Getting back to the chapters in the order they were revealed, 97 & 91 are more nature worship, kind of nice. As usual its confusing, when it talks about the title of 97, night of Determination, or Majesty in some translations. That seemed like a reference to judgement day, but I was surprised to find out it meant Mo's first hallucination. It just goes to show you cant rely on this " complete, perfect and fully detailed" book piece of crap. Then 91 goes on with praising the sun and moon, for ten whole lines before it gets bloodthirsty again, reminding us of the Thamud:

11. The Thamud denied (the truth) in their perverseness

12. When among them the great wretch arose,

13. And the apostle of God had to tell them: "This is God's she-camel, let her drink." Thamud? great wretch? So that your readers can follow your story, god, you need to identify any new characters at their first appearance---Ed.

Twenty-two chapters in the future, in surah 27, he does get around to explaining it, but Kafirgirl explains a lot better than God. One thing I don't get: this Saleh the prophet character gives the Thamuddians a camel,

14. But they called him a liar and hamstrung her. So God obliterated them...

Wait,... what? These people lived in a culture that depended on camels for its very existence, out in the desert with those caravans, so I imagine they had a pretty good idea of how valuable they were and how to take care of one: so they HAMSTRUNG one? Why the HELL would they do that?

Hamstring: verb , trans.
1 : to make ineffective or powerless
2 : to cripple by cutting the leg tendons

Killing and eating it I could see but this, this would be like you giving me a Rolls-Royce and me setting fire to it. Out of twenty translations I checked, ten say hamstrung; nine say killed, and one says 'wounded/slaughtered/made infertile,' apparently hedging their bets by including every possible meaning in the dictionary. How well did these translators know Arabic; and since 90% of muslims don't know it either, how well do they understand their own book?


This chapter ends with a funny line “He does not fear the consequences”. Depending on who you ask, that means either a) God ain't scared, which is like ....DUHH! ...or b) God doesn't give a fuck about killing people, which isn't exactly good PR. Oh, and one translation even says it's the victims (!) that don't fear... uhh, ... hey, look, over there!


Muhammed is a Jerk

OMFG, here we go again. Chapter 80, the next one revealed, starts out;

(1) He frowned and turned away
Listen up god, because a certified ESL teacher is here to tell you that when you are talking directly to Mo, you don't say “he.” That, god, is for talking about someone else. When you talk directly to someone, god, like I'm talking to you now, god, you say “you.” It's the same in Arabic, not to mention all the other 6000+ languages your Omniscience-ness is supposed to know, so perhaps English as a Second Language is not the right approach for you, god, and you would do better in Special Ed. Hold it, there's a muslim on the line to explain:
LOL The use of the third person form here is significant. It suggests that the subject-matter is so distasteful to Allah that He does not like to confront His beloved messenger with it. This in itself is a gesture of mercy and kindness to the Prophet. Thus, the action which necessitated the reproof has been disguised with great subtlety. LOL
ROFLMAO, that may be what it suggests to you, buddy, but to me it suggests we got us another candidate for Special Ed. A guy that drowns every living thing on the planet can't bear to hurt little Mo's feelings. In words of three syllables, shee-yi-it.

There's pretty general consensus this was a real event. At a meeting between Mo and a bunch of the local chiefs, a poor blind man came up to Mo, and Mo seriously dissed him. Here god chews Mo out for it. The hadith explain what happened. God/Mo had commanded all the cultists to go fight, and the blind guy wanted an exception. Mo treated him like shit but he realized he had to change god's word, so he got another revelation excepting the disabled. Of course, that was in chapter 4, which supposedly was revealed years later, but what the hell.

But why's he putting bad stuff about himself in an official history again? Remember Mo's marketing plan = concentrate sales efforts on the rich chiefs. But the rich chiefs, and priests, don't like him. So like any canny Klan or Neonazi organizer, he turns his attention to where he can get recruits, with the ignorant racist trailer trash poor and oppressed of the town. How to explain to them his earlier pandering ? Well easy—a revelation showed him the error if his ways. Now he sees the truth---god likes these guys best! White Brown Bedouin muslim, yeah, Muslim Power!! The cultists try to explain that Perfect old Mo could never act shitty, and this was only a test, but I'll spare you more grade-school whining.

The rest of the chapter is standard book-thumping: nobody appreciates god, they'll be sorry on judgment day. Ho hum.


I told you so!

WHOOO-HOOO!! Remember back in my 9/10 post, Abu's an Asshole, where I diagnosed our buddy Mo? and said he had a bad case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Well looky what I found---a whole book telling me how right I was! Neener Neener Neener, Told Ya So! Don't mess with Uzza, bitches! LOL!

