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brainout

Islam and Qu'ran are SCHIZOPHRENIC. Why?

I've been thinking about this for nearly three months, now:  on the one hand, Muslims scream how Islam is the religion of peace, when of course all we kaffir see, is warring.  Hypersensitivity over even the name of a teddy bear or a cartoon.  Doesn't look peaceful to us.

So, we go to the Qu'ran, and find out this mishmash of verses telling us nice things and then nasty things.  We in the forum already know what these ayahs are, and debate them often.

What makes matters worse, if you reorganize the Suras chronologically as Mughal did in his thread at FFI "Revelational Sequence of the Qu'ran" (click here), you see a disturbing pattern.  After Khadija died, the Suras become violent and nasty, increasingly so.  Since that sequence is taken from the MUSLIM sources at USC-MSC (click here for main USC-MSA site) then it's not a kaffir making the claim.

So my question here is different:  WHY the apparent schizoid nature in the Qu'ran?  Why also, do those Muslims who cry that this is a religion of peace -- why don't they admit to the violence which is all over the Qu'ran as well?

I'm not saying there are no explanations.  I'm saying that the problem is not admitted.

Moreover, The arguments about Muhammed (and Islamic history) being good just don't hold water.  So the Qu'ran comes under fire for saying a lot of violent and even silly things (though which silly things, is quite debatable).  And that's before you even look at the hadiths or silly fatwahs which are issued.

Why then is this SCHIZOID problem not admitted in Islam?  Why instead are WE blamed, if for example we say this "x" ayah is a problem?  Why are we accused of hating Islam, when Islam displays itself as hateful, first?  Can't anyone see the problem we have with this book?  It's NOT as Muslims represent it.  That cannot be denied.  {Granted, many argue against Bible this way as well.  But we admit the problems and try to explain them.  Centuries of debate have gone on with Bible.  But you don't see that kind of critical open analysis of Qu'ran.  Why?}

Comments?  Helpful hints?
Pazuzu bin Hanbi

Thanks for the link to that very thoughtful thread! It seems, especially when you look at Islamic sources, that Muhammad started off as a genuine person. He feared he had grown mad when the revelations started, and his wife & uncle convinced him he had received revelations from God. The name of his message threatened his peers and those who had charge of the K‘aba. They spurned him and forbade others from having anything to do with him. Their ‘boycott’ seems the most likely cause for why Khadija ended up falling ill and dying. Bereft of the love of his life and the single source of real comfort, it seems Muhammad went a little … potty.

I took particular interest in the later revelations, almost all exclusively dealing in war, because Muhammad acted humble and contrite in Makkah — when completely powerless. Only once he gained political power in Yathrib (thereafter known as Medinat an–Nabi, or ‘City of the Prophet’, shortened to Madinah or ‘City’) did he gather an army and take charge of dealing with those who wronged him. Whether or not he set out to gain political power remains irrelevant for the purpose of my point. The fact remains: he GOT it, and then kicked arse afterwards.
brainout

Pazuzu, when you were still a Muslim, did anyone ever explain this changeover?  I'm curious about it, as it's obviously mainstream knowledge that there's a distinct CHANGE from Medina onward.  Even that doctrine of abrogation, where the peaceful suras/ayats are OVERRIDEN by the warring ones.

What were you told as to the cause, the answer?  Or were you not told?  Thanks!
Pazuzu bin Hanbi

Simply that any wars came as an act of self–defence. I used to buy into this propaganda too until I looked into it myself. I always steered away from Western sources simply because they took to ATTACKING Islam, and in a very hostile manner as well. I still don’t like this. But even looking at Islamic sources, such as the Sira (biography) of the Prophet, etc. led to the conclusion that somehow (conveniently), Muhammad found some means of ousting ALL the Jewish tribes in Yathrib (some of it legitimate, most of it not), the very same people who had invited him there in the first place!

The catch here comes from the fact that Muhammad revered the Jewish prophets — as he understood them. He honestly thought they would accept him as a prophet, not realising that for Jews the time of Prophecy had ended. He didn’t even see any doctrinal difference between Judaism and Christianity until he went to Yathrib and learnt more! This break with the Jews represents his biggest disappointment and failure, and Qur’anic revelations after this point display a distinctly anti–Jewish flavour.

I read a very interesting paragraph by Patricia Crone, in this article on Makkan Trade where she cites an Islamic source:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/crone.html wrote:
Muhammad was a prophet with a political mission, not, as is so often asserted, a prophet who merely happened to become involved with politics. His monotheism amounted to a political programme, as is clear not only from non-Muslim accounts of his career, but also from Ibn Ishaq.

