Author Topic: Ignorance and the Quran  (Read 2326 times)

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Offline wainscottbl

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Ignorance and the Quran
« on: September 29, 2014, 03:58:50 AM »
So I have read some of the Quran. So when someone posted a meme with stuff about what the Quran supposedly teaches I took the time to look up some of it and show how completely wrong the meme was. One said that the Quran in that specific verse gave permission for men to rape their wives when the whole chapter dealt with the last judgment! And then to beat their wives when the verse only allowed striking a wife--not that it's right to do that, but that was a misrepresentation. What I am saying is not tyring to defend the book but say that there are far too many Christians completely ignorant of the book and saying all sorts of stuff that's not true. One priest I have been talking to told me it was good that every Christian reads it--I was reading it when he came to visit me for school. I learned a lot and it has made my talks with Muslims much more beneficial and peaceful. I think I likely edified them by not simply speaking ignorantly. I just really get annoyed with this sort of ignorance. I even have the Quran app on my phone. Why? It helps to have knowledge of it. It is a quick reference too for me when these matters come up
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Offline quietmorning

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 08:03:39 AM »
I read the Quran when I was in England - I didn't find a lot of what was mentioned above, either.  But with that being said, also keep in mind that we read in English what was written in Arabic - and a lot is lost in translation.  (NOT saying that these things are there in the Arabic form.)  

Also keep in mind that the Islamic Middle Eastern Culture is very very old - and things are often passed by word of mouth, not so much by the written word.  When I was reading the Quran, most of the stories in it were FIRST told to me, then I read them and then there were subtle and sometimes extreme differences.  The interpretation of the text is also often (just like it is here in the USofA) taken in and given value by the individual - or the mosque in which they reside, and then held in common.  The text is not the end game of the Quran.  . . just like in the Southern USofA - the bible is not the end game, there's a whole lot of definitional opinion mixed in.  (Which is laughable since the Bible is to be taken literally as the complete work of God . . . THE Word.)

I am of the same stance as the priest you spoke to.  If you know the truth of what is, it will be pretty hard to sway you when something wonky comes up.  

I hear 'generational' hear-say concerning religion, church history and ethnicity in the South all the time. . .and it makes me very sad.  None of it is true. . . I just respond with 'this is common knowledge that you can read in any encyclopedia, why don't you take the time and research it and find out for yourself?'  Usually falls on deaf ears as there seems to be a conspiracy theory written into their hear-say.  

So, not a new thing - but one to be guarded about.  Ignorance is just sad sad.  

 
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 08:05:41 AM by quietmorning »
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Offline quietmorning

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2014, 08:08:45 AM »
May I make a suggestion?  Read the whole.  But weigh it against itself.  A house divided will not stand.  

You'll laugh when Abraham uses a fish to sacrifice instead of a ram. . .but heh. . . I guess there was a loss of translation even with the 'angel' that gave Mohammad the text.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 08:09:03 AM by quietmorning »
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2014, 08:22:26 AM »
I too have read the Qur'an, though not in its entirety and not in the original. (So, in that, I am just like the majority of the world's Muslims. And I don't think "a house divided against itself will not stand" even remotely applies here; the Qur'an will not stand even if you read it uninterrupted 500 times over...better to refer to Psalm 127:1 in the NKJV numbering, if we're going to be randomly throwing Psalm references at an unholy piece of literature in the name of eliminating ignorance concerning its contents. "Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers have labored in vain...")

I found it to be a jumbled mess, honestly. My friends who speak Arabic as a first language, both Christian and Muslim, have/do read it in the original and have said nothing about it to dissuade me from my original impression of it. It is an imitation of previous scriptures mixed in with large amounts of apocryphal legend and traditional Arab folklore, and quite poorly done. It is little wonder then that its partisans can only cite its own challenge to the reader that they produce something similar (the implication being that such a thing is impossible, hence the Qur'an is really, really miraculous...though upon reading that myself, I had to ask "Why would I shoot so low?").

Ho hum...another false religion from Satan, mixing truth and falsehood and thereby deceiving millions. Though I agree that we should try our best to be accurate about what we find in it and not succumb to some of the more fanciful takes on it from Evangelical types and others (it is much preferred to go to the source, insofar as that is possible), there is no larger testament to ignorance and hubris than the Qur'an itself and the religion built upon it. We ought not lose sight of that in our quest to be objective and fair, either.

