From the Koran to today’s grade-school textbooks, the theme is hate

(Note: be sure to see, below, Amber Pawlik’s random sampling of the Koran in which she found that a majority of the verses of the Koran express antagonism toward non-Muslims.)

I am a non-systematic but very methodical student of the Koran. For years now I have followed one unvarying method of study. When the mood strikes me, I open the Koran to a randomly chosen sura, and start to read aloud. And, to my never-ceasing astonishment, virtually every time I do this, I encounter exactly the same thing. After a few brief lines—on occasion even poetical lines—about the greatness of Allah and his creation, the text suddenly switches from praise of Allah to lengthy enraged denunciations of those who reject Allah and his Prophet and imprecations of horrible eternal tortures upon them. Overwhelmingly, the main theme of the Koran is fury and hatred against non-Muslims, expressed in the most sadistic language ever placed between the covers of a single book.

That hatred of the unbelievers is central not only to the Koran but to Muslims’ actual understanding of their religion is made clear in a multiple choice question in a Saudi-government fourth-grade text book, quoted by columnist Anne Applebaum:

Q. Is belief true in the following instances:

a) a man prays but hates those who are virtuous
b) A man professes that there is no deity other than God but loves the unbelievers
c) A man worships God alone, loves the believers, and hates the unbelievers

Applebaum continues:

The correct answer, of course, is (c): According to the Wahhabi imams who wrote this textbook, it isn’t enough just to worship God, or just to love other believers, it is important to hate unbelievers as well. By the same token, (b) is wrong as well: Even a man who worships God cannot be said to have “true belief” if he at the same time loves unbelievers.

“Unbelievers,” in this context, are Christians and Jews: In fact, any child who sticks around in Saudi schools until ninth grade will eventually be taught that “Jews and Christians are enemies of believers.” They also will be taught that Jews conspire to “gain sole control of the world,” that the Christian crusades never ended, and that on Judgment Day “the rocks or the trees” will call out to Muslims to kill Jews.

Applebaum, who has a regular column in the Washington Post, goes on to say that Americans “worry” about the Saudi textbooks, which are distributed to Muslim schools all over the world, including the U.S.

How quintessentially liberal—to describe that which is totally unacceptable as “worrying.” Once Applebaum says that Islamic text books telling Muslim children that it is their religious duty to hate Christians and Jews are merely “worrying,” it becomes clear that she is not going to take the problem at all seriously. She is not, for example, going to call for the end of the export of Saudi religious materials to the United States, or call for the closing of all Wahhabi-inspired schools and mosques in this country. No, it is clear that she will have some other “reform” in mind, more acceptable to the liberal sensibility. And here it is, coming at the end of the column:

[M]ake sure that children in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in Islamic schools all around the world, have decent fourth-grade textbooks.

So, according to Applebaum, faced with declared Islamic enemies who are operating against us in our own country, we Americans do not have the need, the right, or the power to shut down their activities. But we do somehow have the magical ability to get Muslims all over the world to re-write their textbooks and to abandon their most fundamental beliefs. We cannot simply defend ourselves. But we can reform a 1,400 year-old religion with a billion devoted followers.

- end of initial entry -

Alec H. writes:

Here is another “Usual Suspect”—good, verbatim quotes from Saudi textbooks. But then, in the closing paragraphs, it’s of course “most Muslims don’t share these views,” etc. So what’s the problem?

LA replies to Alec H.:

By coincidence, I posted something on this column the moment before I received your comment.

However, Applebaum is not a Usual Suspect. The Usual Suspects are Islam critics who don’t follow through with any practical measures by which we can protect ourselves from Islam. Applebaum is not an Islam critic.

James W. writes:

No great work has ever been been related to hatred or contempt.
Albert Camus

How natural it is to destroy what we cannot possess, to deny what we do not understand, and to insult what we envy.

All cruelty spring from weakness.

That can never be reasoned down which was not reasoned up.
Fisher Ames

Terry Morris writes:

It’s also typical of liberals like Applebaum to believe that the sum total of every child’s education comes from formal government education systems. So the way you control what a child learns about Islam, for example, is to control what is in the textbooks that the child is learning from. Which is the reason she thinks supplying schools with the right kinds of textbooks is the sum total of the answer to the Islam problem.

LA replies:

Excellent point.

Philip M. writes:

“How quintessentially liberal—to describe that which is totally unacceptable as “worrying”

Very true. I was listening to a trailer for a radio programme about Madonna and her social impact, and one of the critics commented “Well, she did get seven year old girls going round the playground singing ‘like a virgin’, and I’m not sure that’s altogether a good thing” (I am paraphrasing, but those were more or less her words). I said to my friend at the time that it seems liberals are incapable of saying that ANYTHING is morally wrong, even in an open and shut case like this. It is as if they find ANY moral absolutes embarrassing, bigoted and small-minded. They would rather hedge their bets and equivocate in case someone even cleverer than them comes along and makes their opinions seem lacking in nuance, sophistication and subtlety.