Seriously, the guy is a little too right-wing and I don't know how much faith to put in this, but it's nice to find out I'm not the only one who sees it this way.


Blogging the Koran

Good News! We're now members of The Atheist Blogroll! See the shiny new blogroll there in the sidebar? This is a free service that Mojoey at Deep Thoughts offers for all of us hellbound, unbelieving infidel bloggers. Since he started it, what, maybe a year ago, it's grown to almost 800 blogs, so we don't need to feel like we're all alone. That has been a lot of work, so mad props to Mojoey! When I've read too many news items about religious craziness and I need an antidote, I surf through some of these other blogs and regain my will to live. If you have a blog of your own think about joining up yourself. Just click on the red icon and it'll take you right there.

In other news...

Other people besides me are infected with this BloggingtheKoran virus. Most of the credit has to go to Kafirgirl, who is not only Teh Awesum for her writing and for her take on the subject, but in a roundabout way is responsible for this blog being born. See, over at Lolkoran I'm helping translate the Bad Book into Lolspeek. In order to do that we have to figure out what it means in the first place, which believe me is not fucken easy, even for Rewfcat! So I had a lot of notes, and they eventually turned into this blog. The Lolkoran got started in the first place when Watercat read Kafirgirl's blog, so she rules. She is the Queen of the Qur'an.

Atheist Exile is also infected. He started at the beginning of October, and is following the same order as me. He was even nice enough to give me a shoutout on his blog ☺, so I return the favor here. Go there and check out his blog. His Koran posts are short concise summaries, not long-winded bloviations like mine, so that's a good place to start.

Jihad Watch has a feature called Blogging the Qur'an, with Robert Spencer, who is a real expert on all this stuff, and it's an excellent resource. He's a little right wing for my taste--he's afiliated with Michelle Malkin somehow or other—but he knows his stuff and he connects it to current events.

There are some others, completed or inactive: The Guardian just ended a feature also called Blogging the Quran, put up by a ...mmm... believer. I wouldn't recommend it, and in fact John Eccles started up a blog just to address the problems with the Guardian project, but it seems to have died last April: Too bad. The other completed one that we couldn't possibly do without is the Skeptics Annotated Quran, which is like base camp for snarky study.

If anyone knows of any others, please clue me in, in the comments.

**Update: Deep Thoughts has posted my intro here. Props, and thanks!


Brother Mo's Travelin' Salvation Show (end of Surah 53), in which I say something good about the koran!

All these allusions to nature get to my soft spot. Even I have to admit that the earlier chapters can make great poetry. That's subjective, but you can Google up translations of ch100, “The Chargers”, that are really evocative and stirring. Poetry's not my thing; shit even reading poetry criticism makes me gag, so I'll condense J. Rodwell :
The contrast between the earlier and later Suras is very striking. Up to chapter 54 we can't help but notice the entire preeminence of the poetical element, a deep appreciation, as in 91, of the beauty of natural objects, brief fragmentary and impassioned utterances, expressed for the most part in lines of extreme brevity. In 53 however, Muhammed openly assumes the office of 'public warner' and it becomes more prosaic and didactic as the Missionary gradually replaces the Poet. Descriptions of natural objects give way to Jewish and Christian histories and disputes with the enemies of his faith. The admonisher and persuader of Mecca becomes at Medina the legislator and warrior, who dictates obedience, and uses other weapons than the pen. (rephrased with apologies to Rodwell)
We have every reason to believe them when they say the original Arabic is outstanding in a poetical sense, and it even sounds really good sometimes when it's sung. OMFG I've committed blasphemy! It's forbidden to sing koranic verses, according to some fuckwit. Sorry, but if certain types of modern music I won't name are 'singing', this sure n the fuck is, and it sounds kind of nice. Could use a little backup, but when you consider the lyrics, the only kind of music that's really appropriate would be Death Metal, and that's a really scary image.

Finishing off ch53, by v36 Mo's got the spirit, and Hallaujah, he preaches smitin and destroyin, and judgement day, he thumps the Good Book with the best of them;
36. Has he not heard what is contained in the Book of Moses,
37. And of Abraham who fulfilled his trust?
Whoa! The Book of Moses was written by Joseph Smith in 1830, part of founding Mormonism. This must be another Quranic prophecy fullfilled, but let's not bring it to their attention, K?

