In defense of the theologically indefensible
There has been a fair amount of outrage at a Hub published recently by a "SirDent" where a Christian points out that Islam does not measure up to the levels of "goodness" that Christianity embodies. The Hubber unfortunately makes several incendiary statements which betray his fundamental lack of understanding of Islam. It is difficult to understand how a person can write a commentary on Islam and its values when they have never even heard of basic Islamic terms as muhrim.
If he had any comprehension of his theological opponent, he would have known better than to include one of the derogatory Danish cartoons showing Muhammad (PBUH), as it is forbidden by the faith to show any image of the Prophet. That cartoon showing a bearded Arab is ridiculously incorrect anyway, as the Hadith tells us that Muhammad (PBUH) was "a white man."
It is indisputable that the Holy Qur'an is a very different book than the Holy Bible. After all the Hub's author states that the Islamic book contains verses like:
"Kill the mushriqeen (pagans, polytheists, kuffar) where ever you find them." (Al-Qur'an 9:5)
A precursory googling will reveal all sorts of quotes from the Qur'an which easily lend themselves to knee-jerk inflammatory misinterpretation, such as that Muslims should chop off the heads and fingers of non-believers (8:12-13); or maybe just slice off their hands and feet (5:34); or it's likely enough just to cut off the heads (47:4) or heck, why not just slaughter them all (47:3) wherever you find them (2:191), since Paradise is under the shades of swords anyway (4:73).
The Qur'an also goes on to state that Christians and Jews are cursed by God (9:29-31); that Muslims should take as polygamist concubines their female POWs (33:50) and of course that it's fine to beat women (4:34) since their rights are inferior to men (4:11, 2:228) and they're just sex objects anyway (2:223).
Once the verses from the Suras are misread in that fashion, the only conclusion that can be arrived at is that Islam promotes violence and hatred. That is the crux of that Hub's argument: Jesus would never do that. However, that interpretation does not take into account that there are ample quotes in the Holy Bible which can be misinterpreted in exactly the same erroneous fashion:
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34)
"He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
"Those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." (Luke 19:27)
"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15:6)
Of course, Jesus would never beat anyone with a whip!
"And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple" (John 2:15)
"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes." (Luke 12:47)
Jesus taught his disciples to practice family values.
"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)
"For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:35-36)
And Jesus loved everyone, not just Jews.
"He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs." (Matthew 15:24-26)
OK, so the uninitiated and uneducated lay person would have to conclude that Jesus was a man who promoted warfare, violence and terrorism, beat people with whips, hated anyone who was not a Jew, and told his disciples to hate their entire families.
You can't argue with the Holy Bible, the fundamentalists say! It is the perfect and true word of the Lord.
Er... but if it's infallible, why does it say that Jesus bore his own cross in John 19:17 but didn't in Matthew 27:31-32; Judas kissed Jesus in Matthew 26:48-50 but didn't in John 18:3-12; Jesus allowed his disciples to keep a staff on their journey in Mark 6:8, but not in Luke 9:3; and that Jesus prayed to the Lord to prevent his crucifixion in Mark 14:36 but didn't in John 12:27?
Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus before his baptism? Matthew 3:13-14 says yes, but John 1:32-33 says no, which states that John recognized Jesus after his baptism... while Matthew 11:2 says he didn't.
OK, there are some minor discrepancies (hmm... in the word of the infallible creator... how can that be...), but the rest of the Bible is essentially correct in its teachings, right?
Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:26-32 tells you to kill gays; Deuteronomy 22:13-21 tells you to kill your bride when you find out she's not a virgin, but Genesis 25:1-6 says it's ok to keep a mistress, and I Timothy 3:1-12 says it's fine to have multiple wives. Yippee! I was starting to get bored with monogamy anyway. Too bad that Leviticus 15:19-33 teaches that menstruation is unclean and women must make sin offerings due to their periods. Filthy sinner women! Thank goodness that I Corinthians 11:3-15, 14:24-35 and I Timothy 2:11-14 clarify that women should be silent, in subjection and learn only from the man who is the "head of the woman." It's a darn good thing women can't speak up or they might complain when you follow Psalms 137:9 and Isaiah 14:21-22 and kill your kids, but fortunately Proverbs 22:15 and 22:13-14 just tell you to beat your kids with clubs.
