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Islam Must Accept the Koran as a Historical Document

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran

Submitted by Jonathan Keiler (United States), Jan 17, 2006 at 16:42

I never thought I'd say this, but this is one time I have to agree with the Catholic Pope. While it's not impossible to reinterpret the Koran, the Islamic doctrine that claims the book is the actual word of God makes such efforts fraught with difficulty and highly problematic. This extends to any scholarly effort to place the Koran "in history" by researching and interpreting evidence that the Koran itself may have changed over time.

Islam rejects anything like Judeo-Christian efforts to place the Old Testament in history, discover the so-called "Q" documents upon which the Gospels are based, or investigation of gnostic writings. If Islamic scholars could convince Muslim authorities to allow such basically harmless academic activity that would be a first step towards renouncing the Medina suras Mr. Pipes mentions. But the mere fact that here and there Muslim leaders feel the need to tweak Sharia in order to run a state in the 21st Century, is a far cry from that.

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