Wicked Men Can Read Wicked Opinions into the Wisest Books


#1

THE London bombings have added to the anxiety in London and pressure on the Muslim community. Many people ask: ‘How can a religion of peace have become such a cause of fear?’

When one reads the Qur’an, one is struck by the simplicity and directness of the central themes. There is one God, Allah, Mohammed, peace be upon him, is his Prophet and all people have a duty to obey God’s laws, which require prayer, works of charity, justice and mercy.

These doctrines are closely related to those of Judaism and Christianity. A good Muslim who is loyal to the Qur’an has a great deal in common with a good Jew, who studies the Torah, or a good Christian, who studies the Bible. Again and again the Qur’an emphasizes that Allah is a merciful God, all seeing and all wise. This is not a doctrine of bombs, but of mercy and compassion.

How, then, are we getting so dangerously close to religious conflict, not between Islam and Christianity, such as occurred in the Middle Ages, but between Islam and the modern culture of Europe and North America? What is it in the two cultures that has brought them into such conflict? No doubt the conflict arises out of material interests as well as cultural.

The root of the conflict is, however, a clash of civilizations, which all of us need to understand. Islam is a religion of the book; one cannot begin to understand Islam without reading the Qur’an. It might not be a bad thing if more Muslims read the Bible to discover how much of the holy books of Judaism and Christianity are, in fact, compatible with the teaching of the highest beliefs of Islam. They will remember that Mohammed, peace be upon him, himself once had a vision of Jesus, whom he respected as a Prophet.

The modern civilization of the West is so pluralist that it cannot be represented by any single book. A Muslim who wanted to understand the core beliefs of the West would need a large library, stretching from the American Declaration Of Independence to Marx’s Das Kapital and Lenin’s Imperialism. He would need to read Newton, Darwin and Einstein; not to mention Tolstoy, Dickens and Hemingway. He would need to listen to music from Beethoven to The Beatles. It is even harder for Muslims to understand Western culture — except by living it — than for Westerners to understand theirs.

The senior figures of the British Muslim community, who quite rightly have meetings with the Prime Minister, reassure him that Islam is a religion of peace — that is, after all, what the word means — and that no one who supports terror can be a good Muslim.

CONTINUED:


#2

They are correct, if one reads the Qur’an as a good person would read it. The trouble is that the interpretation of all books is decided by the individual reader. The more complex the book, the more true that is.

It is true of the Qur’an, but it is also true of Shakespeare; all sorts of people read their own characters, and perhaps their own circumstances, into the story of Hamlet. We interpret the greatest books in the light of our own temperament. Wicked men can read wicked opinions into the wisest books.

It is not difficult to find verses in the Qur’an, or the Bible, that are open to misinterpretation by a bad man in a bad way. To take just one example, there is a passage in chapter two of the Qur’an that deals with jihad:

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors. Slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter.”

The mature understanding of these verses might concentrate on the line ‘but do not transgress limits’: long before the present troubles, one commentator observed that this means: “War is only permissible in self-defense, and under well defined limits. Strict limits must not be transgressed; women, children, old and infirm men should not be molested.”

In this passage, and in others, the Qur’an condemns terrorism. On the other hand, ‘slay them wherever ye catch them’ sounds very like an exhortation to ruthlessness. Such contrasts leave open the choice between a moderate and a radical interpretation; they are to be found in many chapters of the Qur’an, which has undergone less historic criticism than either the Jewish Torah or the Christian New Testament.

We need to remember — and Muslims need to remember too — that 7th century Arabia was a rough and violent place in which the Prophet himself suffered harsh treatment. If one adopts the most radical interpretation of the Qur’an, one distorts the character of the book. Yet that is what some radical Muslims seem to be doing. The tactics of terrorism need to be distinguished from the strategy. The tactics are simple enough: persuade the foot soldiers of terror to kill or maim innocent people — men, women and children. The purpose of the strategy is to create conflict and suspicion between different communities.

