Saturday, January 15, 2005

The True Furqan: A Biblical Outreach in Arabic and English

The True Furqan, from Islam Exposed, is an interesting idea. Muslims can all read Arabic, for Islam teaches that the only Koran worth reading is the original one in Arabic. I read a little of the True Furqan and it's clear to me that it is written as an exhortation to Muslims to live by the principles articulated by the Christian traditions. I would have to read deeply indeed into it in order to determine whether it is based on Catholic or Protestant tradition, but it's an interesting idea nonetheless. However, I believe it is flawed, because it takes an antagonistic approach.

For example, from Sura 31 Murder (Sarat Al Qutl):
  1. O, you who have reviled us from among our followers: whosoever slays a soul and causes corruption in the earth has practically slain the entire race of humans at the same time. We have come to you with clear instructions concerning these matters. Yet, most of you, even after such instructions, are evildoers.
  2. Religion is never to be enforced by the sword upon those who have gone astray. "There is no compulsion in religion." For if there is, the hypocrites can unjustly control the believers!
The Old Testament is full of prophets accusing the people of irreligiousity, yet most of the prophets mentioned in the Bible were ignored by the people they warned. When accused of crimes, it is only human to become defensive and to deny, deny, deny. Also, if the New Furqan, which the writers seem to intend as a replacement or supplement for the Koran, quotes anything it should quote the Koran. For Muslims, the Koran is far more convincing than the Christian or Jewish bibles could ever be. This Furqan has stylistic and conceptual problems.

Problems aside, I applaud the effort. It is a good beginning. But there is more to do.

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