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Is Sufism enough?

Reader comment on item: Christianity Dying in Its Birthplace

Submitted by AV (United States), Sep 16, 2005 at 02:00

Sufism 'conquers' the Qur'an by radically reinterpreting it, so that the destruction of 'evil' people is nothing more than an analogy for the destruction of our own evil impulses. This internalization of the struggle against evil is persuasive, but is it enough?

... Whenever I try to read the Qur'an I find its 'spirituality' to be nothing more than the hypnosis of violence. ... Its 'submission' to God seems to me to be nothing more than cringing under a dictator who can murder at a whim without any regard for human rights.

While the peacefulness of Sufism makes Islam attractive (which is why this is the form of Islam that was able to penetrate formerly Buddhist territory), after the conversion, the new Sufi Muslims began reading the Qur'an and ended up murdering innocents with as much passion as other Muslims.

Yes, Turkey is peaceful ... but it is secular! It is the secularity that makes Turkey peaceful. Islam itself seems to makes people murderous.

I think there's something inherently wrong with the Qur'an itself. Notably its lack of divine love. Until Muslims muster enough intellectual courage to deal with the defectiveness of the Qur'an, there's no hope for Islam. It will continue to produce murderers, and anyone that calls this murder into question will be murdered too. All Muslims agree that the Qur'an is holy only because any Muslim who disagrees is murdered.

One advantage that the Jewish and Christian Bibles have over the Muslim Qur'an, is that the Bibles were written by many different people over an extraordinary length of time. The Bibles contain many, many conflicting opinions, and this encourages Jews and Christians to see that there are many different ways of understanding God. The result is tolerance, and even respect. Moreover, we can see how the layers of texts change over time. When reading these Bibles, we notice the evolution of spirituality. The most archaic parts of the Bibles have some episodes that seem murderous, like human sacrifice. However these episodes belong to the past. Not only do we not wish to return to this evil past, we hope desperately to outgrow it. The Bibles give a sense that God is teaching us humans through history to become more loving.

By contrast, the Qur'an is written by one person... without any dissenting opinions. Muslims who read the Qur'an become just like him.
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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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