May. 7th, 2011

the_future_modernes: (books open and pile)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes

1. Riz Khan - War and peace in Quran and Bible



2. Dark passages: Does the harsh language in the Koran explain Islamic violence? Don't answer till you've taken a look inside the Bible

Unconsciously, perhaps, many Christians consider Islam to be a kind of dark shadow of their own faith, with the ugly words of the Koran standing in absolute contrast to the scriptures they themselves cherish. In the minds of ordinary Christians - and Jews - the Koran teaches savagery and warfare, while the Bible offers a message of love, forgiveness, and charity. For the prophet Micah, God's commands to his people are summarized in the words "act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). Christians recall the words of the dying Jesus: "Father, forgive them: they know not what they do."

But in terms of ordering violence and bloodshed, any simplistic claim about the superiority of the Bible to the Koran would be wildly wrong. In fact, the Bible overflows with "texts of terror," to borrow a phrase coined by the American theologian Phyllis Trible. The Bible contains far more verses praising or urging bloodshed than does the Koran, and biblical violence is often far more extreme, and marked by more indiscriminate savagery. The Koran often urges believers to fight, yet it also commands that enemies be shown mercy when they surrender. Some frightful portions of the Bible, by contrast, go much further in ordering the total extermination of enemies, of whole families and races - of men, women, and children, and even their livestock, with no quarter granted. One cherished psalm (137) begins with the lovely line, "By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept"; it ends by blessing anyone who would seize Babylon's infants and smash their skulls against the rocks.

To say that terrorists can find religious texts to justify their acts does not mean that their violence actually grows from those scriptural roots. Indeed, such an assumption itself is based on the crude fundamentalist formulation that everything in a given religion must somehow be authorized in scripture. The difference between the Bible and the Koran is not that one book teaches love while the other proclaims warfare and terrorism, rather it is a matter of how the works are read. Yes, the Koran has been ransacked to supply texts authorizing murder, but so has the BibleMORE


Personally, one of the reasons I fled the Christian religion was reading more about the history of colonization, and then rereading the violent parts of the Bible. I couldn't reconcile with a god that would order people to take other people's land, and compounding all of that the Bible was used as justification for European colonization across the planet. Priests and preachers and other religious leaders and followers were all up in the colonization project and many of them still pulling that shit. For me, I cannot countenance a ruling power who advocated this kind of shenanigans, or who did not correct their followers if they were misquoting him. At the same time, the hypocrisy of Christians pretending as if Islam is the root of all evil makes me choke. So.

Profile

Discussion of All Things Political

January 2013

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728 293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags