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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Redacted Koran QUESTION

A bit ago I wrote about the book The Trouble with Islam Today. As a result, I got a comment from Muslims Against Sharia:

Many people talk about the need to reform Islam. Now you can stop talking and start helping.

With the help of our readers we went through the Koran and removed every verse that we believe did not come from Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. However, it is possible that we missed something, and we could use your help. If you find verses in the reformed version of the Koran that promote violence, divisiveness, religious or gender superiority, bigotry, or discrimination, please let us know the number of the verse and the reason why it should be removed. Please email your suggestions to

When we finish editing process, we would like to publish Reform Koran in as many languages as possible. If you could help with translation or distribution of the Reform Koran, please email us at If you could provide financial support, please visit our support page.

In Memoriam of Aqsa Parvez.

First off, the murder of Aqsa Parvez was a very disturbing story that I had somehow missed.

Beyond that, though, how does one "know the will of Allah"?

Any thoughts on this? Though, in fact, I suppose most believers pick and choose what part of scripture they accept and what they ignore, don't they?



Anthony said...

Roger - I think your question is my question. How do they know the will of Allah, or on what basis do they discern what is original to the Koran and what is the result of later redaction? Could it be as simple as "we don't like those verses that support violence, misogyny, conquest, etc"?

I wonder what the reaction of more traditional Muslims are to this kind of radical editing.

I understand the desire to want to edit any kind of sacred scripture that doesn't accord with our perspective or sensibilities, but it leaves a huge problem. In the end, we humans become the final authority, and thus we undermine the idea that such texts are divine and authoritative.

Uthaclena said...

This reminds me of the Jefferson Bible; Thomas Jefferson edited the New Testament to remove supernatural material and contradictory content to obtain a text that he felt was more consistent with the humanities; Stephen Mitchell did likewise in the 1990's "Gospel According to Jesus."

As far as Anthony's comment about holy texts being divine and authoritative, even if there is some sort of Supernatural Personality "inspiring" or "dictating" these works, they are still being filtered through fallible human beings with pre-established cultural backgrounds, perspectives, and prejudices. They've been translated, commented on, and interpreted. Belief in their unerringly communicating the "Word of God" is just that, belief, and those with differing beliefs will interpret them differently.

Muslims Against Sharia said...

"know the will of Allah"?

One does not, but one can use common sense.

"Though, in fact, I suppose most believers pick and choose what part of scripture they accept and what they ignore, don't they?"

No. Not in modern Islam.