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"Formal religions are in general an assault on the personal
autonomy and sovereignty of a man!"—Michael Armstrong

The Essence of the Quran (Koran)
04/17/2019

The prevailing state of Islam and the Koran

http://www.dailywire.com/news/17453/richard-dawkins-islam-most-evil-religion-world-michael-qazvini

Ed Smith on blog about Richard Dawkins remarks about Islam 2017-06-14

All religions come with an an instruction manual which explains how a believer should practice the religion. Some instruction manuals are benign to begin with and some have gone through a long reformation process which has turned them from malignant to benign. The trouble with all this talk about Islam is that the vast majority of Westerners are utterly ignorant of its essence and know absolutely nothing about it, so they allow themselves to theorize, like housewives discussing nuclear physics.

To understand the essence of Islam one just needs to read the Koran. There are numerous summaries of it, written by academic scholars, which give you the gist of the text without having to actually read it all yourself. The Koran has not undergone any reformation process and looks today exactly as it did when it was written. It basically dictates that the entire world must be coerced into converting to Islam, by force of the sword if it doesn't happen willingly, and that Infidels reluctant to convert must be killed, "struck at the neck", beheaded ISIS style. It also recommends that random Infidels must be killed at random in order to strike fear into the hearts of the others, so they convert willingly. If you want to understand random Islamic attacks, bombings, stabbings, shootings, etc, there is your explanation.

The reader of the Koran will be hard pressed to find any instructions on how to be kind, considerate or to respect any form of what we recognize as a basic human right. It's all about how to severely punish anyone who strays, in full graphic details. Stoning to death, the chopping off of limbs, beheading by sword... these are all Islamic practices that are carried out today in certain places in the world. If you want to see Islam in practice, even the "moderate" kind, just spend some time in a Muslim enclave in your country. You will witness women being treated worse than farm animals, little girls forced into marriage, honor killings... This is Islam. There is nothing whatsoever humane about it.

Obviously, the vast majority of the adherents don't behave this way, and just like in other religions treat the sentiments in the Koran as a religio-cultural metaphor, and just like in other religions they set their ethical and moral stance to be reasonably humane. Some even find a mission and prominence in promoting these otherwise troublesome strictures of jihad and punishment as not to be taken as literal but rather metaphorical and applying to the dark aspects of the inner man, and not literally to other people or outside agencies. These  are the prominent spokesmen for peace that get on TV interviews, bemoan the violence, and argue ardently that the "true" message of Islam is misunderstood and misapplied, and that Islam is an elegant and beautiful religion. Yet, here is what Schopenhauer said about it,

"Consider the Koran... this wretched book was sufficient to start a world-religion, to satisfy the metaphysical need of countless millions for twelve hundred years, to become the basis of their morality and of a remarkable contempt for death, and also to inspire them to bloody wars and the most extensive conquests. In this book we find the saddest and poorest form of theism. Much may be lost in translation, but I have not been able to discover in it one single idea of value." - Schopenhauer

The threefold problem

Firstly, the religion of Islam is a more simple and virulent religion than the other major ones, especially Christianity. While it carries the Old Testament—comparable to the Koran in terms of what is at issue here—along like baggage or sometimes as a foil, Christianity IS based on the New Testament and the idea that the "Covenant", tenor, approach and/or whatever, of the Old Testament has been superseded and replaced. Islam and the Koran has no "New" Testament, no humanizing upgrade.

Secondly, Islam has never gone through a major reformation like Christianity has of shifting the foundation away from an unbroken line of Papal authority over to the Bible and the principle of sola fide. This shift enabled a huge infusion of humanism into Christendom, which was selectively fostered by the civil or secular authorities, and which continues to blossom in Western culture while the influence of Christendom wanes.