If, after the London bombings, British Muslims are feared by the larger British community, that is an important victory for Al Qaeda. The fact that London was bombed obviously weakens those Muslim leaders who support moderation and oppose terrorism. Anything that weakens them strengthens Al Qaeda. It will also divide and weaken Britain, which Al Qaeda regards as a major enemy.

Each act of terrorism therefore damages both communities, which are opposed to Al Qaeda and its sympathizers and agents. So far, British Muslims and the larger British community have seen this trap for what it is.
http://iqna.ir/NewsBodyDesc_en.asp?lang=en&ProdID=24727


#3

The only people who can turn this tide peacefully in Europe are the Muslems themselves. It is time to clean house.

By the way, this was written by a Shiite, right? They should realize that al Qaeda considers them enemies as well.


#4

[quote=gilliam]The only people who can turn this tide peacefully in Europe are the Muslems themselves. It is time to clean house. (YES)

By the way, this was written by a Shiite, right? They should realize that al Qaeda considers them enemies as well.
[/quote]

I honestly do not know the faith of the person that wrote this. I just thought it was a well written article on how things can be twisted in interpertation to suite an evil purpose.


#5

[quote=Karin] I honestly do not know the faith of the person that wrote this. I just thought it was a well written article on how things can be twisted in interpertation to suite an evil purpose.
[/quote]

I agree with him.


#6

Hi Karin,

[quote=Karin]They are correct, if one reads the Qur’an as a good person would read it. The trouble is that the interpretation of all books is decided by the individual reader. The more complex the book, the more true that is.
[/quote]

Just to digress from what you’re trying to bring up. You bring this observation to a right place here. Catholics understand very well the problems that can be brought about by unscrupulous personal interpretation of the Scriputre. :slight_smile:

[quote=Karin]It is not difficult to find verses in the Qur’an, or the Bible, that are open to misinterpretation by a bad man in a bad way. To take just one example, there is a passage in chapter two of the Qur’an that deals with jihad:

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors. Slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter.”

The mature understanding of these verses might concentrate on the line ‘but do not transgress limits’: long before the present troubles, one commentator observed that this means: “War is only permissible in self-defense, and under well defined limits. Strict limits must not be transgressed; women, children, old and infirm men should not be molested.”
[/quote]

The verse above, no matter how one tries to sugar coat it, does condone fighting and slaying. Nowhere it qualifies, at least here, that the slaying is only permissible in self defence. Don’t get me wrong. I do understand the good value of the Quran and the people who try to live it. But this teaching to fight nevertheless make it’s permissible for those who want to. And who determines the reasons to fight? Therefore any Muslims who think he/she has the justification to fight would surely take this verse as approval for such action.

You may want to know, since you use the Bible as one of the holy scriptures as examples - that there is no approving of fighting verse in the New Testament (or the teaching of Jesus if you like). Instead we are exhorted to love our enemy! Yet this doesn’t stop a Christian to fight and slay. What more to say if you have verses that approve the killing?

I undertsand your concern that the happenings today are done by bad Muslims. Sadly though, they are shared by many ‘bad’ Muslims in this world today.

[quote=Karin]In this passage, and in others, the Qur’an condemns terrorism. On the other hand, ‘slay them wherever ye catch them’ sounds very like an exhortation to ruthlessness. Such contrasts leave open the choice between a moderate and a radical interpretation; they are to be found in many chapters of the Qur’an, which has undergone less historic criticism than either the Jewish Torah or the Christian New Testament.

We need to remember — and Muslims need to remember too — that 7th century Arabia was a rough and violent place in which the Prophet himself suffered harsh treatment. If one adopts the most radical interpretation of the Qur’an, one distorts the character of the book. Yet that is what some radical Muslims seem to be doing. The tactics of terrorism need to be distinguished from the strategy. The tactics are simple enough: persuade the foot soldiers of terror to kill or maim innocent people — men, women and children. The purpose of the strategy is to create conflict and suspicion between different communities.

