This is my third post on the Abrahamic religions – three religions that are actually one, just like the Trinity. My previous posts were on Judaism, a Bronze Age nightmare and Christianity, Santa Claus for grown ups. Now I’d like to discuss the youngest and, at the time of writing, the most controversial of the three. Indeed, so controversial has Islam become in recent years that negative comments about this bizarre and intolerant belief system are considered racist. There’s even a special word that’s been invented to demonise those who would dare to subject Islam to the same level of criticism as Judaism and Christianity – “Islamophobia.” This is “a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons.” (A quote often attributed to the late, great Christopher Hitchens but which was actually coined by Andrew Cummins).
I have no truck with racists who seek to demonise people from the Middle East or South Asia. I find all forms of racial prejudice to be equally loathsome and illogical. But, as I hope my two previous posts on the Abrahamic religions prove, I am opposed to Islam on ideological and moral grounds – I am not racially prejudiced against Muslims. The very fact that I felt the need to say this at the start of this post but did not feel the need to defend myself against accusations of “Judaeophobia” or “Christophobia” shows how debased debate around the youngest of the Abrahamic delusions has become. Incidentally, it is interesting to note that the spellchecker on my computer recognised the first phobia but not the other two.
I set myself the task of reading the Koran late in 2014. I was heartily sick of hearing the black/white discussion of Islam every time an Islamist committed an atrocity. The BBC and the Guardian would scream “Islam is a religion of peace” whilst right-wing nutjobs would foam about how all immigrants should be kicked out. I thought I’d go back to Allah’s own words, as reported by the semi-historical desert trader who allegedly started this particular variant of the Abrahamic religion.
Muslims and their illiberal friends in the “liberal” media claim the Koran is an inspired work of genius, a beautiful work of art, full of forward-thinking ideas for the good of humanity. The aforementioned foamers claim it’s a terrorist manual. Surely, the truth must lie somewhere in between?
I was kind of expecting something like the Bible – a pseudo-history book with supernatural elements and some half-baked philosophy thrown in. But, to be frank, that is not what I found. The Koran is incoherent, dull and repetitive. The order makes no sense and the focus of chapters, paragraphs, even sentences changes seemingly at random. At least three-quarters of the book is pure gibberish. I may be dim but I could not find a single unifying theme beyond the constant assurance that Allah is going to punish you if you don’t do exactly what he says, at all times. I lost count of the number of descriptions of the fate of unbelievers in the Fire (capital F). If this is the work of an all-knowing and all-powerful deity, then he must have been having an off-day.
If you don’t believe me, try Sura 66 Al-Tahrim (Prohibition). In this chapter, Muhammad is admonished by Allah for trying to please his wives. Allah had apparently given Muhammad permission, and only Muhammad, to marry more than four wives and his current wives were unhappy. A very convenient revelation from Allah meant Muhammad could simply go ahead and do what he wanted to do anyway. Whatever this strange story tells us, it is certainly not the work of an all-knowing deity. And Muhammad certainly doesn’t forget the obligatory instruction to hate infidels – “Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate” – even in the midst of this very odd domestic spat.
Just like I reject Judaism and Christianity, I reject Islam. And I do this because I reject the primitive revenge-based morality of the Koran and the insane, rule-obsessed psychopathic god it depicts. Once again, I do not reject Islam because of racial prejudice or some phobia against the people who were brought up to believe this claptrap.