Probly Mo means the Five Books of Moses, aka the Jewish Bible, but they don't really say much about any afterlife. The Book of Daniel does say there's a book of who's naughty and nice, & a judgment, so maybe that's where it came from. By all accounts he'd been to see those Jewish and Christian preachers, and undoubtedly he picked up some Powerpoint tips from watching them. So he incorporated it into his own rant, and it seems to have worked. Already noted how he preached so good the Ethiopian peeps came home.


The Lord of Sirius, srsly.

You just can't take the pagan out of the prophet; in 53:49 he slips up and calls Allah the Lord of Sirius.
Yet another miracle!! Mohammed knew about the double star!

Oh, Right. That's why astronomers sent out this Newsflash :

Chapter 91 is named after Shams, a popular sun Goddess, 86 is Tariq, another star god, this chapter is named after the Pleides, and here's Sirius, Zoroastrian god of rain and sacred to the Sumerians and Egyptians, plus there's all that moon worship. Look at the sky out in the desert, (if you can get away from all the light pollution), and it's easy to understand why ancient cultures associated their gods with the most prominent stuff up there. In the Mideast, the gods were different in every town, and a surprising lot of them were female like Uzza and the goddesses.
It is interesting to find... how far the esoteric concept of the Feminine pervaded Arab life and belief. As in many other religions of the Ancient Middle East, there was a strong feminine bias in the early religion of Arabia. This seems to have centred principally on the worship of the underlying feminine principle, like the Great Goddess common to several ancient mythologies....Female deities like Allat, Ozza and Manat predominated in importance over male. Even the sun-deity Shams was treated as female by some Arab tribes. The moon… though often ruled by a god, was regarded as the feminine orb par excellence. (Shamoun)
Why was the moon most important? Well shit, think about living in the worst desert on Earth;
... the Moslem Ruwalah Bedouins imagine that their life is regulated by the moon, which condenses the water vapours, distills the beneficent dew on the pasture and makes possible the growth of plants. On the other hand the sun, as they believe, would like to destroy the Bedouins as well as all animal and plant life.
In the Arabian desert? Hey, they might be onto something. Other places might worship it, but in the desert the sun is your enemy. Get caught out there without shade or water a couple of times and you'll be ready to worship the fucking moon yourself. But at night, soft cool life-giving breezes spring up, in the nurturing, feminine moonlight, and there in the vast open spaces, filled with silence and stillness, you feel at peace, and a oneness with your surroundings: Mother Nature, or Gaia, if you're less romantic.

There's a lot of other stuff that indicates women were held in high esteem before Islam. Many tribal names have the form "Banyu X", where 'banyu' means 'children of' and 'X' is a female name; Mohammed's wife Khadijah was a successful businesswoman; temple inscriptions and stories portray women positively; all these goddesses...

I'm romantic; I like to believe that the ancient Arabs weren't all misogynistic bastards before old Abraham came along to fuck everything up.


Meme Tag!

I'm off-topic with this post because Kafirgirl, bless her little heathen heart, has tagged me with an internet meme, and she's so great, how could I refuse? So here goes:

Can You Remember The Day That You Officially Became An Atheist?
I don't understand the question. I can't remember when I couldn't read, and I loved stories about the Egyptians, The Romans, the Mayans, so I was always aware there were different names for this god thing. I doubt it ever occurred to me that they weren't all attempts to describe the same thing.

Do you remember the day you officially became an agnostic?
I really don't believe in atheists/agnostics; those terms are meaningless without a definition of god. I don't think anybody denies that the universe exists and there is a force or forces that caused it to exist and sustain its existence. By definition, isn't that god? You can accept the definition or you can put more conditions on it, like, don't call it god unless it's conscious. Or it's benevolent. Or has big tits. So it's never a question of believing or not believing, it's a question of the exact nature of what you believe.

How about the last time you spoke or prayed to God with actual thought that someone was listening?
Never did it. If I did, and someone heard me, OMG I'd be so fucking embarrassed!

Did anger towards God or religion help cause you to be an atheist or agnostic?
Talk about a sense of entitlement! Everybody's pissed at god over bad things, and they're all, “Why is there eeevil?” I don't hear anybody bitching about “Why are there good things?” Everybody assumes god is not just good, but good relative to them, not somebody else or cockroaches or the AIDS virus. If god has to be one or the other, its 50/50 likely to be either good or bad, but people just take for granted that all the bazillions of things that can happen in the universe are going to benefit them, and any that don't have some sort of awful flaw. What an ego! I'm angry that I don't hear people saying “Why did god create all these beautiful sunsets?” and “Why aren't baby kittens ugly?” and “Why does God allow love in the world?” It's not anger towards god, it's anger towards stupid ungrateful fucking people.

