BrentG500 - 8/22/2005 5:22 PM
jjl - I'm sorry you never felt safe walking in a mosque in Europe. If some of the UK Muslims are a bit out there, then that has nothing to do with the Qur'an and Sunnah, it's just them.
FWIW, I could (and can) dig up so many verses from the Bible that show lewdness and violence. But to do so would be fruitless; it doesn't acheive anything, it's rude to the people of the book and gobs of people are bound to take offense.
And there, I think you have inadvertently hit the nail on the head. There are too many people taking 'offence' over whether or not we should eat an egg from the big end or the little end, or indeed if there is an egg at all. There is a distinction between saying 'you are a fool' and saying 'what you believe has no basis in fact - and here is why'. It seems to me that the latter is frequently interpreted as the former, and religious people seem particularly prone to this. As a scientist, I positively welcome your abuse of scientific ideas and encourage you to present evidence showing where they are wrong. The truth is its own defence, don't you agree?
As far as literal interpretation, this is what the Qur'an says:
3.7 - "He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations - they are the substance of the Book - and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed."
This is one of the many verses of the Qur'an that Muslims live by. The Qur'an is very easy to understand if you have knowledge and are able to read it with a whole heart.
Thanks, that's interesting.
The Qur'an is not a book of violence. It is a comfirming Scripture in the Arabic language of the previous Scriptures so that people everywhere might benefit from it before they die; it calls people to that which is best for them.
Only the most perverse among us will make it seem violent and they will twist the words to make it seem like something it's not. You have inadequate knowledge and you only know of the Qur'an what you've heard from others. My advice? Just read the Qur'an; educate yourself.
I've read the Bible from cover to cover and have had the priviledge in my lifetime to examine a good portion of it. So until you actually read the Qur'an (not someone else's jumbled up interpretation of it), don't waste your time or mine.
Because I'm a rationalist I approach all claims critically, I may learn little, but I will read the Qu'ran again. Thanks for your time so far. If you don't want to reply any further, that's fine. In return for my reading of the Qu'ran, perhaps I could invite you to read one of my favourites:
What do you say to those who have left Islam, many of whom are native Arabic speakers who know the Qu'ran very well indeed, and so are unlikely to have a jumbled-up view of it, yet still say that it is false and a book of violence? I'm thinking of those who descibe leaving Islam, yet hide thier identities for fear of retribution? I've never seen an ex-Christian or ex-Jew live in fear of violence for changing their beliefs as these ex-muslims do:
Finally, as has often been observed recently, we never have suicide murderers exploding bombs in trains or buses full of women and children or flying airplanes into tall buildings screaming 'jesus is great!', 'turn the other cheek!' or 'forgive your enemies!'. Until then, an enquiry into the reasons why Islam is used by those who murder the innocent for moral justification is a legitimate exercise, and it would be nice to see more Muslims concerned about doing it. On TV last night there was a program about the recent London murders; one Imam was clearly genuinely very upset indeed - he said 'I would take my own life to bring them back [from the dead]'. He repeated this several times in tears. It was very moving. THAT is what we need more of - more demonstrations of our common humanity, and less fear and retribution.
"Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him)."
I don't think anyone would disagree that we should 'all just get along'. The question is: does religion help? In my view it does not.