Fathima Imra Nazeer makes the point that I keep making: holy books say what they say, and there’s no magic that renders what they say universally harmless.
Well-meaning Muslims claim that these Islamists have simply ‘misinterpreted’ the Quran. But have they?
As I wrote in a previous post, ISIS’s interpretation of the Quran is a very plausible one and this explains why ISIS has no trouble using the Quran as a recruiting tool.
Even according to Yusuf Ali, the very much mainstream and respected interpreter of the Quran, fighting for the cause of ‘truth’ is a duty for Muslims under a ‘rightly guided Imam.’ The definition of ‘truth’ and ‘rightly guided Imam,’ unfortunately, is not that clear cut.
For those of us who have been indoctrinated with the idea that the Quran is God’s literal and most perfect word to man, the Quranic commands for true believers to wage war against ‘oppressors’ and ‘hypocrites’ can cause a tugging at the heartstrings.
And that’s not surprising given the indoctrination. That’s why the idea that any book or other piece of writing or “revelation” or reported command is God’s literal and most perfect word to human beings has to be done away with.
We can continue to be in denial and claim that ISIS’s ideology has nothing to do with Islam, hoping to dissuade the jihadis and silence the anti-Muslim bigots. Thing is, with the Quran at so many people’s fingertips these days, neither the jihadis nor the anti-Muslim bigots are believing this anymore and we are simply hurting our own credibility.
If we want to really solve the problem and maybe even regain some credibility, we need leaders who are willing to put forth the idea that we have to change the way we regard the Quran. Treating the Quran as God’s perfect and literal word to man is creating too much havoc.
Only when the notions of Quranic infallibility and inerrancy are challenged, will it be possible for believing Muslims to openly admit that according to literalist interpretations at least, violent and hateful passages exist in the Quran: passages that call for fighting those who don’t believe in Allah, that support ISIS’s ideology and help them recruit young Muslims like Aqsa Mahmood.
Exactly. That’s why holy books are dangerous. That’s why the idea that there is such a thing as a holy book or instruction is so dangerous.
After all, only when a critical mass of Muslims propagate the idea that the Quran may not be God’s literal and perfect word to man and denounce the violent and hateful verses in the Quran that support ISIS’s ideology, will we successfully counter ISIS’s propaganda and stop the flow of wannabe jihadis crossing that Turkish border.
I would love to see that happen.