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2014, 08:45:39 AM »
Don't forget that Islam is not a text-only religion. Sunni and Shia Islam both have a lot of "hadiths", or alleged sayings of the Prophet Mohammed (Of course, the two disagree on what he actually said). Most of sharia law, and the things jihadists do and say, is based on them.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2014, 09:00:48 AM »
While it's true that the Qur'an isn't the "only necessary source" like the Bible is in much of Christianity, it is the most important since it's considered to be the immutable, unchanged literal word of Allah

Don't forget that Islam is not a text-only religion. Sunni and Shia Islam both have a lot of "hadiths", or alleged sayings of the Prophet Mohammed (Of course, the two disagree on what he actually said). Most of sharia law, and the things jihadists do and say, is based on them.

Sunni Hadiths disagree among themselves. Bukhari and Muslim for example, say that the Antichrist (al-Dijaal) has one blinded eye and one working eye. In one narration it is the left that is blind and the other that works, in a different narration it is the right that is blind and the other that works. They don't even need to consider Shia Hadiths to have a quagmire on their hands.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 09:01:04 AM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2014, 12:02:16 PM »
I too have read the Qur'an, though not in its entirety and not in the original. (So, in that, I am just like the majority of the world's Muslims. And I don't think "a house divided against itself will not stand" even remotely applies here; the Qur'an will not stand even if you read it uninterrupted 500 times over...better to refer to Psalm 127:1 in the NKJV numbering, if we're going to be randomly throwing Psalm references at an unholy piece of literature in the name of eliminating ignorance concerning its contents. "Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers have labored in vain...")

I found it to be a jumbled mess, honestly. My friends who speak Arabic as a first language, both Christian and Muslim, have/do read it in the original and have said nothing about it to dissuade me from my original impression of it. It is an imitation of previous scriptures mixed in with large amounts of apocryphal legend and traditional Arab folklore, and quite poorly done. It is little wonder then that its partisans can only cite its own challenge to the reader that they produce something similar (the implication being that such a thing is impossible, hence the Qur'an is really, really miraculous...though upon reading that myself, I had to ask "Why would I shoot so low?").

Ho hum...another false religion from Satan, mixing truth and falsehood and thereby deceiving millions. Though I agree that we should try our best to be accurate about what we find in it and not succumb to some of the more fanciful takes on it from Evangelical types and others (it is much preferred to go to the source, insofar as that is possible), there is no larger testament to ignorance and hubris than the Qur'an itself and the religion built upon it. We ought not lose sight of that in our quest to be objective and fair, either.
I'm with you.

I've read the English translation of the Quran 1 1/2 times. I really couldn't find anything I found brilliant in it and it mostly was just a confusing mix of statements.  I suppose people could say the same thing about some of the Old Testament writings, but I was underwhelmed with it to say the least.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 12:02:25 PM by TheTrisagion »
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Offline wainscottbl

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2014, 01:11:46 PM »
I too have read the Qur'an, though not in its entirety and not in the original. (So, in that, I am just like the majority of the world's Muslims. And I don't think "a house divided against itself will not stand" even remotely applies here; the Qur'an will not stand even if you read it uninterrupted 500 times over...better to refer to Psalm 127:1 in the NKJV numbering, if we're going to be randomly throwing Psalm references at an unholy piece of literature in the name of eliminating ignorance concerning its contents. "Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers have labored in vain...")

I found it to be a jumbled mess, honestly. My friends who speak Arabic as a first language, both Christian and Muslim, have/do read it in the original and have said nothing about it to dissuade me from my original impression of it. It is an imitation of previous scriptures mixed in with large amounts of apocryphal legend and traditional Arab folklore, and quite poorly done. It is little wonder then that its partisans can only cite its own challenge to the reader that they produce something similar (the implication being that such a thing is impossible, hence the Qur'an is really, really miraculous...though upon reading that myself, I had to ask "Why would I shoot so low?").

