Can the Koran be revised?

FrontPageMag has just posted a new Symposium: A New Koran?

Jamie Glazov poses this question

    The organization Muslims Against Sharia is creating a new Koran with the violent verses removed. How legitimate and wise is this action? There is an effort in Turkey, for instance, to also revise Islamic texts. What real hope can these acts offer to bring Islam into the modern and democratic world?

The participants are brutal with each other and opinions are all over the place. But the Symposium serves to educate us about Isalm and the difficulties, if not impossibilities, of reforming it.

April 19, 2008 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. How broadly and well received have your efforts been with the Muslim communities’ response to your expurgated new version of the Koran?

  2. This Frontpage symposium is as interesting as it is to get through and try to absorb enough to gain some sense of the difficulties with the efforts by Muslims Against Sharia to reform Islam by eviscerating out the passages from the Koran, Sira and Hadith that they believe could not have come from Allah, but rather the imperfect minds of Muslims seeking to record the word of Allah.

    I think Khalim Massoud recognizes that there are difficulties with the approach to his group’s initiative to reform Islam.

    The proof they say is often in the pudding. Rather then talking about reforming Islam as Muslims Against Sharia say they intend to do, let them do it by re-writing the Koran without the bad parts and see how that new expurgated version of the Koran flies.

    Either Mr. Massoud or his detractors in this Frontpage magazine symposium will be vindicated, but at least if Mr. Massoud’s group does what it says it wishes to do, we can then guage Muslim reaction and know whether Mr. Massoud or his detractors know what they are talking about.

  3. These comments are excellent examples on the differences of religeous worship. I would like to read more on the similar and the dissimilar adaptations on these three religions and maybe some on Buddaism.

  4. Yamit, you wrote: “Rabbis permit Jews to attend mosques, but never – churches. Islam is very close to Judaism in it affirming a single God and not worshiping images. And whatever the atheists say, no piece of Arab literature comes close to the language of Koran.”

    You make some interesting points. You’ve apparently devoted yourself to the study of different cultures, to your credit.

    I agree with you, despite what Mr. Bush insists, not all peoples and cultures are identical. Consequently, Bush’s war on “terrorism” is doomed to failure, should McCain or whomever follows Bush’s foolish policies. Palestinian mothers do NOT want the same things for their little martyrs as Jewish mothers want for their children, Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush assurances notwithstanding.

    I look at things in more simplistic terms. The simple fact is, unlike Moses and Jesus, Muhammad was a warrior-king, more bloody than our hero King David. Just as David was not permitted to build the Temple, he would be an unlikely candidate to found a major world tradition such as ours. That having been said, David was a great and a courageous man in his own right.

    On the other hand, the Qur’an and the Haddith (traditions, deeds and sayings of the prophet) advise the Muslim believer that the prophet is the perfect example for the Muslim believer to emulate; in all his bloody and violent jihadist exploits, he is the perfect example.

    It seems to me, reforming Christianity was less difficult, given that Jesus’ life was on the whole pacific compared to Muhammad’s life and Muhammad’s alleged sayings. I don’t see much in the NT that justifies the crusades and the inquisitions. There is much in the Qur’an that justifies the global jihad. What to do then?

    I have three good english translations of the Qur’an. I find the Qur’an violent and intolerant of peoples that do not embrace Allah and his prophet Muhammad; especially the perfidious Jews! Particularly the Jews! The Qur’an is an exceptionally anti-Semitic book, more so than the Christian bible in my opinion. If the Qur’an is the alpha and the omega of Islam, how can Islam be reformed?

