Civil Discourse Now

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The Koran does not prohibit depiction of anyone or anything: pardon the ignorance.

   When I have spoken with friends about Islam, none has read The Koran—the holy book of the religion. In yesterday’s blog I criticized those who are ignorant of the religion. Ignorance produces fear and fear begets violence.
   I want to clarify that I am not an advocate of Islam. Nor am I an advocate of any religion. I do not believe in the existence of a supreme deity. As I wrote yesterday, I am an atheist because I have studied religions. A principle dynamic of religion is a basic confidence game—people do not want to die, and religions offer, in various forms (heaven (Christianity), reincarnation (Hinduism), a planet somewhere light years away (Mormonism)—so people can believe and cheat the “house” in the great casino that is life. Whether the croupier is clad in the vestments of a priest or the robes of an imam, my view is the same.
   However, a statement in yesterday’s blog, about The Koran, was wrong. The statement I wrote was made in ignorance.
   Nowhere in The Koran is the depiction of Mohammed, The Prophet, forbidden. This is important, because The Koran, according to Islam, was communicated to Mohammed from the supreme deity via an archangel. The Koran addresses worship of idols---as do the Ten Commandments in Judeo-Christianity.
   After Mohammed’s death, various writings came to be that concerned interpretation of The Koran and reports of aspects of Mohammed’s life. These are called hadiths and were compiled many years after Mohammed’s death. The hadiths are numerous. One person alone was the source of 30,000, hadiths. The Sunnis and the Shi’a have their own sets of hadiths.
   Some Islamic scholars rejected hadiths as authority from the outset. Many still reject the hadiths because the hadiths are the products of human hands, whereas The Koran is, in Islamic beliefs, the word of the supreme deity.
   Therefore, I apologize for propagation—in a blog critical of those who propagate lack of knowledge of Islam—of a matter that is not true.  
   However, that makes me stress, as stridently, that to understand what happened in Paris, one should try to understand the system of beliefs the gunmen claimed as holy “permission” to kill cartoonists. Also, to condemn all adherents of Islam, as is so prevalent today, for the actions of a few, one need realize The Koran—or The Qu’ran or whatever spelling is appropriate—is not the source for those gunmen’s absurd belief that one cannot depict The Prophet.

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