Ho hum...another false religion from Satan, mixing truth and falsehood and thereby deceiving millions. Though I agree that we should try our best to be accurate about what we find in it and not succumb to some of the more fanciful takes on it from Evangelical types and others (it is much preferred to go to the source, insofar as that is possible), there is no larger testament to ignorance and hubris than the Qur'an itself and the religion built upon it. We ought not lose sight of that in our quest to be objective and fair, either.

Yes, I found it very manic and problematic, but I also saw a good deal of "good" things. Like being just to your wife, there having to be four witnesses to convict a woman of adultery, etc. But it was a jumbled mess, yes. Manic. Sometimes calm and sort of like folk wisdom--like Arabic literature. Then manic religious thoughts. I just don't like the inaccurate Evangelical idea of the book or Islam in general. It's a very complicated religion.

But it was a religion spread by the sword. Liberals can lie all they want and attack Christianity as violent. Christianity was spread quickly by peace throughout the world, at least the Roman Empire, but even to the far ends of the known world, though in places like Russia, England, Scandanavia, etc it took eight to ten centuries. But is spread quickly by peace throughout the world. And it was Christians that got the sword rather than used it. And the Crusades were not as bad as liberals say, or rather the Muslims were not innocent. The First Crusade was certainly justified. I tend to see problems after that since I have looked to Orthodoxy, but they certainly were not done without good reasons always. The crusade that was called in the 15th century because of the advance of the Turks on Eastern Europe was answered only by Vlad the Impaler. He turned them back from the borders of Romania and Europe by some violent means, but he is a hero of Romania. And the Muslims were horrible and a true threat. They had to be fought. Whether the impalings were so great is a different matter, but the Turks were not just some peaceful people. And the violence does have inspiration in the Quran.
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Offline WPM

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2014, 02:02:51 PM »
"Mohammedan Muslims carry a sword and are loyal to the Prophet Mohammed - But why the outrage over a caricature of him?.."

Offline wainscottbl

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2014, 02:24:12 PM »
"Mohammedan Muslims carry a sword and are loyal to the Prophet Mohammed - But why the outrage over a caricature of him?.."

Because it does not help Christians. It makes them sound ignorant. They can make intelligent arguments against Islam, even citing the Quran but they should accurately cite the verse.
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Offline Aquensis

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2014, 02:52:06 PM »
Well, rather than being ignorant people probably did actually read the Quran and read such things in them. We're used to the idea of translation involving sticking to what the original says and being as literal and faithful to it as possible but some other cultures have a pretty crazy idea of what translation is supposed to entail. Plus, often the people doing translations are not really qualified either by their community's standard or ours. Especially if it is a religious work, I've seen a lot that totally miss what the original said, the 'translators' try to explain things the way they were taught by their religious teachers, add in what they think they know, etc. I'm not sure how big the problem is with Islam but I know this phenomenon is rife if you're dealing with Hindu works. The original will be something about a heron following a cow to catch insects and the translator will turn it into 30 pages about why scientists are idiots.

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2014, 03:14:36 PM »
I just don't like the inaccurate Evangelical idea of the book or Islam in general. It's a very complicated religion.

I don't understand how this jibes with everything you write below it in the same post about how violent the history of Islam is and how that violence can be justified/inspired by the Qur'an. Are these Evangelical interpretations saying anything else or worse than that? I'm not trying to excuse them from being inaccurate to the extent that they are, but I see it as a kind of mechanical inaccuracy that could easily be fixed by making sure that they have the right verses and translations in mind, and have studied the standard tafsir/exegesis of a given passage to answer the Muslim's objection that they are playing fast and loose with the text, not inaccurate in the sense that the Qur'an is actually very peaceful and Muhammad was a messenger of peace and all this other stuff you could only actually buy if you'd never read it yourself, or only read heavily redacted modern translations made specifically to soften its meaning for Western non-Arabphone converts.

