I would also recommend "Why I Am Not a Muslim" by Ibn Warraq (currently in print and available through bookstores in the U.S.). Among other things, he reveals that there are no fewer than 14 different "readings" of the Koran, that all of the existing "schools" of thought originated in Persia, that all moderates and philosophers have been murdered for years, and (best of all) that the "uncreated word of G-d" as expressed in the Koran isn't even grammatically correct in many places, let alone a stellar example of Arabic literature.
What is troubling is not just that there are inconsistencies (i.e., in one Surah it says that drinking to excess is sinful...while another forbids drinking alcoholic beverages), but that there are really two voices: those portions which were written while Mohammed was still in Mecca are more moderate and conciliatory regarding Jews and Christians than those which were written in Medina, after he had gained military strength and broken his treaty with the Jewish tribes who resided in Mecca.
The extremists have all latched onto the most strident and war-like portions of this book, which justifies murder, deceit, slavery, etc.
posted on 08/31/2002 5:43:35 AM PDT
...the Koran isn't even grammatically correct in many places, let alone a stellar
example of Arabic literature.
Now there's a press shocker.
Especially after that recent report (even done by Arab scholars) revealed the very
small number of books published in the Arab world each year (compared to the tsunami of
books in the Western world).
Of course, there's plenty of dreck published in the West, but that's a whole other story.
posted on 08/31/2002 6:19:13 AM PDT
The extremists have all latched onto the most strident and war-like portions of this book,
which justifies murder, deceit, slavery, etc.
I'll give them a break on this angle.
It's not the first or last time some yahoos have selectively latched onto
portions of a good book/philosophy/religion in order to "go for the gusto" and grab
anything they lust after.
posted on 08/31/2002 6:23:17 AM PDT
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