I started reading the second chapter of the Koran “The Cow” on a flight from Dallas to Miami. As I pulled the Koran out of my computer bag a strong sense of paranoia came over me. I looked around to make sure no one could see the title of the Islamic book I was about to read. I didn’t want some passenger or flight attendant to think I was a potential terrorist. Covering the title with my hand I bent the front and back cover over each other to reduce the book to a single reading page so the the front title page could not be seen. It suddenly occurred to me as I tried to hide my research project from my fellow passengers, that these same fears must fill every Muslim that desires to read their Koran in a public place. I felt empathy for all the innocent non radical Muslims that desired to seek their God but feared public knowledge of their efforts. This very poignant moment of religious fear that swept over me highlights an important truth about all religions. Most of us find it somewhat strange to see a person reading a holy book in a public place. It is out of the ordinary to see someone reading a Bible on a plane and even frightening to find a person reading the Koran. It makes many people uncomfortable to see a person reading the Bible. Our first thoughts are they must be a religions zealot or at the very least we suspect the Bible reader views us as a target to be proselytized. Most people don’t read the Cannons of their Religion and those who do, only spot or topically read as apposed to reading the whole book.
Muslims, Christians or any persons of faith have two fundamental parts of their belief system. The first is the personal intuitive longing or desire they have in their heart to know and understand God. Family tradition, country of origin and subjective pondering (prayer) are the basis for this inward belief system. This inward knowledge and belief system may or may not be supported by the written Cannons of their religion. The second fundamental part to all men’s religious belief system is the very precise outline and explanation for each religion found in the Holy Books or Cannons written for those religions. Most people of any faith follow their personal belief system of their religion despite the fact that they know very little and read very little from the Cannons or holy books of their religion. How many Christian have actually read the Bible cover to cover? How many Muslims actually study the Koran and read it in its entirety?
The important point to understand from the two fundamental parts of every Muslims belief system is that most Muslims may have non radical views of their religion but that does not mean the Koran espouses that non radical view. It may simply mean that most Muslims do not follow the Cannons of their Religion. Could it be that the small percentage who do follow the Koran instead of just their personal understanding of Islam are the ones that are radical because the Koran teaches a violent radical belief system? Seeking the answer to that question is the primary purposes of this blog. Does the Koran teach a violent radical Islam that only a small percentage follow because only a small percentage even read the Koran or does the Koran teach a more moderate religion of love and that is what the majority of Muslims follow? I hope our study of the Koran and Islam will give us the answer.
There is a popular Facebook quote that says “All I need to know about Islam I learned on 9-11″. A lawyer friend of mine wrote in response to this quote “This is like saying I learned all I needed to know about Christianity from the Crusades or the inquisition. We learned an object lesson in evil on 9-11 and little about Islam.” This argument goes to the very point of this post. Can we learn from Islam by the acts carried out in the name of Islam or is my Lawyer friend right saying that would be like defining Christianity by the Crusades or the inquisition. Do we define Religions and specifically Islam by the acts of its followers or by the Cannons that make up Islam? Do both define Islam? I submit that we must first go to the Koran and see how it tells Muslims to live their faith. After studying the Koran we should study the actions and lives of the followers of Islam and the Koran.
When Anderson Cooper asked Pastor Jones, if he had ever read the Koran in response to his planned Koran burning, Jones appeared shocked by the question and clearly understood his “no” answer negated the whole purpose of his Koran burning. Why would he burn a book he had never read. The same hypocritical logic follows those who defend the Koran. They defend Islam and the Koran but have never read it. This hypocrisy is pushed on the public daily by the press and politicians that defends Islam without truly knowing what Islam is all about. Day in and Day out I see news men and women in the name of tolerance demand we accept Islam. I would venture to say not one of them has read the Koran but they demand we be tolerant of a Religion that on first blush appears to demand Jihad from it followers. So what then is more important, blind tolerance for all religions despite what they might espouse or tempered acceptance of only those religions that have proven to want the common good of all mankind and are void of evil edicts. I submit that blind tolerance to all religions for the sake of tolerance is, by its very definition a system designed to accept and tolerate evil of any kind. It is a system that protects evil in the name of tolerance. Man was born with a Moral compass and if we put that compass away in the name of tolerance it makes us less humane at least and evil at worst.
Are the Radical Muslims that carry out Jihad and murder on a daily basis following edicts of the Koran or are they simply following their own personal belief system that in reality is contrary to the Koran? A far more frightening scenario is that the Radical Muslims are indeed following the Koran as to its purpose and message and all the other moderates are deceived thinking that they follow a religion of peace. The only way to find the answer is to read the Koran objectively in its entirety and then decide. If we find that the Koran does preach a Jihad like message should we continue to tolerate it as so many demand or should we declare it the very definition of intolerance?