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← Lesley Hazleton on Islam and "New" Atheists

Barry Pearson's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Barry Pearson

Gosh! What highly selective reading of the Koran!

Unlike ZR1, I have read an English translation of the Koran in full. I have also read specific passages many times in other translations. (I have 5 different translations on my PC and 2 on my Kindle). For contentious passages, I have sometimes used other translations (modern Arabic, Indonesian, Spanish, German, French, etc) and then either used my basic French or used Google translator to end up with English.

Some of the Koran could be considered to be hate-literature, especially towards Jews and "pagans". But its attitude towards women is perhaps the best known unenlightened topic in the Koran.

The passage validating (perhaps even advocating) beating your wife (Sura 4:34) still reads the same whatever route is used to get it to something I can understand. Beat (or smite in Spanish). (Later analysis by scholars points out that this should use a light stick, not a heavy one, and the action shouldn't break bones. And scholars point out how good it is that the wife gets 2 chances to become respectful towards her husband before she is beaten - beating is stage 3). Other parts of Sura 4 relegate women to be 2nd class people, with half the inheritance of brothers, etc.

Unlike the Bible, (Christianity is a religion about Jesus, not a religion taught by Jesus), the Koran was intended to be the final eternal word of Allah via the last prophet. It is supposed to be taken seriously, and indeed if you don't take it seriously you are not strictly a Muslim. It should be criticised accordingly. (Some of the mysterious nature of the Koran is caused by the fact that it is clearly incomplete, presumably because parts were lost before it was collected together years after Muhammad died).

Tue, 28 Jun 2011 16:55:30 UTC | #843937