Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Stop quoting Koran, start reading it, says scholar

This isn't going to happen anytime soon, Islam's understanding of the Koran as opposed to our understanding of the Bible are very different:

Rachid Benzine wishes Muslims would stop quoting the Koran and start reading it.
The young French academic said many Christians and Jews read their scriptures with a critical eye, adapting reading to the modern world but Muslims read theirs literally and quote it to justify rules that may no longer apply to lives today.
Doesn't this play into the hands of fundamentalists who want to impose a narrow view of Islam?
"We cite Koranic verses left and right to justify everything and nothing," said Benzine, who teaches Koranic hermeneutics -- the discipline of interpreting texts -- at the Institute of Political Studies in Aix-en-Provence.
In debates about Islam, he says, the Koran has become "a text of slogans, a supermarket" for adversaries to choose quotes to impose what they think is the only valid reading.
"No interpretation can pretend to be the only right one," insists Benzine, whose 2004 book "The New Thinkers of Islam" highlights the work of Muslim reformers. He plans to publish a book on interpreting the Koran in 2008.
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