Day after day, the British government declares that it will combat those who “pervert” Islam by preaching violence in the name of religion. It’s not a perversion of Islam; it’s the genuine article. Have they not read the Quran? Harris is right: The fundamentalists are the ones taking the holy text seriously and doing what it clearly tells them to do (see pp. 117-123 of the book). Is there any intellectually serious way of reading the Quran—or, for that matter, the Bible—that makes the calls to violence disappear? Given the eternally high stakes involved, nothing short of mass violence against infidels makes sense, as Harris points out. I see no way of moderating or sanitizing these ancient texts without just inconsistently ignoring big chunks of their content. A Muslim friend once told me that understanding the Quran’s elusive real meaning requires the help of one or more learned sheikhs: non-experts can’t discover its meaning on their own. Curiously, he could not tell me where the Quran itself says that experts must be consulted.
if god, allah, was a good writer, he would have written a book easy enough for people to understand on their own. Also it would be so clear that there wouldn’t be various ideas on what certian verses mean.
I think you said it perfectly well Mr. Consistency, the ones who “pervert” Islam as well as those who pervert Christianity are those who ignore the violence or who babble meaningless sentences about how it takes a special sort of understanding to comprehend how the apparent violence is really “something else.”
Tony Blair and George Bush are two examples of Christian perverters, because if they followed the book according to what is written in it they would act exactly how the Islamic terrorists are acting. Well, on second thought, in fact they are acting according to the bible, except they’ve taken the smoting and killing to another level. So they are not really the perverts that they claim to be (i.e., they claim to love their neighbour and all that christian crap that sheeple like The Champion proclaim on a daily basis in spite of their obvious hatred and intolerance).
So Blair and Bush want to give the impression that they are perverters (that their christianity is about love, peace and freedom) - but in truth they act exactly how the historical christians have acted in expressing precisely the opposite their hatred, war and control. So maybe the lesson here is that even though the rhetoric of christian believers centers around the gentler human proclivities, their actions show the true christian colours - killing can be sanctioned by divine assent just like it is in the minds of the Islamic terrorists.