May 17, 2005

This is nice to see.

A constructive response to the Newsweek/Koran desecration 'scandal':

In today's climate of heightened religious sensitivities and cultural clashes, now is the time for people of all faiths to better acquaint themselves with Islam's sacred text, the Holy Qur'an. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is proud to announce a new campaign intended to promote understanding of the Qur'an by distributing complimentary copies to the American public. This campaign, titled Explore the Qur'an, serves as a response to those who would defame and desecrate the holy book of Muslims without full knowledge of its teachings.

False and uninformed accusations have been leveled against the Qur'an for some time. But now, this initiative places the sacred text directly in the hands of those who claim to know the book's "darkest secrets" and encourages them to discover the truth about Islam. Explore the Qur'an allows the book to speak for itself, respond to its critics, and educate those of other faith traditions about the beautiful religion of Islam.

This magpie would like to think that if non-Muslims knew more about Islam — even as much as most non-Christians in the US learn about Christianity just by osmosis — maybe there would be a bit less craziness around issues of faith in this country. We're glad to see CAIR taking the initiative to make it easier for non-Muslims to read the Koran.

If you'd like to request a copy of the Koran online, go here. To make a donation to CAIR's 'Explore the Qur'an' campaign, go here.

Posted by Magpie at May 17, 2005 04:18 PM | Religion | Technorati links |

I've read the Qu'ran, and it's incredibly bloodthirst and retrograde (commending, among other things, slavery, the subserviant status of women, the ruthless conquest of infidels and the seizing of their property.) I can see this backfiring on Muslims.

Posted by: Jason Stokes at May 17, 2005 09:41 PM

for me, organized religion is organized religion. i don't care who is organizing it; i don't care for it. i don't think it does humans much good.

most people are good and decent, as well as wicked. we all vary in degree, ranging from mister rogers to tom de lay (i couldn't resist). the more we are told what our morality must be, what our truth has to be, the less able we are to live our lives fully human.

i believe that most muslims, like most christians (and other beliefs) simply want to live and have a good life (not to mention liberty and the pursuit of happiness). i don't need to read the qur'an, or the bible (i've read it plenty), or the torah, or the tibetan book of the dead to have a peaceful, accepting, giving heart. muslims in the u.s. do need to reach out to others and show they are not demons, and non-muslims of good faith and heart must reply in kind.

Posted by: t.a. barnhart at May 17, 2005 09:47 PM

Speaking as a Christian, it's probably good to take advantage of this opportunity. I skimmed the Koran years and years ago...the only part that I remember was one brief section that went something like this:

"Jesus' disciples acknowledge that there is only one God. 'We do not believe that Jesus is God. We are good Muslims.'"

Probably time for a refresher...

Posted by: Ontario Emperor at May 17, 2005 10:26 PM

commending, among other things, slavery, the subserviant status of women, the ruthless conquest of infidels and the seizing of their property ...

I'm sorry, were you talking about the Bible there for a minute? There are cases of all of that in there, which isn't surprising considering that these are also historical documents that reflect their times, and further that the Koran was also a document of statecraft and government.

However, the idea that Islam is incompatible with civilization (something that even a far out nut like bin Laden seems to believe), is simply false on its face. The problem is that extreme and dangerous times bring extremist and dangerous people to the forefront, and it's eminently reasonable to point out that they're not representative of an ancient faith with many fully modern and civilized adherents. It would be like saying that Eric Rudolph, who believed that the Bible authorized him to kill doctors and plant bombs, was representative of Christianity.

Posted by: natasha at May 17, 2005 10:31 PM