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Posted June 27, 2011
Avoid this book!
If you are looking for an electronic copy of the Holy Qur'an, keep looking; this isn't it. What it is, though, is a very good example of the prevailing thought in the West about Islam and the Holy Qur'an when it was written and edited back in the 18th and 19th centuries, continuing to a great extent through the 20th century and to some, sadly, even today, that the Qur'an is a collection of folk tales and legends and includes stories plagiarized from the other two Abrahamic faiths, that those who hold it as the true word of God are ignorant followers of a false prophet, and it is the duty of all civilized (read: Christian) peoples to convert them. I knew from the moment I started reading this that it was not what I had supposed and hoped it to be, the first clue being that the forward was by a Christian minister, the second was that the chapters (suras) had been purposely re-ordered from the original to meet the author's sensibility of chronological sequence, and the third that there is almost as much commentary as there is actual scripture, most of which is literary criticism or suggestions on how to explain the "errors" in their scripture to the "Muhammadans." (This term is insulting to Muslims, BTW, because Islam declares that God is One, indivisible and without partners and because saying "Muhammadans" gives the impression that they worship the Prophet Muhammad, who they hold to be fully human, not divine, and so to worship him is not just in error but a sin.) The more I read this the greater was my displeasure but then it occurred to me that what I had purchased helped explain (but not excuse) one of the great chasms between cultures and religions that has made the world the way it is today. Bottom line: If you are looking for an electronic copy of the Holy Qur'an you will not find it here but if you want to spend a dollar to own a piece of history and, hopefully, learn from it how cultural prejudices can be damaging, then you might appreciate this book.
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