Thus Ibn Ishaq informs us that the turning point of Muhammad's career as a prophet came when he began openly to attack the ancestral gods of Quraysh and to denounce his own ancestors. This was a turning point because in so doing, he attacked the very foundations of his own tribe; and it was for this that he would have been outlawed or killed if his own kinsmen had not heroically continued to protect him — not for the threat that his monotheist preaching allegedly posed to the pagan sanctuary or Meccan trade. He was, after all, no more than a local eccentric at the time, and Quraysh were quite willing to tolerate his oddities, including his minor following, as long as he confined his teaching to abstract truths about this world and the next. But they were not willing to tolerate an attack on their ancestors. By this they were outraged,and quite rightly so: a man who tries to destroy the very foundation of his own community is commonly known as a traitor. But Muhammad would scarcely have turned traitor without some vision of an alternative community. In denouncing his own ancestors, he had demonstrated that his God was incompatible with tribal divisions as they existed; and this incompatibility arose from the fact that his God, unlike that of the Christians, was both a monotheist and an ancestral deity. Allah was the one and only God of Abraham, the ancestor of the Arabs; and it was around ancestral deities that tribal groups were traditionally formed. It follows that it was around Allah, and Allah alone, that the Arabs should be grouped, all the ancestral deities that sanctioned current divisions being false.

If we accept the traditional account of Muhammad's life, Muhammad was thus a political agitator already in Mecca, and it was as such that he offered himself to other tribes. “If we give allegiance to you and God gives you victory over your opponents, will we have authority after you?” an 'Amin is supposed to have asked, fully aware that acceptance of Muhammad was acceptance of a ruler with ambitious plans. It was also as such, not merely as an otherworldly arbitrator, that he was accepted in Medina.
brainout

Oh, Pazuzu, I love Halsall's site, and remember that article.  So from what you can tell, it was the rejection of Muhammed which triggered the change?  That would make more sense.
Pazuzu bin Hanbi

Yes, definitely so towards the Jews. It also explains his rather inspired move of changing the qibla (direction of prayer) to Makkah instead of Jerusalem as well.

In regards to the Makkans, though, he took a more hostile stance after they, for all intents and purposes, caused the death of his 1st wife. In fact, that loss probably lies at the centre of his multiple marriages too! In the same way someone who loses the love of his life — whether through death or getting dumped — tries to compensate by going around shagging as many women as possible.
brainout

Ok, time to play devil's advocate.  Could it be said, irrespective of these 'coincidences', that there was a superior spiritual reason?

Let me give a Bible example so you know what I'm getting at.  Christianity is often accused of being a ripoff of Judaism, and especially Paul is accused of inventing something new to 'compete'.  But you can prove if you go back from Genesis forward, that Messiah was always promised;  that in Jeremiah 31:31-34 there would be a new covenant of spiritual intimacy WROUGHT by this Messiah such that you would have His Own Thinking IN your own soul, and wouldn't need the ritual mnemonics, anymore.  Book of Hebrews walks the reader through that spiritual upgrade (though I think I had to read the book a bizillion times before I "got" that).

So it's not a ripoff, but a spiritual upgrade promised to and through the Jews, and still available, consistent.  Paul just got to be the poster boy for explaining that, since after all he was a Jew and knew the OT well.  It wasn't new, but a fulfillment.

So, with respect to the Qu'ran: can one say that the Medina changeover is something of a spiritual upgrade?  If so, in what way?  For in that case, then something new does replace and yet continue, the old.  Of course, that would present problems too, since Medina+ ayahs are so much more violent-sounding.

What could be said, as an spiritual upgrade, for Medina+?
Pazuzu bin Hanbi

Afraid I’ll have to bow out here and look into that before I can add anything more to the discussion! I have nothing off the top of my head (though my first reaction while reading your biblical example consisted of wanting to discuss the disparate nature of the various txts of the Tanakh and the different deities presented therein), so I can’t usefully contribute until I research that further. Cheers for making me think though, lol! Wink
brainout

Well, you're making me think, too!  Looking at both sides of any question. Smile
Pazuzu bin Hanbi

You have to, though. Looking at one side means you only end up reinforcing one point of view, possible leaving out perfectly valid information because it doesn’t ‘fit’, and in general committing a logical fallacy and coming up with a skewed answer.

Despite my muslim background I grew up thinking (most likely due to the media influences prevalent in Britain) of Israel as automatically ‘right’ in the conflict between it & Palestine. Much much research and reading of both sides of the viewpoint led me to a more balanced assessment.

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