11 January 2008

The Quran Blogs

After David Plotz "blogged the Bible" in Slate magazine, it was just a matter of time before somebody did the same with the Quran.

Robert Spencer of JihadWatch.org was the first off the mark. Spencer is a well-known critic of Islam. He points out that Muslims regard the Quran as the Word of God – true for all time and for all places. So if we really want to understand the Quran (and Islam) we must read it the way Muslims read it: literally. Not metaphorically, not symbolically, not allegorically. Every sentence and every word in the book must be taken literally. This is also, according to Spencer, how mainstream Islamic scholars down the ages have interpreted it. The result is that the Quran comes off as a scripture that preaches intolerance, aggression, hatred and violence.

And now we have the reaction to Spencer. The liberal newspaper Guardian has started its own blog on the Quran, written by Ziauddin Sardar. Sardar is a Pakistani-born British writer known for his moderate and progressive views on Islam. He says that though the Quran is the Word of God, its real meaning can be known only by interpreting the text keeping the context in mind. This is a more sensible view than that of the fundamentalists. But the question is how many Muslims agree with him. Anyway, in the days to come, we can expect Sardar to interpret the Quran as a scripture that preaches peace, compassion and tolerance.

You can check out both the blogs, and decide for yourself which interpretation is correct. Is Islam a religion of the sword? Or is it a religion of peace? But whatever our opinion is, at the end of the day it may be irrelevant. What matters is what Muslims believe. And here the usual argument is that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, law-abiding and non-violent. True. But it doesn't take a billion people to turn the world into a violent place. All it takes is a few thousand. As long as even a tiny fraction of Muslims believe that God has ordered them to kill non-believers, there will be no peace in this world.

PS: The Guardian says it was inspired by David Plotz. It makes no mention of Robert Spencer. But they are not fooling anyone :-)

1 comment:

Quran Recitation said...

The Holy Quran is the word of Allah Almighty. It provides the way of guidance which leads to the Janna and will of God. However, we should make habit to recite the Holy Quran on daily basis.