Here is a good one: Were you agnostic towards ghosts, even after you became an atheist?
Ghosts? Demons? Little invisible critters that get in our bodies and make us ill, or autistic, or gay, or alcoholic? The question should be what sort of critters do you think they are? Some we can I.D., call them germs, viruses, bugs; some we can't, and call them bugs, demons, devils, spirits, djinns. All these exist, even if only as products of our own minds, and people use different ways of describing them. The same event might be “I saw an angel”, “My spirit guide appeared”, “I got this mental image of an angel”, in different circumstances. Some times people prefer to be metaphorical, or they're just being lazy. Often times people are just too stupid to describe things any other way than literally. Or they might be shit smearing bonkers. So which are you, when you ask me about ghosts?

Do you want to be wrong?

It'll be great if I'm wrong. I'll come storming through the pearly gates, march right up to God, look him in the eye be all “Mosquitoes? What the HELL were you thinking?”

Tag! If you guys want to play, that is, you're it now!
Perky Skeptic
Anal Iced Bible
Atheist Exile

(spozed to be five, but I'm too n00by to know that many atheist bloggers. )


Satanic Verses

The Quaran leaves out 53:20½, the verse Satan stuck in there, LOL. Ibn Ishaq tells us about it. The pagan priests offered to pay Mohammed off if he'd “Stop reviling our gods”. He really wanted to be accepted, so he got a revelation that its OK to worship the goddesses. That got him a speaking engagement at the Kaaba, preaching to a mixed audience of pagans and his own cultists. He kissed a little ass in the speech, saying
Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza, and another, the third goddess, Manat? They are the elevated cranes; surely their intercession is dearly hoped for.
He called them high-flying—that is, up there close to Allah—cranes, because Arabian cranes were known for high altitude flights. This went over big with the pagans, so much so that when he called for them to bow at the end of the speech (v62) they all happily banged their foreheads on the ground together. Mohamed steals another pagan ritual here; this chapter is famous as the first official call for his people to prostrate themselves in prayer.
(v62) Bow instead in adoration before God and worship Him”,
The pagans spun all this as meaning Mo had embraced paganism, his cultists spun it that the pagans had accepted islam; everybody's happy. Politically, though, it was a miscalculation. Think about it. If the goddesses can intercede for you, then it makes sense to go to her priests for help, and bypass Mo. Whoops!

Mo realized he'd fucked up, so that night he had God send a new verse to say “Satan sent line 21; ignore it.” In the Koran's inept, oracular, stumblebum way this supposedly came out as surah 22:52,
(52) We sent not ever any Messenger or Prophet before thee, but that Satan cast into his fancy, when he was fancying; but God abrogates what Satan casts, then God confirms His signs -- surely God is All-knowing, All-wise --
See the clear specific reference there to Uzza and Lat? Yeah, me neither, but its as clear as god ever gets. You can't read an old dead language (like Classical Arabic) without having a dictionary handy because you can't figure out what half the lines mean. The Quran is written in Classical Gibberish, and the dictionary you need to pull out to explain it is the Hadith.

Tabari VI:110 "Thus Allah removed the sorrow from his Messenger, reassured him about that which he had feared, and canceled the words which Satan had cast on his tongue, that their gods were exalted high-flying cranes (goddesses) whose intercession was accepted with approval. He now revealed, following the mention of 'Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat.' the words: 'are yours the males and his the females? That indeed is an unfair division! They are but names which you and your fathers have given.'" [Qur'an 53:21]

Now that's more like it. But WTF? The koran is supposed to be a record of what god said. Here is god talking, so why isn't this in the book? To be accurate it should say god said that and then said replace that with this...” This is what politicians always do: lie, get caught; lie about their lie when it shows up on Youtube. Here, they were embarrassed by a rewrite that makes it look like their infallible god had fucked up, so they tried to cover it up, but omitting god's editing episode and passing the rewrite off as the original it makes it look like god's lying. Total clusterfuck.

What's more, Tabari says Gabriel showed up to chew Mo's ass the same night as the temple speech, but chapter 22 came ten years later, in Medina. There's like 80 verses in between these two! Looks like they were stonewalling, trying to whitewash it the whole time until the cultists had conquered Mecca and he didn't need to be careful anymore, then he just went whole hog with the abrogating bit.

Here's the relevant section with the original verses on the left and their replacements on the right.

(19) Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza,
(20) And another, the third goddess, Manat?

(20½) They are the elevated cranes;
surely their intercession is dearly hoped for.
(21) What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
(22) Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!

