Mother Theresa wrote:Gao Bohan wrote:I do not like Islam in its classical form. Like all successful religions, it draws a harsh distinction between believers and non-believers. If you've really read the Qur'an then you're quite familiar with the multitude of verses decrying the wickedness and evil of unbelievers.. .
Am I correct that you equally dislike Christianity for the same reason?
Anyone who blasphemes the LORD's name must be stoned to death (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)
Suppose a man or woman among you. . . has violated the covenant by serving other gods. . . that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)
. . . everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)
Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
That's an interesting point. My impression is that Islam is virtually identical to classical Judaism - in fact it's a throwback, a retrogression, since by the 6th century Christianity was starting to have a big impact. The verses you are quoting are from the Old Testament (ie., the basis of Judaism, written centuries before the birth of Christ). Try and find anything remotely equivalent in the New Testament - the basis of Christianity.
Reading the OT is likely to put anyone off religion for life ... as is reading the Koran. Both books are full of violence, killing, and bigotry - medieval ideas which should have been dumped in the cesspit of history two millennia ago. Jesus spent a lot of effort arguing that the law (as written in the OT) no longer applied.
You will also note that, in the OT, a lot of the "God instructs us to kill [insert random nation here]" exhortations come from particular unhinged individuals - there's no way of verifying if God actually said any such thing. If you're a Christian, Jesus was God, so it's a lot easier to take what He says at face value, which was almost entirely of the love-and-peace variety; ie., the complete opposite of what goes down in the OT.
The original Mosaic Law was radical at the time for two reasons:
1) It was simply a short list (short enough for anyone to comprehend) of things you should not do, and those things were so obviously sensible that we still use them as the basis of law today. Other legal codes at the time were constructed to serve whatever power-hungry leader was in charge, and therefore perverse, complicated, and with a large focus on tribute to the elite.
2) It didn't mention punishments. It simply assumed that you wouldn't do bad things because the idea of offending God was too awful to contemplate. That concept was unheard-of - before or since.
What happened then, of course, is that a whole load of "priests" came out of the woodwork and made their own special contributions - creating and adding to the Law as it's now written in the OT. The result was basically identical to all other laws of that time and place.
People dislike Islam because it's an anachronism. We don't go around killing infidels anymore. OK, it took us until, um, about the 17th Century to figure out that's not what Christianity is about, but at least we got there in the end. That perverted version of Christianity - which was more a political structure than a religion - was eventually crushed, and good riddance. Something similar needs to happen to Islam, but the problem is, it may not be possible. There is no underlying message of love and peace in Islam. So what would remain?