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Synchretism

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: Oh For GODS Sake!

Submitted by Joe (United States), Feb 17, 2006 at 12:40

I am familiar with the passage, and have read it several times prior to your display. First I will discuss Islamic Synchretism, then I will address the revelation.

Muhummad was a great salesman. He incorporated more and more of other religions and ideas to appease potential converts. Hamurabi's Code, of Babylon, is an example of his marketing to the Persians. Religiously, Muhummad incorporates a larger amount of Zoroastrianism (of Persia) into the Qur'an--blatantly evident in its dualism and eschatology.

The position with the Christians and Jews was originally more for an alliance, and their relationship steadily declined with the assumption of Mecca and Qurayshi lands (especially with Jews in Medina). However, in an attempt to expand, revelations such as these were something Christians could hold in common with Muslims. These provided a basis for a relationship and, in turn, conversion. Furthermore, at the time of this revelation, the Muslims themselves in numbers were a significant minority in their territories, completely uncapable of forcibly converting an entire region as they later did in areas like India.

Of course, Muhummad was inspired by these religions, and to continue the trend, he needed to accept them as at least partially true, if his religion was to be based on it. It is important to note, however, that in the Qur'an Muhummad also denounces the Christians and Jews for "corrupting" the books.

Although Jesus confirmed many aspects of the Torah, he also highlighted some, added some, and radically changed many. Jesus was an apocalyptic Jew, a heretic. His eschatology was radically different from the Jews of this day. Previously, the dead went to She'ol, and you only died if you sinned. Then, Jesus argued for a judgment and after-life. Jesus did not reveal the Gospels, and surely was not given a Gospel. His teachings were remembered and recorded at the earliest of 65 ad. The writers were inspired men from His teachings, but they were not revelation in the Islamic sense.

In many ways, the teachings of the Jews and Christians are vastly different from the Islamic teachings, and they do not mesh in many places. For example, there is no Golden Rule in Islam, there are different eschatologies (especially that of the Hell which is non-existent in the Bible and Torah), and there are various exceptions to their rules (especially on fighting and killing).

Fighting and especially killing are expressly forbidden in the Bible, but there are exceptions in the Qur'an. If these are forbidden in the Bible, and the Bible ways are good and paths to the light, then how could God contradict himself with the introduciton of Islam?

There are an innumerable number of examples of contradictions between books, and contradictions/exceptions within the Qur'an.
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