Not much in Chapter 62's eleven measly verses—god rocks, Jews suck. Way back, Lolkoran did some research on this one:

The fact is, reading the koran is NOT uplifting; it's a horrible chore. Part of the problem is that it's is a terrible piece of writing. Nobody could pass Freshman English by stringing together verses that don't tell a story, aren't grouped around separate topics, and aren't even in chronological order. Plus it's repetitious, self-contradictory, full of vague generalities and doesn't even indicate who's talking at any given point.

Here's an experiment on a random chapter, Surah 62: Friday. We start with the original text, 347 words, and take out all the Godifying. Saying “Allah” is the same as “Allah, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, the Mighty, the Wise,” and the only reason for the bloviating flattery is to make your sermon sound impressive. It may fit in a tent revival meeting but it has no place in written prose. This eliminates 14% of the text.

█ We're left with 299 wds. Now we take out the gratuitous insults: blatant slurs like “God Damn them! How perverted are they!(9:30)” and the nonstop ranting that's constantly piled on anyone who disagrees with the author. This removes another 13+% and makes the text marginally palatable.

█ Next we rewrite the archaic King James Grammar that every self-styled prophet is compelled to use, since the marks won't believe their Almighty Lord could possibly talk except in a 16th century English Court dialect full of convoluted grammar fossils that take twice as long to say. This includes the ridiculous “Say to them” and pronominal goulash that translators are forced to put in to avoid the supposed narrator, God, saying “My Savior is Me (7:196)”. Fixing that reduces the text another 27% and we're down to 159 words of actual content, 46% of the original. Whew! Here's the breakdown.

This is God's best effort? If Shakespeare wrote that way he'd have made a good plumber, but that's not the worst of it. It's hard but rewarding to decipher ancient writings, extract the wisdom of other cultures, search for inspirational nuggets to help live life more productively. This isn't the place to do it—you'll get no uplifting feeling from reading the koran. The more I read it the more depressed I get, and when I put it down it is not with positive feelings. Without the snark and lolcats I'd be like Kafirgirl :
“I used to be one of those obnoxious Pollyanna types who always sees the bright side of things. And this damn book has quickly turned me into a curmudgeonly old misanthrope. I feel like I’ve been walking around in a state of perpetual pissed offness.”
The 48% content is horrible! I had expected some mix of Old Testament smiting and vengeance mixed in with an overall positive message of moral guidance. It's not like that at all. Here's a summary of the whole book:
Do what I say
I'll kill you
torture you in hell forever.

All the rest is just elaborations on the basic theme. As I went through paraphrasing the text so that I could understand it, I started using Korancronyms—shorthand terms for things that are repeated constantly. Here are some of them: IKE= I know everything, IKYA= I'll kick you ass, YAGTH= you'll all go to hell. There aren't any korancronyms for things like 'love your neighbor' because it never talks like that.

If you want to sell your product though, you'd better, and it's easy to anthropomorphize and cuten things up for kids. Veggie Tales made Moses into a cucumber! But how do you cuten up “kill them wherever you find them,” or “they will be derided by God, and will suffer painful punishment. Whether you plead forgiveness for them or not, God will never forgive them.” Is this the kind of thing you want your kid absorbing at preschool? You might as well hang up a bloody statue of a guy being tortured to death! Kids'd be better off if you sent them to the local S/M club, Srsly.

Veggie-tales manages to make the Old Testament a fun cartoony expression of the original idea, and that's saying something. But even a happy cucumber giving someone 'molten brass to drink' is just not something I want to see. Or beheading someone or taunting them while 'branding them on their foreheads, backs and sides'.

If those were rare isolated verses, one could ignore them, but they are korancronyms—you can't read more than a few lines without seeing crap like that. Overall it's a constant harangue on the evils of the unbelievers, who actually seem pretty reasonable, unlike the narrator. Reading it is like being stuck listening to some crotchety old bitter relative ranting how nothing in the world is any good; it's a breath of fresh air to get away from it.


Robert Madewell said...

I think it is very funny that ever since James I of England, every english translation of a holy book sounds like the KJV bible. I have made the comparrison between the KJV and Shakespear more than once. Remember that Shakespear and James I were contempararies.

You know, the bible is the same way. I've read it twice and it's not an easy book to read. No where in the bible was I riveted to the story. No where was I unable to set it down because I couldn't wait to see what happened next. It was the exact opposite of an uplifting experience for me.

Anonymous said...

you got it, Uzza. Now if we could just coax the rest of the western world into getting it and drop the dhimmie posturing maybe we could get somewhere with these people.