[/quote]

Yet again the perpetrators are willing to give their lives for this strategy. When the Quran attempts to give teaching in all ways of life including running a government, it is not surprising its followers resort to the extreme in order to achieve what they believe is taught by their holy book. I would say the source of the problem lies not only with mischievous followers but also the teaching of the book to some extent. And now, perhaps, we are reaping the fruit of that book :frowning: .

Peace.

Reuben.


#7

[quote=Reuben J]Hi Karin,

Just to digress from what you’re trying to bring up. You bring this observation to a right place here. Catholics understand very well the problems that can be brought about by unscrupulous personal interpretation of the Scriputre. :slight_smile:

The verse above, no matter how one tries to sugar coat it, does condone fighting and slaying. Nowhere it qualifies, at least here, that the slaying is only permissible in self defence. Don’t get me wrong. I do understand the good value of the Quran and the people who try to live it. But this teaching to fight nevertheless make it’s permissible for those who want to. And who determines the reasons to fight? Therefore any Muslims who think he/she has the justification to fight would surely take this verse as approval for such action. Read teh next paragraph in the original post that comes after these.

You may want to know, since you use the Bible as one of the holy scriptures as examples - that there is no approving of fighting verse in the New Testament (or the teaching of Jesus if you like). Instead we are exhorted to love our enemy! Yet this doesn’t stop a Christian to fight and slay. What more to say if you have verses that approve the killing?

I undertsand your concern that the happenings today are done by bad Muslims. Sadly though, they are shared by many ‘bad’ Muslims in this world today.

Yet again the perpetrators are willing to give their lives for this strategy. When the Quran attempts to give teaching in all ways of life including running a government, it is not surprising its followers resort to the extreme in order to achieve what they believe is taught by their holy book. I would say the source of the problem lies not only with mischievous followers but also the teaching of the book to some extent. And now, perhaps, we are reaping the fruit of that book :frowning: . I think that part of the problem is also that unlike the Catholic faith which has a leader (the Pope) Islam does not …there are too many authorities on the Quran and too many different interpertations

Peace.

Reuben.
[/quote]

Hi Reuben:
Please if you would take the time to see I did not write this article… I copied it with the URL provided.


#8

The verse above, no matter how one tries to sugar coat it, does condone fighting and slaying. Nowhere it qualifies, at least here, that the slaying is only permissible in self defence.

the Quran does not need to be sugar coated. How can we dare to coat the words of God?

YES Muslims are allowed to FIGHT AND KILL those who fight and kill them. You want proof?

fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you,** but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.(**Chapter #2, Verse #190)

And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression. (Chapter #2, Verse #193)

Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. (Chapter #60, Verse #8)

Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong. (Chapter #60, Verse #9)

You may want to know, since you use the Bible as one of the holy scriptures as examples - that there is no approving of fighting verse in the New Testament (or the teaching of Jesus if you like). Instead we are exhorted to love our enemy! Yet this doesn’t stop a Christian to fight and slay. What more to say if you have verses that approve the killing?

Their are many verses in the bible that supports killing people…killing children and women even!

love your enemy? Why do we even have a justice system in the country…we should just hug the criminals to death.

I undertsand your concern that the happenings today are done by bad Muslims. Sadly though, they are shared by many ‘bad’ Muslims in this world today.

this is the kind of talk that works well around a camp fire where only other catholics are present. I, as a Muslim, do not condone the killings of innocent human beings…and neither does my religion…proof?

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that** if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people**: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. (5:32)

Yet again the perpetrators are willing to give their lives for this strategy. When the Quran attempts to give teaching in all ways of life including running a government, it is not surprising its followers resort to the extreme in order to achieve what they believe is taught by their holy book. I would say the source of the problem lies not only with mischievous followers but also the teaching of the book to some extent. And now, perhaps, we are reaping the fruit of that book :frowning: .

May God guide you and forgive you for your ignorance. You have been shown verses from the Quran and examples from the Sunnah against killing innocent people…yet you use your lack of knowledge in Islam to shape your opinion.

Again, this will work when you are talking with a bunch of other Catholics bashing other people’s religions. But this is just pure ignorance when you are talking to people who understand the religion you are attempting to attack.


