Liberated

Liberated is the name of a blog I learned about from Jihad Watch. The author is a woman who is a former Moslem. She lives in an unnamed predominantly Moslem country and has studied her religion and has decided that she could no longer believe in Islam. Since apostasy carries the death penalty in Islam, she cannot tell anyone about her decision. Perhaps I should let her speak for herself.

I was born in a very typical Sunni Muslim household, not very conservative like the Arabs, but nevertheless religious enough. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan to a very respectable Mohajjir family (mohajjirs are immigrants from India from the time of the partition in 1947). I moved to another Muslim country with my parents when I was just 10 years old and still live there.

I really wish there were a way I could freely live in a free society where I could follow the religion that I want without any compulsion. So far, I am not really sure what I am. I just know that I am not an atheist, because I do believe in a God, but that God cannot be the Allah of Mohammed. God is kind and merciful, not evil, cruel, mean and sadistic, as is Allah.

Go read more of what she has to say and give her moral support.

The reason I am bringing this up is because of a comment she made a little later in that post.

Have you ever read the Quran in English? I never did, I mean all my life I just recited the Quran in Arabic without understanding a single word until August of this year, when I purchased a copy of the English Quran and read the translation for the first time. Previously I had read some parts of it in English, but never the whole thing. But this year in August I read it from cover to cover, and then also read other references on the internet. Then I finally reached the conclusion that this book is the most evil thing on the face of this earth. It teaches nothing else except hatred and violence. I can no longer be a part of a cult which subjugates its followers, making them mere blind puppets with no mind of their own.

There is an interesting contrast between Christianity and Islam on the question of translating their scriptures. While Christians have endeavored to translate the Bible into every language on Earth (and off, some Trekkies with way too much time on their hands have been translating the Bible into Klingon), Moslems have generally resisted translating the Koran into any language other than Arabic. The main reason for this is that Moslems consider the Koran to be the literal word of God in Arabic. A translation into English wouldn’t be The Koran. At best, such a translation could only be a rough approximation or interpretation of the Koran.

Only about twenty percent of Moslems are native speakers of Arabic. This means that although many Moslems have memorized large portions of the Koran and all Moslems use Koranic verses in their prayers, many have only the vaguest idea of what they are saying. I have to wonder how much of the Koran even native Arabic speakers understand. the Koran was written in the seventh century and languages change over time. The plays of Shakespeare and the King James Bible were written only about four hundred years ago and already they sound old fashioned. Thirteen hundred years ago, English was a dialect of Old German spoken by the Anglo-Saxon invaders of Britain. I suspect that Arabic has changed more slowly over the centuries, since they have the Koran as a standard, but it has still been a long time.

I have read the Koran a number of times, in English translation, and I have even listened to recordings of the Koran being recited. When they recite the Koran, they do not just read it aloud, instead they chant the words, almost singing them. The result is compelling and more than a little hypnotic. I can understand why the Arabs of Mohammed’s time, with their love of oral poetry might have been attracted to the recitation of the Koran. When translated into English,  however, I get quite a different impression. The contents of the Koran, when not vicious, are banal, repetitive, and incoherent. There is endless boasting by Allah on how great He is. There are curses and maledictions against the unbelievers and anyone who happens to have opposed Mohammed. There are stories from the Bible, or at any rate with Biblical figures,  repeated with a maddening lack of any context. If the reader is not already familiar with the Hebrew prophets and Jesus, they would never know from the Koran who any of these people are. There are no distinguishing features for any of the prophets mentioned. They all have the same message, which happens to be the same as Mohammed. All of this material is given in no logical order. And, then there are the calls for violence against the infidel.

I am not inclined to believe in a supernatural origin for the Koran. It seems to me more likely that a very fallible human being wrote it. If I were so inclined, however, I would sooner believe that a devil was responsible for this book than the almighty Creator of the universe.

Questions, comments, praise

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