can Islam change? [119 words]Reuven Ofir, Ph.DNov 9, 2014 12:22219247
bs won't cut it [52 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahNov 27, 2014 03:48219247
1ISLAM cannot get better unless... [104 words]SunshineNov 9, 2014 12:02219246
2Why being Muslim pays [208 words]josef zuaresNov 23, 2014 16:43219246
2Great 15 min talk. [2 words]EdwardNov 5, 2014 11:02219179
1Notes on your speech [831 words]Michael S.Nov 5, 2014 08:50219177
The Rushdie Rules, 25 Yrs. Later! [310 words]Luciana R.Nov 10, 2014 00:38219177
Learning to enact Change [886 words]Michael S.Nov 17, 2014 13:29219177
1For the most part, we have to kill them. [921 words]Michael S.Nov 22, 2014 19:17219177

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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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