The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran
I had owned a copy of the Koran for several years prior to 9/11. I had even read bits and pieces of it from time to time, a sura here and a sura there (the chapters of the Koran are called "suras"). In the main, I found the book to be utterly dull and tedious. Hence my failure to finish reading it.
After 9/11, however, I resolved to read through Koran carefully in order to try to understand some of the motivation behind the attacks on our country. At the same time I read a number of other books about the history of Islam. It became increasingly clear to me that the terrorists who attacked us (and those who wish to do so now) represent true Koranic Islam. In the same way there are two types of Christians: (1) those who take the Bible seriously and seek to be faithful to its teaching, and (2) those who cherry pick from the Bible what they want to believe and practice, so it is with Muslims and the Koran.
It seems to me that Osama bin Laden and those like him are seeking to take the Koran like Muhammad intended, while those Muslims who denounce terrorist acts performed in the name of Allah are cherry picking the Koran.
Don't get me wrong. With about a billion Muslims around the world, I'm glad there are a lot of Muslims who cherry pick the Koran. The world would be a much darker place if all Muslims were faithful to the teachings of the Koran.
That said, I want to introduce and review a new book by Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch. A year or so ago I read his Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, and found it to be very helpful and informative. I've just purchased his The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran, and it looks to be quite helpful, as well.
His first chapter is Why Every American Needs to Know What's in the Koran. Here are a few highlights.
A huge number of policy decisions are predicated upon the assumption that the Koran teaches peace, and that those who brandish Korans and commit violence are misunderstanding their own religion and perverting the teachings of their own holy book...
Most government and media analysts dare not even question the assumption that the Koran is peaceful, for they believe that any insinuation to the contrary is racist, bogoted, and effectively brands all Muslims as terrorists... Many policymakers simply assume the Koran teaches peace without bothering to study the text, an act which might raise some uncomfortable questions (p. 9)
More to come...