And further I disagree that Islam is so complex. I would think it could be looked at in a similar fashion to many other religions, in that you can make it complex if you want to (just like you can read the Rudder if really you want to, though many would advise against it), but the actual everyday practice and application of the religion strikes me as extremely simple and very externalized. How could it not be when in every Islam-dominated capital, the adhan blares at the appropriate time, and in many places shops and workplaces close, and all set aside everything to pray to their god? Entire societies are shaped by Islam in such a way that their 'struggle', their 'jihad' if you will, amounts to doing what literally everyone else around them is doing as a matter of course throughout the day. And very often cheating at it similarly, too, as friends of mine from Lebanon and Iraq have said that many Muslims will gain weight during their Ramadan 'fasting' due to the pattern of their communities which 'fast' lethargically during the day only to feast at night.

I tend to think that (Western) people who marvel at the supposed complexity of Islam are those who most likely approach it from generic Christian backgrounds which have thrown out a lot of similar things in their own traditions, or never had them in the first place. We have our own "tafsirs", for instance, in the writings of the Early Church Fathers, but if your church (for example; not saying "you" as in you, wainscottbl) has mostly used those to bolster its own distinctive claims, or has never fasted even to the pathetic degree that Islam does, or does not encourage its laypeople to pray the hours daily as a matter of course in the exercise of living the Christian life, etc., then yeah, Islam must seem really "deep" and "complex" and all those other adjectives that confused Westerners often mistake for beauty and/or divine origin. But really it is nothing more than an imitation of what came before it in this respect, too. There is nothing that Muhammad brought which was new that was any good or in any way an improvement upon what came before it (since, of course, Christianity cannot be improved upon; it is perfect, whole and complete, as taught by our Savior Himself to His most holy, blessed, and honored apostles and disciples down to this very day in the Orthodox Church of God. Islam need not apply).
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 03:14:58 PM by dzheremi »

Offline wainscottbl

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2014, 03:28:48 PM »
Dzheremi, I rather agree with you and think you may have misunderstood me. Yes, Islam really stole stuff, or borrow to me generous, stuff from Arabic culture, Judaism and Christianity. It's complex in one sense, but I think in the sense that some of it is either vague or so manic that it's hard to make sense of. On the other hand it is a rather simplistic religion. It is not as complex and full of "mysteries" (read gnosticism) as Mormonism for example. And yes, some of the zeal it shares is of a traditional Christian spirit which modern Christians reject because of softened, feel-good Christianity. Islam is a perversion of Judeo-Christianity. Ultimately I read it as some Arabic guys manic dictations, brought on by either demons or epileptic hallucinations, which were in his mind from his cultural experience with the then rather new Christianity and the old Judaism of the Middle East. He was a merchant I believe so he dealt with a variety of peoples.
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2014, 04:11:14 PM »
Ah, I see. It appears I may have indeed misunderstood you. My apologies.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2014, 04:32:00 PM »
I'm with you.

I've read the English translation of the Quran 1 1/2 times. I really couldn't find anything I found brilliant in it and it mostly was just a confusing mix of statements.  I suppose people could say the same thing about some of the Old Testament writings, but I was underwhelmed with it to say the least.

That's because the Quran is hyped as this impeccably poetic book that Shakespeare wouldn't even dream of concocting.  No reasonable person claimed the OT is a magic book.
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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2014, 04:43:10 PM »
Mom is the word but if you have the app on phone pls don't take phone into rest room out of respect

Offline Aquensis

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2014, 04:44:01 PM »
From what I've heard, knowing any kind of modern Arabic dialect is not enough to be able to read the Quran, it would be like us trying to read Beowulf in the original. Anyone that could read the original has to have academically studied the language... which leads me to this question: How, then, can they say it is awesomely poetic? I have learned several languages but I can not, and I know I never will, be able to tell that something written in them is particularly beautiful. I think that is something that can only come from learning a language intimately in daily use. You also have to use it in multiple contexts, there has to be an example of it that isn't as beautiful. When there are no other works in the same Arabic as Quran there is no reference against which you can say it is even better, much less superlative.

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2014, 04:50:14 PM »
That's what my Muslim friends tell me.  They compared the Quran to Shakespeare, saying that the latter made grammatical mistakes in his poetry, and the Quran, transcending his poetry, has no hamza or dot of a mistake.  Now do they understand anything they read? Nope.  They simply trust what the hype they were taught.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2014, 04:51:19 PM »
That's because the Quran is hyped as this impeccably poetic book that Shakespeare wouldn't even dream of concocting.  No reasonable person claimed the OT is a magic book.

