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"Read whole of Quran before you criticize" is a tired argument

Reader comment on item: The Evil Isn't Islam
in response to reader comment: Individual verses are NOT the message!

Submitted by Rajeev (United States), Aug 31, 2010 at 02:44

Dear Dr Pipes:

Your reader Candi's argument stating that individual verses of quran are not the (real) message has become very tired. The smallest part of a book or doctrine that can be misused by a religious preacher, or a person, or a thug to incite hatred for sectarian or selfish advantage needs to be criticized.

Yes, in the times of prosperity and peace perhaps every one will pay attention only to the talk of charity and brotherhood in Islam. But that is not the point. Under the best of interpretations every religion is good. The point is that many passages of of quran --when they are shrunk to a sound bite-- can be and are used by the bigots to cause harm to others. And those passages should be criticized in isolation and should not be allowed to hide under the shadow of other good passages.

I will cite an example from Hinduism. One of the very popular Sankrit prayer of Hinduism wishes good to everyone. This prayer does not limit its scope to the believers or to hindus or even to humans. It wishes good to everyone who is worthy of good, thus, to everyone. But this prayer does not erase the blemish of caste system from Hinduism. And, yes, under the best possible interpretation some people even make caste system look good.

So people do not single out Islam when they criticize parts of it. They just do not want to treat Islam as an exception to a general rule.


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