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Qur'an, Complexity or confusion

Reader comment on item: Study the Koran?

Submitted by Infidel (Canada), Jan 20, 2007 at 21:47

I think that Dr. Pipes is on to something here. Let's start at the beginning. The author of the Qur'an could neither read nor write, but his thoughts, concepts and conclusions are so complex that no one can pick up the Qur'an, read it and understand it. As Dr. Pipes writes, such a document requires intensive study of its context, development, and rival interpretations.

Ok, we can understand the Holy Bible, we can understand Dr. Stephen Hawkings, we can understand Dr. Pipes, we can understand Howard Sachar, we can understand Bernard Lewis and we can understand Joan Peters, but we can't understand the uttering of an illiterate man who lived between 569Ad and 632AD. For example, Dr. Pipes refers to verse 9:5, which commands Muslims not to slay pagans until the sacred months have passed and verse 9:36 tells Muslims to fight pagans during those same months. Dr. Pipes sees these contradictions in the text as requiring intensive scholarly studies.

I see these verses as the thoughts of a confused man who has difficulty remembering his thoughts and sayings on any particular subject from day to day and focuses his thoughts and conclusions based on what pleases him on that particular day. Dr. Pipes concludes that Muslims have been inspired by the Koran to act in ways aggressive and passive, pious and not, tolerant and not. Of course they have, because their interpretations are as confusing as the instructions in the Qur'an.

Let me use simplicity to explain the writings of Muhammad. Muhammad's thoughts are based on conversations around night fires while traveling with caravans, teachings of confused Jews living in Medina and disturbing messages incurred during epileptic seizures. The confused ranting of illiterate man should not be seen as containing intelligent thoughts and conclusions that require intensive studies by scholars, rather they are what they appear to be, that is ranting of an illiterate man.


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