[Paleopsych] violence in quran and bible

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 1 21:30:03 UTC 2005

>>You will learn how Muhammad encouraged his handful
followers to attack the caravans, kill the men, rape
the women and bring the booty (20% for himself) to
please Allah<<

--I'd like to see more people talk about violence in
the Quran AND the Bible. The acts attributed to
Mohammad are similar to descriptions in Numbers and
Deuteronomy of God-sanctioned violence, slavery and
rape. I've met far too many Christians who excused
such behavior, saying "God ordered it, therefore it
was moral". That Christians in the US have not engaged
in organized violence is not reassuring, given death
threats against abortion providers and Michael Schiavo
and the more prominent judge who sided with him, and
the militia movement which went underground after the
Oklahoma bombing. If the US falls on hard times
economically, I do not fully trust extreme right-wing
Christians to stay peaceful. Hate speech is already
very common.

I'd also avoid attaching all Christians or all Muslims
to violence in holy books. It's clear that people CAN
behave better than their scriptural "founding
fathers", and that moderate believers need all the
help they can get promoting a non-literal and merciful
version of their faith. If all Christians believed
that Moses really did order the murder of infants and
kidnapping of virgin girls in war, and that God was
responsible for giving Moses the idea, I'd condemn
Christianity in no uncertain terms. But I've met many
Christians who did not agree with those passages (or
who simply didn't know about them) but lived genuinely
humble and Christlike lives. I've met as many Muslims,
at least online, who were similar. They all claimed to
believe in the Bible/Quran, yet they somehow managed
to emphasize the nonviolent passages and avoid
endorsing the violent ones. Unfortunately, many
Christians condemn Islam based on violence in the
Quran without acknowledging historical violence by
Christians who used the Bible to justify war crimes
and slavery. It is not possible to destroy Islam or
Christianity, only to make a clear distinction between
the behavior of violent and nonviolent believers. That
so many people seem to want to destroy one religion or
another strikes me as a bad sign. It pushes moderates
to either side passively with extremists, or to
withdraw from confrontation, which does the small
percentage of us who are atheists no good at all.


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