Thirdly, although there is a tiny minority of enlightened Islamic humanists that—like some Christians—take it as a metaphor and rail against the literalness when it comes to human affairs, many if not most adherents of Islam that take the foundational documents seriously—most don't—as God's word, keep a foot in both of the camps above, the literal and the metaphorical. However, when a nudge comes to a shove, even in opinion surveys, the results are appalling if not horrific. Most, even as they enjoy living in a Western culture under democratic law, live in an Islamic enclave, continue to get programmed in the Mosques, and default to favoring or defending Sharia Law, honor or infidel killings, and violent jihad.

A fourth factor may be that Jesus, with his humility and kindness, his teachings of mercy and forgiveness, is lurking in the influence background of Christianity. Although the founder of Islam was a supporter of Jesus as an eminent prophet, in practice Islam pays little attention and has no Jesus as GOD.

Here are some selected quotes and elucidating commentray concerning advocated violence:

  1. Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”

    Commentary: (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The verse prior to this (190) refers to “fighting for the cause of Allah those who fight you” leading some to believe that the entire passage refers to a defensive war in which Muslims are defending their homes and families. The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, however, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). Verse 190 thus means to fight those who offer resistance to Allah’s rule (i.e. Muslim conquest). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is disingenuous (the actual Arabic words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The word used instead, “fitna”, can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. This is certainly what is meant in this context since the violence is explicitly commissioned “until religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

    Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”

    Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”

    Commentary: Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

    Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

    Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”. This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be ‘joining companions to Allah’).

    Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”

    Commentary: The martyrs of Islam are unlike the early Christians, who were led meekly to the slaughter. These Muslims are killed in battle as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the cause of Allah. This is the theological basis for today’s suicide bombers.

    Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

    Quran (4:95) – “Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward ”

    Commentary: This passage criticizes “peaceful” Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah’s eyes. It also demolishes the modern myth that “Jihad” doesn’t mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle. Not only is this Arabic word (mujahiduna) used in this passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption. (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man’s protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad, which would not make sense if it meant an internal struggle). According to the verse, Allah will allow the disabled into Paradise, but will provide a larger reward to those who are able to kill others in his cause.

    Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

    Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

    Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

    Quran (8:15) – “O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.”

    Quran (8:39) – “And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah”

    Commentary: Some translations interpret “fitna” as “persecution”, but the traditional understanding of this word is not supported by the historical context (See notes for 2:193). The Meccans were simply refusing Muhammad access to their city during Haj. Other Muslims were allowed to travel there – just not as an armed group, since Muhammad had declared war on Mecca prior to his eviction. The Meccans were also acting in defense of their religion, since it was Muhammad’s intention to destroy their idols and establish Islam by force (which he later did). Hence the critical part of this verse is to fight until “religion is only for Allah”, meaning that the true justification of violence was the unbelief of the opposition. According to the Sira (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 324) Muhammad further explains that “Allah must have no rivals.”

    Quran (8:57) – “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.”

    Quran (8:67) – “It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land…”

    Quran (8:59-60) – “And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

    Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”

    Commentary: According to this verse, the best way of staying safe from Muslim violence is to convert to Islam (prayer (salat) and the poor tax (zakat) are among the religion’s Five Pillars). This popular claim that the Quran only inspires violence within the context of self-defense is seriously challenged by this passage as well, since the Muslims to whom it was written were obviously not under attack. Had they been, then there would have been no waiting period (earlier verses make it a duty for Muslims to fight in self-defense, even during the sacred months). The historical context is Mecca after the idolaters were subjugated by Muhammad and posed no threat. Once the Muslims had power, they violently evicted those unbelievers who would not convert.

    Quran (9:14) – “Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people.”

    Commentary: Humiliating and hurting non-believers not only has the blessing of Allah, but it is ordered as a means of carrying out his punishment and even “healing” the hearts of Muslims.

    Quran (9:20) – “Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah’s way are of much greater worth in Allah’s sight. These are they who are triumphant.”

    Commentary: The Arabic word interpreted as “striving” in this verse is the same root as “Jihad”. The context is obviously holy war.

 

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