Of course the Holy Bible should not be read literally word for word and out of context! And neither should the Holy Qur'an! If you dig enough you can find a quote in either sacred scripture to prove or misprove almost anything at all if you place it entirely out of context! So Judeo-Christians and Muslims should not engage in pulling this and that quote out, disregarding the context, and tossing them at each other. The Bible and the Qur'an are books of love and grandeur, not hatred and violence.
What it all boils down to is this: You can delve into any religion's scripture and find quotes that are patently absurd if not outright repulsive by today's standards. The same can be said of the Bhagavad Gita, the Talmud, the Tao-te-Ching, and even Dianetics. Oh... sorry... every word in Dianetics is absurd and repulsive. But that's because Scientology is not a religion, it's a money-grubbing Ponzi Scheme.
To all the readers of this Hub who firmly believe that their religion is right and all the other ones are wrong, I have a wakeup call: You're wrong! At the heart of every true religion on Earth is the core of having faith in your Creator. It is that one-on-one relationship which binds us to the nature of all things which is the ultimate mystery and it is that which must be protected and nurtured above all else. Tossing out of context quotes across the theological trenches like hand grenades is a pointless exercise. At the heart of Christianity, Islam and every other honest religion is the indescribable wonder of God and our place in this infinitely complex and profoundly beautiful universe. It's much better for all of us to share in its infinite wonder and put away the quote guns.
I believe with Mahatma Gandhi that: "I am a Muslim, I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, I am a Jew... and so are all of you."
BTW, I am not including Ebay, Amazon or Kontera features, and am formally requesting Hubpages that I not be compensated in any way from this Hub. Not only does it stray far afield from my standard PC Tech and Motorcycle focus, but I wouldn't want to violate I Timothy 6:9-10, Matthew 19:23-24, Proverbs 23:4-5, Matthew 6:24, Luke 12:15 ...
Late breaking news
Note: I have willingly CENSORED comments against SirDent that may have been taken as personal attacks to assuade those who think that I have a personal vendetta against a man who not only do I not know, but don't even know what his real name is! However, I will not back down on my stand that those evil words must be taken down by HubPages now!
I am restating some quotes and information here that I had already included in my replies to some of the comments as this situation with SirDent's Hub has recently taken a very negative turn.
I recently found out that SirDent (or someone) has eliminated the comments capsule on his Hub. He claims he did so to eliminate the two links from his Hub to this one, but he also wiped out almost 300 comments from upstanding respectable Muslims and sympathizers who attacked his CENSORED. However, SirDent also left statements on the page that Mohammed (PBUH) "is a liar, a murderer, a pedophile and a thief. He is a false prophet who should have been killed..."
I personally will not stand for this. I am going to do everything that I can to have these CENSORED calumnies struck from HubPages. The right to freedom of speech does not include slandering one billion people. I stated that I would defend SirDent's right to express himself under the U.S. Consitution, but I believe this no longer skirts "hate speech" but is a "hate speech," and the Supreme Court has repeatedly clarified that this form of expression is a criminal act and not protected under the First Amendment.
My various comments to SirDent include:
The constitutional right to freedom of speech does NOT include yelling FIRE in a crowded theatre, nor does it allow you to slander one billion people.
SirDent, whoever you are, you do not belong in a respectable family-rated site like HubPages, but locked away with other CENSORED where you cannot hurt anyone but yourself. The only truth you know is that you are a profoundly CENSORED man riddled with CENSORED towards anyone who does not share your extreme minority ultra-fundamentalist view of Christianity.
My name is Hal Licino. That is a matter of public record. Google me and confirm that I have hundreds of writing credits outside of HubPages. Who exactly are you, "SirDent" and why do you hide behind a moniker?
I was born and raised a Christian, sir. And with all that magnificent religion has taught me about forgiving, I cannot forgive the offense which you insist on foisting on all the good and respectable Muslims on Earth.
I ask for all Muslims and fair-hearted people of any religion who read this to join me and vociferously demand that this CENSORED offense to the Prophet of a great world religion be forever struck from this site.
The management of HubPages will listen!
Please place your comments here and let us in brotherhood work together to get these despicable words off of this fine HubPages site.