(23) These are nothing but names which ye have devised,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah has sent down no authority whatever. They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire!- Even though there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord!
(24) Nay, shall man have just anything he hankers after?
(25) But it is to Allah that the End and the Beginning of all things belong.
(26) How many-so-ever be the angels in the heavens, their intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He pleases and that he is acceptable to Him.
(27) Those who believe not in the Hereafter, name the angels with female names.
(28) But they have no knowledge therein. They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails nothing against Truth.

The later version on the right looks like an obvious cut and paste job. It brings up the goddesses to talk about god's offspring, then immediately changes the subject to talking about what their names are, then changes back to intercessions on line 26. The original version on the left has a better narrative flow. It mentions the goddesses in terms of their interceding, and pretty much stays with that topic.

It's all hilarious. It seems like the compilers should have just left out all this stuff, but I guess they couldn't because it was big headlines in those days that everyone talked about. Another part of the story is how some of Mo's cult fled to Abyssinia to escape persecution by the normal people. Then they heard the Meccans had accepted Mo, so they thought it was safe and came back, but it turned out it wasn't. In fact for some people it still isn't; ask Salman Rushdie. Prophet of Doom summarizes pretty well:
That leaves Islam in an impossible position. Muslims must either admit that Muhammad was a power-hungry, money-grubbing, sex-crazed charlatan in cahoots with the Devil, or they must deny the validity of the Hadith and Qur'an. One leaves them without a prophet, the other without a god. Either way, they no longer have a religion.
So how do they weasel out of this one? Well, two ways:

1) Mo couldn't make a mistake.

2) The isnad (line of people playing the telephone game) is incomplete

There's a 3rd explanation. If you put on hip boots and wade through Tabari's stuff, you'll find Mo talking to Gabriel and he says this:
“Then the Messenger of God said, "I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words which He has not spoken."”
NO SHIT, DUDE! That little moment of clarity ought to be on the cover.


Uzza, Lat and Manat

Chapter 53:19-22

Continuing chapter 53, verse 19 brings in the three moon gods of the pagans OK! We loves us some Uzza, Lat and Manat, we do. They were the three daughters of Allah, the Ka'aba's house Rock God. All the Meccan polytheist moon-worshippers were their groupies. Here's the Goddesses in v19-22.

19. Have you considered Lat and 'Uzza,
20. And Manat, the other third (of the pagan deities).
21. Are there sons for you, and daughters for Him?
22. This is certainly an unjust apportioning.
Mo, misogynistic prick that he was, is making a real argument. So scratch yer balls, pull yer sweat pants up over your beer belly, yell at the old lady to fetch another beer, and let's have a look. Women, y'unnerstand, ain't worth a shit, so Mo's just saying “How come all God gets is a bunch of crappy old daughters when you guys get to have sons? That makes you better'n God, don't it? Huh?” That's what he means by an unjust apportioning—any God worth his salt would pump super-manly splooge out of his godly nutsack and have him lots of virile, manly sons—not a flock of useless women. Their god didn't, so he's probably gay. Mo goes on some more...

23. These are only names which you and your fathers have invented. No authority was sent down by God for them.They only follow conjecture and wish-fulfilment...
24 bla
25 bla
26. Many as the angels be in heaven their intercession will not avail in the least without God's permission ...
27. Those who do not believe in the Hereafter give the angels names of females.
28. Yet they have no knowledge of this, and follow nothing but conjecture...
Short version, you guys just made up these goddesses; you think they're female angels, but females can't do anything without permission, and if you knew the truth®, like I do, you'd kick the bitches out.

It's ironic that Mo scoffs at angels interceding when all his own dealings with god went through the angel Gabriel. I guess he was one of those manly men angels, so he could do stuff. Mo also doesn't mention his own god didn't have any sons or daughters—couldn't get it up apparently—so by that logic, Mohammed's god wasn't as good as the Pagan's god, and the pagans themselves were better than any of the gods. Lemme get a big 'hell yeah' to that!


Surah 53: Abrogations

Chapter 53, the Star, ought to be called The Can of Worms, because it brings up at least four things muslim'd rather not talk about. Whoo—let's dive in! Our luck held for 17 chapters but this is a long one with 62 verses; the first 18 rather poetically protesting again that Mo's not crazy and god really really talks to him, and they sound like the previous moon goddish stuff. He brings up the pagan moon goddesses, and channels Satan; then halfway through he tries to quote the Bible and morphs into a Southern Baptist tent revivalist ranting how god will kick your ass. Nice start, poor finish.

