The Koran, just like the Bible, is full of contradictions. I respect Muslims. I do not respect Islam. I respect Christians. I do not respect Christianity. I respect Jews. I do not respect Judaism. I have read the Quran in its etirety several times and regularly use it as reference material. It is true that I cannot read Arabic (yet). However I have read multiple different translations and countless interpretations from Muslims of all sorts of different persuasions. I also have friends from around the world, Muslim and non-Muslim, ex-Muslim (apostate) and “infidels” from Muslim countries and cultures, who I discuss Islam with including specific topics addressed in the Quran.
I have also debated and argued with many extremist Muslims online including members of al Nusra and ISIS and Taliban supporters in Pakistan and Afghanistan and can assure you that for them it’s all about “true Islam”. I really wish I could agree with you that the extremists are following Islam incorrectly. I wish the more moderate, secular, and liberal strains of Islam were more in line with what is actually in the Quran, but honestly I cannot say that. If I said that I would be a liar. I have read the Quran and I know better.
As for those Muslims and non-Muslims alike who are bound to see criticism of an ancient cult that is currently enslaving millions around the globe as a form of prejudice called “Islamophobia” yet again, let me point out that the Bible is just as bad in many respects. The Books of Joshua, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Revelations, Job are all full of horrible, immoral, evil things that no good-natured person would ever support outside of religion.
I have read both the Bible and the Koran from cover to cover multiple times and have read much of the Hadith, have taken Middle East history and international relations classes, lived in Tunisia for several months, have known many Muslim writers and activists over the years, and can and have debated everyone from liberal and moderate Muslims to people that believe all Muslims are the same to Shia extremists to Sunni extremists. I have had online debates with members of the Free Syrian Army and Pakistani Taliban supporters. I know apostates from all over the Islamic world and their struggle is my struggle.
I had Christianity forced on me and I was abused in the name of Christianity and it is the same with both religions. I know the scriptures well enough to show you how both the Bible and Koran justify horrible atrocities like rape, imperialism, genocide, hatred of nonbelievers, the killing of nonbelievers and apostates, war against other religions, genocide, pedophilia, condemning good people to an eternity in “hell”, promotion of primitive pseudoscience, sexism, the killing of women who have sex outside marriage, the killing of homosexuals, theocratic tyranny.
The problem is not Muslims or Christians. The problem is that both the Bible and Koran are filled with contradictory messages. Yes there are messages of forgiveness (often for things that aren’t wrong in the first place, but I digress) and mercy for the poor and poetic inspirational sounding messages that give people hope, but they also contain messages calling for their followers to believe and do some things that are utterly insane, barbaric, ignorant, hateful, and evil.
The Old Testament is even worse than the Koran in that regard, but the Koran is pretty awful. The problem is not a matter of stereotyping. Most Muslims would quit Islam if they would actually read and understand the Koran, because most Muslims are just ordinary good people.
The problem is that when Islamic State takes Yazidi women (who are not considered “people of the book”) Women as sex slaves there is justification for this horrible practice in the Koran. (The Old Testament contains similar stories of “god” sanctioning “holy men” to take slaves and raping them after holy wars against non believers and pagans.
O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Prophet [and] if the Prophet wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
Or as my N.J. Dawood translation reads: “Prophet, we have made lawful for you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave-girls whom God has given you as booty; the daughters of your paternal and maternal uncles and of your paternal and maternal aunts who fled with you; and any believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet and whom the Prophet wishes to take in marriage. This privilege is yours alone, being granted to no other believer.”
Abel Ashes: “That verse taken out of context make makes it seem that only Mohammed was allowed to take non-believing women as sex slaves (which would be enough to demonstrate that Mohammed was an evil, perverted, and cruel, and immoral man) however…”
Sahih International 4:3
And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].
N.J. Dawood 1956 translation: “If you fear that you cannot treat orphans with fairness, then you may marry other women who seem good to you: two, three, or four of them. But if you fear that you cannot maintain equality among them, marry one only or any slave-girls you may own. This will make it easier for you to avoid injustice.”
Abel Ashes: Apparently, owning slaves-girls or possessing other people “by your right hand” is not seen as “injustice” in true Islam. Slavery is justified and marrying slaves is justified. Polygamy is also justified, which I don’t have a problem with as long as everyone is a consenting adult. However, true, real, authentic Islam as invented and sold by Mohammed in the Quran justifies Muslim men to take children as wives and to take non-believing women as slaves and to “marry” them against their will.
According to the Quran Muslim men can marry up to four Muslim women if they can treat them all fairly and if they cannot they should either only marry one Muslim woman or ANY number of slave women that they possess as property because they do not have to treat non-believing women fairly. Believing in the fairy tales of God and the afterlife and angels and djinn and all the other make believe childish bullshit is apparently necessary to not be seen as worthy of death and or slavery, including sex slavery, in true, authentic, real Islam. ISIS are real Muslims.
Sahih International 4:25
And whoever among you cannot [find] the means to marry free, believing women, then [he may marry] from those whom your right hands possess of believing slave girls. And Allah is most knowing about your faith. You [believers] are of one another. So marry them with the permission of their people and give them their due compensation according to what is acceptable. [They should be] chaste, neither [of] those who commit unlawful intercourse randomly nor those who take [secret] lovers. But once they are sheltered in marriage, if they should commit adultery, then for them is half the punishment for free [unmarried] women. This [allowance] is for him among you who fears sin, but to be patient is better for you. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Abel Ashes: A few verses later Mohammed the “prophet”, er I mean “Allah” (wink wink), contradicts himself (as the Bible and Koran do countless times). In 4:3 he says Muslim men can marry “any” women “whom their “right hand possesses” or “slave-girls” (depending on the translation), but by verse 4:25 he has clarified that the slave-girl should be a believer. Did slave-girls have the right to say “no” I will not marry you? Nope. “Their people” were asked permission but the girl herself was not.
Sahih International 24:31 And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.
Abel Ashes: Neither Judaism, Christianity, nor Islam thought to outlaw slavery. Is not slavery one of the worst crimes against humanity? Isn’t slavery one of the most immoral things a person could ever do to another person? Yet in all three Abrahamic faiths God has chosen to allow slavery while forbidding all sorts of things which are not immoral.
Sahih International 24:33
But let them who find not [the means for] marriage abstain [from sexual relations] until Allah enriches them from His bounty. And those who seek a contract [for eventual emancipation] from among whom your right hands possess – then make a contract with them if you know there is within them goodness and give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you. And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, if they desire chastity, to seek [thereby] the temporary interests of worldly life. And if someone should compel them, then indeed, Allah is [to them], after their compulsion, Forgiving and Merciful.
Abel Ashes: At least Mohammed , oops I mean “Allah” has in his “wisdom” made it forbidden to force slaves into prostitution “if” they want to preserve their chastity. There is no option for the slave girl to have sex with someone she loves however. She is a slave after all. How “merciful” that she will be “forgiven” if the Muslim scum who “possess” her do choose to force her into prostitution. How “merciful” indeed.