#9

IMO the problem is in how each indiviual does the interpertation. You have Muslims that interpert like Faith101 but then you have Muslims that interpert with the mentality of a “terrorist” .


#10

[quote=Karin]Hi Reuben:
Please if you would take the time to see I did not write this article… I copied it with the URL provided.
[/quote]

Thanks for reminding.

I just state my mind on what was written there :slight_smile:

Peace.

Reuben


#11

Correction: Islam means “submission” not peace!


#12

Faith, do you know which is the most hated and reviled religion on the face of the earth? The Catholic Church and it’s always open season on it! People are always throwing stones and flinging mud at it and no one ever yells “Discrimination” when it’s attacked, but say anything the least bit derogatory about blacks, Jews, Muslims and now even gays and the whole world yells: “Discrimination”.

The problem we had with pedophiles in the Church had also been happening in other denominations but nothing was said about that, and certainly not the fact that most of the priests that committed the abuse were homosexuals, because gays would have had a fit and the media is so pro homosexual.

There are many anti-catholic websites out there preaching hatred against our Church. Jack Chick’s is one of the worst! I’ve checked it out and it’s thoroughly disgusting!

Muslims don’t understand the Catholic Church either and their ignorance is displayed whenever they try to interpret its teachings!


#13

A REMINDER:

The title of this thread presents a valid premise. If discussion deteriorates to the point where generalizations by Christians or Muslims against those not of their faith become the order of the day, the thread will be closed and I will deal accordingly with people who forget that charity and civilty are the hallmarks of discussion here.

Joe


#14

[quote=Booklover]Correction: Islam means “submission” not peace!
[/quote]

My understanding is that it meant “to submit or surrender to GOD


#15

That is the problem…Muslims dont understand the teachings of the Catholic church and Catholics dont understand the teachings of Islam!


#16

[quote=Karin]That is the problem…Muslims dont understand the teachings of the Catholic church and Catholics dont understand the teachings of Islam!
[/quote]

I hope this is my last post in this thread.

The problem is also there are some Catholics who don’t understand the Catholic church and some of them left the church.

There are some Muslims who don’t understand the true teaching of Islam and some of them become terrorists.

Peace.

Reuben :slight_smile: .


#17

[quote=Reuben J] I hope this is my last post in this thread.
[/quote]

No one says that you have to post here…that is your choice!

[quote=Reuben J]The problem is also there are some Catholics who don’t understand the Catholic church and some of them left the church.

There are some Muslims who don’t understand the true teaching of Islam and some of them become terrorists.

Peace.

Reuben :slight_smile: .
[/quote]

Totally agree!!! :smiley:


#18

[quote=Karin] No one says that you have to post here…that is your choice!
[/quote]

I love to post here. You misunderstand me. I only don’t wish that my contribution to the discussion here would detoriarate it to a point whereby it will be not useful anymore.

Please check my posts here. I don’t know how to make it more diplomatic and respectful than what I’ve written. I only stated those opinions and I would be very glad if they are rebutted, disagreed or agreed to, but the last thing I want to do is to attack any religion malicously.

I really think that this is the purpose of this forum - to discuss.

May God bless you.

Reuben.


#19

[quote=Reuben J]I love to post here. You misunderstand me. I only don’t wish that my contribution to the discussion here would detoriarate it to a point whereby it will be not useful anymore.

Please check my posts here. I don’t know how to make it more diplomatic and respectful than what I’ve written. I only stated those opinions and I would be very glad if they are rebutted, disagreed or agreed to, but the last thing I want to do is to attack any religion malicously.

I really think that this is the purpose of this forum - to discuss.

May God bless you.

Reuben.
[/quote]

Reuben- Yes I did misunderstand you and I apologize.


#20

[quote=Karin]My understanding is that it meant “to submit or surrender to GOD
[/quote]

Yes. A muslim is one who submits to the will of God…thereby freeing himself from being enslaved to man.

Islam comes from the same root word salaam… which means peace. But Islam in and of itself means submission to God.


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