Abrogations come into play on v3-4, claiming this is revelation from god. Remember grade school, where you'd win a game and they'd say “That doesn't count!”? You'd expect God to be a little more mature than that, but in the koran he just uses bigger words; he says “That's abrogated!” Here are the money quotes:

[2:106] None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar:
[16:101] When We substitute one revelation for another, ... most of them understand not.
No shit we don't understand why God would come around to set us straight on shit and then lie to us so he nullifies his own message. But its pretty easy to see why con artists would change their story from time to time, like when they wanted some new pussy. After all they are, not to belabor a point, only human.

The book makes it clear that Mo is taking things back, but there are all sorts of opinions over what abrogates what.

      1. Koran only abrogates koran
      2. Koran abrogates everything
      3. Hadith only abrogate hadith
      4. Hadith don't abrogate nutthin
      5. Hadith abrogate God's immutable word in the Koran
      6. What I say abrogates whatever you say, so fuck you, loser.

Well I made up the last one, but you get the idea. This chapter comes into it because people that argue the koran abrogates everything cite these lines for their proof,

[53:3] Nor does he speak out of his own desire.
[53:4] It is nothing but pure revelation revealed by God.

so see, that settles it: it's not Mo talkin', it's God revealin'. The whole damn book keeps insisting, garbledly, that it is God's revelation, so why they pick those two lines out of the whole 6000 is a mystery, but whatever. Seems more important to know which verses Big Daddy abrogated. Are we surprised to learn there are all kinds of written records on this, and that they all contradict each other? No we are not. There are somewhere between zero and 700 abrogated verses. Pick a number. No one knows. Bottom line is, some of the complete, clear, and perfect words of God don't count, but we don't know which ones.

So I can kick back in heaven if I
kill infidels wherever I find them (9:5),
or else that verse is abrogated and my skin will burn off in hell for not
showing them kindness (60:8).
Fifty-fifty, dude—take yer chances.

Some say certain people were more more reliable witnesses than others, but you'd have to know who wrote what, and we don't. Others claim that later verses abrogate earlier ones, which sounds sensible, but you'd have to know what order they came in, and no one knows.

This chapter, 53, supposedly happened before 22, so that god could abrogate what he hadn't said yet, but chapter 22 should go between verses 22 & 23 of this chapter, but wasn't put in here because colorless green ideas sleep unicorns. Or something. In linguistics we refer to the words that come before and after something by the term 'context'. If you don't have the linguistic context, analysis is pointless.

I call bullshit on the whole thing. For the whole 23 years Mo hung around preaching, it never occurred to anybody to ask? Dude, people that stupid do not conquer independent living, let alone the Known World. If it was a choice between
doesn't it seem like you would fucking ASK? Everybody teaches themselves the traffic regulations, and liquor laws, and Windows, but somehow they were never curious enough to find out if they would be tortured forever? If anything was going to convince me this whole thing was patched together after the fact, this would do it.

Bottom line is, for each verse, we don't know: who wrote it or why; in what order; whether it goes in the koran or hadith, or even if it has been abrogated by something else and shouldn't be there at all. The oldest existing copies are from 100 years after Muhammed's death, and we do know that the people who put it together belonged to different political groups actively fighting for control, like in modern day Iraq, and they were perfectly willing to murder each other, let alone fudge the truth about some line of poetry. We can't trust our own politicians, and they don't even assassinate each other.
Anyway, unless its abrogated, Mo spends 18 lines insisting he talks to god: after this it gets better ...


Muslim Mobs Burn Quran

Fate of Prophet's (pbuh) original text remains unknown

Breaking News
Posted: 653 AD
Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Sources in Arabia report Muslim mobs have destroyed copies of the Holy Quran in book-burnings held at cities throughout Arabia and the Muslim world.
Instigated by a fatwa of the Caliph Uthman that proscribes any unauthorized copy of Islam's Holy Book following a newly completed rescension, all existing older copies of the Quran have been rounded up and consigned to the flames.

According to noted Islamic scholar Muhammad ibn Bahadur Zarkashi “Ibn Abi Dawud records Musab ibn Sad ibn Abi Waqqas to have testified:
"I saw the people assemble in large number at Uthman's burning of the proscribed copies; not a one spoke out against him." Ali commented, "If I were in command in place of Uthman, I would have done the same."
Ali was a companion of the Prophet (pbuh) himself, during his lifetime and clearly approved the actions taken by Caliph Uthman. During Uthman's rule Islam had spread to many areas where the Muslims were not Arabs and couldn't read Arabic properly, so many variant readings sprung out. To correct this Uthman appointed a committee of scribes to produce a standardized version of the Qur'an, which was sent to each city under Muslim rule. All older copies were to be collected and burned.

