Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is the Koran More Intolerant Than the Bible?

Many Neocon pundits and media figures spread Islamophobia, because fear and hatred of Muslims encourages non-Muslim Americans to support our current wars in the Mideast.

A key talking point of this politically inspired Islamophobia is that Muslims are uniquely violent and intolerant.

Jews, Christians, and Muslims all have a violent history -- as do pagans and other religions. But Islamophobes insist that the difference is that Islam (unlike Judaism or Christianity) is inherently intolerant; that the Koran requires and demands that its adherents kill nonbelievers.

Is this a key difference between the Bible and the Koran?

I've never read the Koran, but I assume it does contain some intolerant passages. But does the Koran differ from the Bible in that respect?

Here are some passages from the Old Testament (or what Jews call the Hebrew Bible). According to Deuteronomy 13:6-10:

"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' (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."


And Deuteronomy 13:12-16 says:

"If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, 'Let us go and worship other gods' (gods you have not known), then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt,"

So it seems that both the Bible and Koran require that believers kill nonbelievers.

Now, some will say, "Yes, but modern Jews and Christians don't practice that passage; they don't kill nonbelievers." Very true. But neither do the overwhelming, vast majority of Muslims kill, or even advocate killing, nonbelievers.

If you're still inclined to hate Muslims, read what the Catholic Church says about Islamophobia.

And if you feel a thrill at seeing American bombs killing foreigners, read a Catholic interpretation of Jesus' admonition to his Apostles.

Yes, I know it's not what "Christian" warmongers want to hear. Sorry to ruin your day.

And we may as well review libertarian embarrassment Wayne Allyn Root's views on the "Ground Zero mosque" and on Muslim outreach.

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