A very good point. Among the neophyte Muslims I have known, however, that supposedly "poetic" appeal (even if it's in a language they don't know; I suppose it's possible to enjoy things purely aesthetically/aurally, in that case) is very strong. I don't get it, because again, I have more than enough exposure to the preexisting Christian chant that Islam took from than to mistakenly credit Islam with "beauty" in its thievery for nefarious/anti-God purposes. I remember once when I was talking to a woman who had converted to Islam from some kind of nominal Christianity, and trying my best to emphasize our similarities so as to get her to stop tarring all of Christianity with her own excessively narrow brush, and I mentioned how we both believe that God created the world. She interrupted me to faux-correct me, according to Islamic superiority and arrogance. "...the worlds; my God created the worlds." I didn't understand the point of saying such a stupid thing in this context, so I asked her to explain why that mattered. She quoted the verse in Arabic at me (she was a white American), in comically elongated fashion: "blahblahblah al-'alamiiiiiiin". Well then! That settles it! Where's the nearest mosque...I must 'revert', post haste! ::)

Similar questions have been answered over the years in a like fashion, such as the particularly Islamic (and annoying) tendency to drop Arabic words and phrases into non-Arabic conversations, so as to show off their Islamic bona fides (all the while insisting that Islam is for all mankind, and does not enshrine Arab supremacy...yeah, right...and I'm going on Hajj next year): "Why do you insist on using 'Allah' in a conversation that is otherwise entirely in English?" "Qul! Huwa Alllllllah [they love the 'dark L', you see...]! Lam yalid w lam yulad--" "Yeah, you know what? Forget I asked."

(Yes, both of these are conversations I have actually had with real people in the world. Yikes. Say what you will about some newly-Orthodox peoples' tendency to do the same with Slavonic or Greek or what have you, but I have yet to meet any of those who think that simply reciting a passage from memory in their...er...God's most favored language is in itself a satisfactory answer to questions. Not saying they're not out there, but they certainly are among new residents of the worldwide Islamo-bubble.)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 04:54:35 PM by dzheremi »

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2014, 05:12:23 PM »
I shared a story about HG Bishop David's late night discussion with Muslim undergrads:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,54544.msg1014812.html#msg1014812

What seemed to impress them the most is HG's citing in Arabic both the Quran and the Bible and translating them on the dot.  So there is something to be said about the use of Arabic with Muslims apparently.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2014, 05:30:32 PM »
Wow. Thanks for linking to that story. We could have used such a bishop when I was living in Oregon and attending university there (granted, I was not yet Orthodox then, but still). The local Muslims, mainly Saudis, would often take the presence of some weirdo street preacher-type Protestant guy on campus who relished getting into arguments with passing students while holding one of those big "What would Jesus do?" signs (y'know...where He would kill gays, condemn women to hell for having had abortions, etc.) as an excuse to say the filthiest, most vile things about Christianity I have ever heard. One time they even videotaped his sputtering, hateful ranting and themselves laughing at him and taunting him with the usual Islamic rejoinders ("look at what kind of idiot believes in a dead, three-part god!", etc). How much better a college experience you seemed to have had, thanks be to God! It is a shame that not all on either side have the maturity to sit down and reason together, as HG Bishop David and those Muslims apparently did. Again, thank you.

And yes, I have even read online explanations from serious Islamic scholars claiming that Arabic is a sort of "fast track" to God, and that if you must give a Qur'an to a kafir for the purposes of trying to convert him, you shouldn't give him one with Arabic text in it, because that makes it a real Qur'an, not just a translation/interpretation, and it is not for the non-believer to even touch an actual Arabic Qur'an. Islam puts Protestant bibliolatry to shame in its disturbing excesses.

Offline Avdima

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2014, 05:45:43 PM »
--- subbed ---

Offline wainscottbl

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Re: Ignorance and the Quran
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2014, 06:21:33 PM »



That's because the Quran is hyped as this impeccably poetic book that Shakespeare wouldn't even dream of concocting.  No reasonable person claimed the OT is a magic book.

The only book the Quran is better than in that regards is the Book of Mormon

http://www.mrm.org/topics/documents-speeches/mark-twains-review-book-mormon
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