Even though Arabia is one of several countries where desecrating the the Quran may be punishable by death, officials have shown little interest in this case. No arrests were made, and no official investigation has been undertaken to date.

As told by Wikipedia, most schools of Islamic law dictate that a Muslim may not touch the Qur'an, which is regarded as the literal word of God, unless he or she is in a state of ritual purity (wudu). Muslims must always treat the book with reverence, and are forbidden, for instance, to pulp, recycle, or simply discard worn-out copies of the text. Intentionally insulting the Qur'an is regarded as a form of blasphemy, and has led to rioting.

As of this writing the fate of the original copy of the Holy Quran, compiled by the Messenger Himself (pbuh) remains uncertain. The hadith make it clear that the Qur'an was available in written form from the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), reports Sahih Al-Bukhari, our most reliable source. He tells us,
“Narrated Qatadah: I asked Anas Ibn Malik: ‘Who collected the Qur’an at the time of Prophet?’ He replied: ‘Four, all of whom were from the Ansar: Ubay Ibn Ka‘ab, Mu‘adh Ibn Jabal, Zayd Ibn Thabit and Abu Zayd.'”
This first Quran was allegedly in the possession of Hafsa bint Umar, a daughter of Umar and one of Muhammad's widows, and was thrown into the fires and burnt with the other old copies. The loss of this original manuscript, reputed to be the literal word of God, would arguably be a great loss to historians.

Skeptics, who asked to remain anonymous, dismissed Uthman's latest move as political grandstanding designed to gain support for his illegitimate Caliphate and distract attention from the War in Baluchistan.



You know what's the most ironic thing? The most ironic thing is that Muslims and Christians complain that we ignore context when we read their silly books. Well, yes, the book says to kill you, they say, but look at these other verses that show how it really means “always give warm fuzzies at all times with the sole exception of when I have a noose around your neck trying to strangle you and have already stabbed you three times, otherwise be loving and kind.” Sure, buddy. By all means, let's look at the larger context.

On a little rock out in space is a species, that let's assume has learned something since the cave people—like, how to make fire, wheels, agriculture, civilization. Over the last thousand years one of the biggest things we learned is that we can't trust our own feelings. No matter how sure we are about what horse to bet on or who to love, we may still be wrong. Acceptance of this fact led to better results by relying on second opinions, double-blind studies, and all that sciencey stuff that brought us flush toilets, electronics, and painless dentistry.

Besides anesthesia, we've always known most of the world's cultures use psychotropic drugs and rituals to induce a mystical, or religious, experience that they often describe as seeing God. God, for instance, has appeared to me personally. He wasn't so impressive as he would have been without the knowledge that I'd taken two hits of LSD that morning. Great as the experience was, I never felt called to go out and preach about it.

Ever since William James first studied this in 1902 we've known that non-religious mystical experiences are indistinguishable from religious ones. The experiences are caused by chemicals in our brains that act the same as psychotropic drugs like psilocybin, ayahuasca, and lots of others. They are also triggered by other things than drugs, in fact, anything that messes up your brain's serotonin uptake. That includes emotional or physical trauma, pain, flogging, sensory deprivation, chanting, singing, rhythmic movements, fasting, intense concentration. The CIA, the BDSM community, and religions have all picked up and used every one of these, and there is one other, pyschosis.

Religion and batshit crazy have always been BFF. Every human society has its Shaman class, who are basically nuts. If he's too nuts to function at all, the tribe says he's possesed by evil spirits or some such, and they probably kill him. If they're only a little nuts they are explained as having communication with the gods, and they become shamans or priests, or whatever. In the old, ignorant days, that was all we could do. Now that we've learned something here on our little rock in space, we have better options and can diagnose and treat malfuctions of the brain just as we do malfunctions of the body. The diagnosis is this case is probably epilepsy or schizophrenia, since religious delusions are characteristic symptoms. Mystical experience are very common in schizophrenia and patients with religious delusions have much worse overall pathology and are harder to treat. If left untreated the condition commonly leads to self-harm and/or harm to others: examples of likely results are Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite.

In the old ignorant days people had no way to know the moldy bread they had been eating was often lousy with ergot. They had no idea of the effects of continued seclusion in some dark cell. When they found themselves in the predictable mystical experience the only question they could ask is “what's happening?” And the only answer they could supply was “God”.

The context is totally different now. When I sat in the park with God, I didn't ask what's happening, because I knew the lysergic acid had reached my brain. If I had not taken drugs, I would look for other sources; was I at a concert, a BDSM party, a religious retreat, or having any of the myriad other experiences that could produce this effect? If there were no reasons for this to be happening I'd probably go looking for a shrink. On the other hand, if I was still ignorant of all these causes I might conclude that one god or other had actually appeared to me, and go off on a new career as one of those wild-eyed street corner preachers that everyone describes as—guess what?--CRAZY.

