Many people have been quoting the Quran out of context in an effort to show that Islam promotes violence. A recent op-ed piece by Cal Thomas is a high profile example.
This is pure nonsense. Thomas and others doing this are taking selected passages and reading them completely out of context to support whatever argument they wish to make. I can do the same thing with the Bible.
Here are some choice passages from the KJV Bible which when read in isolation makes the Bible appear to be a primer for evil:
1) In Leviticus 25:44-46, the Lord tells the Israelites it’s OK to own slaves, provided they are strangers or heathens.
2) In Samuel 15:2-3, the Lord orders Saul to kill all the Amalekite men, women and infants.
3) In Exodus 15:3, the Bible tells us the Lord is a man of war.
4) In Numbers 31, the Lord tells Moses to kill all the Midianites, sparing only the virgins.
5) In Deuteronomy 13:6-16, the Lord instructs Israel to kill anyone who worships a different god or who worships the Lord differently.
6) In Mark 7:9, Jesus is critical of the Jews for not killing their disobedient children as prescribed by Old Testament law.
7) In Luke 19:22-27, Jesus orders killed anyone who refuses to be ruled by him.
Context is important, of course, and many of these seeming cruelties disappear when read as such. However, this would not stop a Christian terrorist from interpreting the Bible in a manner necessary to concoct a religious justification for unspeakable horrors, as Pope Urban II did, for example, when he preached the First Crusade in 1095 or as many American preachers did when they used Leviticus to defend slavery.
Political and religious extremists have abused Islamic, Jewish, or Christian scriptures continuously throughout history. Cal Thomas, a man who claims to be Christian, would do well to learn something of his own faith s scriptures and history before accusing Islam s Quran of promoting violence.
— Edward Flaherty On-line since 1993 E-mail: Web site: http://members.home.net/flaherty15/index.htm