Tuesday, March 29, 2011

People should stop cherry-picking warlike quotes from the Quran

Recently, Hassan Shibly gave a talk at a church on Islam which was very warmly received. The talk highlighted the peaceful and just nature of Islam. In response an extreme right wing online magazine published an article claiming that Shibly was deceiving the American People. The author cherry-picked verses from the Quran taken out of context and meaning in order to show that Islam is really a violent evil religion and the presentation was deceptive by saying otherwise.

It is quite ironic that Islamophobes who are proud of their Judeo-Christian faith cherry-pick verses from the Quran to try to say that Muslims are liars when they support peace and justice, because the Quran has verses relating to war, when in fact, the Bible has many more and much harsher verses relating to war, and yet the are still proud of their faith!

It is time we stop being dishonest and stop hypocritically cherry-picking verses to say the Quran advocates violence, when similar verses are found in the Bible. Not to mention the verses taken within context offer a completely different meaning than what is portrayed. 

Islamophobes do not think Christians are evil deceptive people despite violent verses in the Bible and despite slavery, the inquisition, the crusades, which hunts, and so on. Why then do they claim Muslims are evil deceptive people because of a few war verses in the Quran and criminal terrorists attacks committed by a few?


People should stop cherry-picking warlike quotes from the Quran

Leonard Pitts, Syndicated columnist | • Published March 29, 201

Below are four quotes. Each is from one of two sources: the Bible or the Quran, although, just to make things interesting, there’s also a chance all four are from one book. Two were edited for length and one of those was also edited to remove a religion-specific reference. Your job: identify the holy book of origin. Ready? Go:
 • “...Wherever you encounter (nonbelievers), kill them, seize them, besiege them, wait for them at every lookout post.”
 • “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
 • “If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’ ... do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death.”
 • “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”
All right, pens down. How did you do?
If you identified the first quote as being from the Quran (9:5) and the other three as originating in the Bible (Matthew 10:34, Deuteronomy 13:6-9, Numbers 31:17-18), I congratulate you on that degree in theology. If I have guessed correctly, most people will not have found it easy to place the quotes in their proper books. If I have guessed correctly, most people will have found a certain thematic similarity in them.
Yes, there is a point here: I wish people would stop cherry-picking warlike quotes from the Quran to “prove” the evil of Islam. You see this stuff all over the web. Just a few days ago, some anonymous person, angry with me for defending “Fascist/Nazi Islam” the writer says is trying to kill us all, sent me an email quoting Quranic exhortations to violence to prove that Islam is a “religion of hate and murder.”

As rhetorical devices go, it is a cheap parlor trick, a con job to fool the foolish and gull the gullible and for anyone who has spent quality time with the Bible, its shortcomings should be obvious. [READ MORE]

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