If one of those obnoxious street preachers should show up at the local mosque, let alone St Peter's Cathedral or the Ka'aba, I'm pretty sure they'd do like Abu Jahl and throw his ass out. They sure as hell wouldn't shitcan their own religion and start following him around. When he happens to write down his ravings, like the Unabomber or that crazy Korean shooter, we'd treat his book as what it was, the deluded ravings of a mentally ill person that is only useful to give us some insight into exactly what is wrong with him.

So that's context. The book-thumpers want us to put their korans and bibles into it, so let's make a checklist:

Throughout history an endless succession of men follow these steps:

(1) undergo a mystical experience
(2) claim god talks to them;

(3) convince others they are not insane,

(4) gain followers,

(5) condemn those who disagree,

(6) uses their position of authority to gain

(7) personal wealth, and

(8) free access to women, since it's almost always men that pull this shit.

Usually they resort to violence and end up getting their followers and/or themselves killed, but if they can avoid that it is a very profitable racket. Some examples are: Warren Jeffs, David Koresh, Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Shoko Asahara, Joseph Smith, Mohammed and thousands of others. Hardly a month goes by without another news headline of someone else who fits this pattern: last week it was Tony Alamo. Do I really need to point out the pattern is about as perfect a description of Mohammed as one could make?

That is the context. The only puzzle is why Christians and Muslims never, ever, read their books in context.



Now the twelve short verses of Early Meccan period. It's not bad, mostly just a lot of platitudes. More witnessing, calling on the stars, moon and shit. I never see the point of this; if what you're saying is bullshit, it'll still be bullshit in the moonlight. Sometimes you might call someone to back up your story, but its not like the sun is gonna come down out of the sky and take the witness stand for you.

93 has that bit about finding orphans and 94 basically repeats the same things, then comes 103, which is only three lines long (!). It says; believe, do good, tell the truth, and help one another. Is this the Koran's equivalent of Jebus's greatest commandment? Some say it is, and tell a story about two guys who would never part company until they'd recited this verse. So I started reading interpretations, and Damn! that word "faith" should have tipped me off-they ruin this innocent little verse in a hurry ...
How'd he get from good deeds to Darwinism, fer Chrissakes? Who talks like that? Freudianism...What? Can't a cub scout just help an old lady cross the friggin street? Apparently he has to do it to flatter god--if he's just being nice he might as well knock over her wheelchair I guess. Fuck that, Chapter 109 is better anyway. Good verses in the Koran are pretty slim pickings, but this is my favorite so far.

1. O you unbelievers,
2. I do not worship what you worship,
3 Nor do you worship who I worship,
4. Nor will I worship what you worship,
5. Nor will you worship who I worship:
6. To you your way, to me my way

Basically it says "to each his own", right? Nothing wrong with that, depending on what you mean by worship. Next comes more platitudes; you can't take it with you, seek refuge with the Lord, god is FTW. Overall it's not a bad bunch of stuff.

I skipped over 108 even if it is only three lines, because it didn't make a damn bit of sense. It says Mo has X, and his enemies lack X, but what the hell is X? Translators say X = wealth, or followers, or money, or anything from spirituality to descendants. WTF? It took some reading, but what he's talking about is the Xian concept of 'Grace'. He probly didn't want to steal the idea from the Xians, because he was all about not having any supplementary gods like the Holy Ghost. Having Grace would have helped him, though. I've had Grace a few times, and she's hawt!

To take this stuff literally you have to be deranged. 105 is five nonsensical lines about how god saved your asses from the people of the elephant. Huh? This was big news back in the day, but either god thought it still would be in a thousand years, or he anticipated Google so his readers could look it up. It seems that the Yemenis sent an army to destroy Mecca round about 570 AD, and just outside town, either

"swarms of birds appeared carrying stones in their beaks and claws and showered these on the troops. Whoever was hit would start disintegrating,"

or, if you're one of those horrid DarwinFreudMarxists, they got wiped out by smallpox. Teach the controvery, LOL!

There's some controversy about the last two verses. Some early copies didn't have them, and "On the basis of these traditions the opponents of Islam had an opportunity to raise doubts about the Qur'an, saying that this Book, God forbid, is not free from corruption" (followed by 2000 words arguing over whether there's doubts). People killed each other over this! In the religion of peace. Over a book that is "complete, perfect and fully detailed".