Buck R. writes (July 24):

When I read your experience with opening the Koran, I was reminded of this brilliant analysis and statistical work by Amber Pawlik and was not sure you had ever read it.

The following is the section in which she summarizes her statistical analysis:

Here are the results of my larger study:

106/201 (52.7%) is hatred aimed at infidels, defined as
*Threats towards infidels either in the after life or this life
*Degrading infidels by calling them evil, stupid, blind, deaf, liars, thankless, etc.
*Calls to fight against them.
*Verses that say “except the believers” when wishing death on nonbelievers were counted as hatred since avoiding death is not a positive to believers
*The threat or insult can be aimed at infidels in general or any specific infidel.

50/201 (24.9%) Deals with believers, defined as
*Mentioning them
*Saying they are righteous
*Saying they will get good things
*Any mentions of one of the prophets was snuck into this category too

23/201 (11.4%) deal with Allah,
*Who he is
*That he is almighty
*Any of his creations

10/201 (5%) deal with the Day of Doom or the Day of Judgment
*Either the Day of Doom when destruction is sent on the earth or
*Day of Judgment when all are judged before Allah
*Any message pertaining to how God records what men do was assigned this category

4/201 (2%) are anti-woman
*That it’s OK to beat a woman
*Women and slaves get married off but have no choice in the matter and is very self-serving to Muhammad or men in general.

4/201 (2%) deal with giving to the poor in some way

2/201 (1%) deal with some kind of Muslim custom or etiquette, for instance
*How to divorce your wife

1/201 (0.5%)disapproves of a man who murdered someone, but only because it was for the wrong reason to kill someone.

1/201 (0.5%) actually says it is OK for people to have their religion while Muslims have theirs

Over 50% of the Koran deals with nothing but hatred aimed at infidels. You will notice Allah is mentioned a lot, as well as the goodness of believers and the Day of Doom/Judgment, the former being a day when the Koran gleefully exclaims that Allah will send destruction to the earth and destroy the infidels. Notice how much of the Koran that deals with not just infidels but with the theme of believers verses nonbelievers, setting up believers as holy, righteous, almost perfect human beings and nonbelievers not just as wrong but as wretched scum. If you add up the number of verses that deal with infidels, believers, Allah, and the Day of Judgment/Doom, that percentage is a full 94%. This is really the only thing in the Koran as the Koran itself readily admits: “… This book is no other than a warning and a clear Koran, To warn whoever liveth; and, that against the Infidels sentence may be justly given.” Sura 36:69-70

You may notice that details outlining Muslim customs and etiquette do not take up much room in the Koran. In fact, Ramadan, from what I can tell, is only mentioned once in the Koran. You can see how seriously Muslims take Ramadan. Now imagine how seriously they take the rest of the 94% of the Koran.

There is no moral system outlined in the Koran—with the exception of allowing men to beat their wives, sleep with their slaves, and there is an occasional, “give to the poor.” There certainly is no unequivocal “Do not kill”; “Do not steal”; or “Do not lie,” let alone any other insight into how to behave properly as a human being. Most of the “moral” guidance given in the Koran is not a restraint on humans but permission to do what they want—mostly for men to do what they want.

[end abstract]

LA replies:

Thanks much for this. Amber Pawlik’s results certainly correspond with my non-systematic analysis.

Now Pawlik’s analysis is based on just 201 verses out of the approximately 6,000 verses in the Koran. Her explanation of how she chose those 201 verses is interesting. She started with a much smaller sample, 34 verses, which she got by picking verse 10 from 34 randomly chosen suras. Among her results she found that that 18 out of 34 verses (52.9 percent) was vitriol aimed at unbelievers.

34 is of course a tiny sample. So she did a somewhat larger sample, by taking the middle verse of each of the 114 suras in the Koran, plus every 70th verse of the whole Koran, adding up to 201 verses, and the results were exactly the same as with the sample of 34 verses: 52.7 percent of the verses were vitriol aimed at unbelievers.

Thus my completely non-systematic reading of the Koran, and Amber Pawlik’s small sample of 34 verses, and her larger sample of 201 verses, all have the same result. The majority of the Koran is hatred and vengeance aimed at non-Muslims.

Now it would be nice to see a breakdown based on all 6,000 verses of the Koran. But that would be an inconceivably large job and not really necessary. A sample of, say, 600 randomly chosen verses, one tenth of the Koran, could probably be considered definitive.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 22, 2008 09:16 PM | Send

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