    Our rabbis might permit Jews to enter a mosque, unlike a Christian church. On the other hand I would not feel comfortable attending a worship service in either. Islam may be close to Judaism in its affirmation of a single deity and not worshiping images, yet it seems to me the god of Islam is a monstrous image; a vile, angry and vindictive god that hates the vast majority of Jews first and foremost with a passionate hatred. Either Muhammad was a Jew-lover turned Jew-hater or Allah himself is a Jew-lover turned Jew-hater as well as the hater of any human being that is not a Muslim. I see this god Allah as a very different God than the Holy One of Israel described by our forefathers. The God of the Torah and Tanakh identified Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not the “God of Abraham, Ishmael, Moses, Jesus, Noah,” etc.

    Who is the Muslim’s god then? It us not the Jews’ God that is for certain. Read the Qur’an. This is a very different god; a foreign god. Like you, others say the Qur’anic literature is lofty and elevating. Unlike the Jewish Bible (Tahakh) I find the Qur’an prosaic and dull, unimaginative, ordinary. Whoever or whatever spoke to Muhammad (I suspect the man received some kind of revelation from someone of something) it was not the God of Israel; it is not the God that spoke to Moses and the Jewish prophets.

  5. Nations are not alike. Korea developed while Vietnam didn’t. Singapore maintains an advanced economy while Malaysia is a backward, labor-oriented economy. Japan evolved into a technological hub, but neighboring China didn’t. In retrospect, differences can be found in each of these cases. Korea has a strong culture of learning, Singapore’s excellent leadership attracted the most industrious Chinese and Indian immigrants, and Japan had a design-minded culture for a millennium. Vietnam was burdened by communist government, China is too huge to experience labor shortages and the resulting upward pressure on wages – a necessary pre-condition for the continuous upgrading of economy, and Malaysia is possibly weighted down by its Islamic culture.
    Academics can argue forever what went wrong with Muslim societies. Hot climate, not conducive to agriculture and society-building is one obvious answer. It doesn’t answer why in the hot climate Thais are friendly while neighboring Indonesians are xenophobic. It explains the lackluster performance of Saudi Arabia but not of Iran. Iran is a millennia-old agricultural society, with development framework of statehood, relatively tolerant religiously, non-Arab. Iran is advanced well above its Arab neighbors but far below the developed Asian economies. Many explanations are possible, but who cares about them? The fact is, the Muslim societies fell behind in the world economic race and won’t rebound in the foreseeable future. Israel is surrounded with failed civilization, the global inner city.

    Just like with corporations, successful restructuring of mature religions is uncommon. Christianity reformed itself through Protestantism and survived as active religion for another four centuries. Muslims lack relative cultural homogeneity of Western Christians, and reformation of Islam is unlikely to succeed. Moderate Islam will remove the already low cultural barriers and allow assimilation of Muslims into the pop-culture. Zealous Islam is the only Islam which can survive as something other than indigenous tint on American culture in the Middle East.
    Christian sentiment is behind the anti-Muslim clash-of-civilizations hysteria. How are Iraq and Afghanistan different from the crusades? Both are the Christian world’s reaction to Muslim encroachment. Politically correct societies substitute “culture” for “religion” and “Islamism” for “Islam.” Or witness public debates over gay marriage and abortion – a purely religious issue. Children are as much afraid of entering dark rooms in the 21st century as three thousand years ago. Religion, call it culture, civilization, psychology, or ideology is the most powerful drive of human beings, transforming a powerless individual into an interconnected part of transcendent all-powerful system, whether angelic or equally superstitious nationalist.

    There is no Judeo-Christianity. Rabbis permit Jews to attend mosques, but never – churches. Islam is very close to Judaism in it affirming a single God and not worshiping images. And whatever the atheists say, no piece of Arab literature comes close to the language of Koran.

  6. Every Church in America has a different version of Jesus Christ and many Jewish sects have a different version of Israel. Democrats have their idea of AMERICA while Republicans have their idea of AMERICA. You’ve got the Catholic Bible versus the King James versus the New International Version, versus the New King James Version versus the New American Standard versus the RENOVARE study Bible. You’ve got Mormons with their New Testament of Jesus Christ and Jehovah’s Witnesses who re-wrote the entire Bible.