The Baghavad Gita is a work full of blood and destruction and death, a religious text filled with madness and war. So what? Are Hindus likely to read it as the direct word of God, and from that decide to kill every non-Hindu on the face of the Earth? Don't think so. Neither do any Hindus I've ever met, heard from or read about. I could be wrong about Hindus. There might be some nutter out there who lost their tinfoil caps and are starkers.
The Qur'an is a work full of blood and destruction and death, a religious text filled with madness and war. So what? Are Muslims likely to read it as the direct word of God, and from that decide to kill every non-Muslim on the face of the Earth? I kind of think so. So do many Muslims I've met, heard from and read about. I could be wrong about some Muslims. There might be some moderates out there who lost their tinfoil caps and are starkers.
Yes, there are some people in the world who read about Jack the Rippers, and from there they come unglued at the seams and commit crimes against small animals. These loonies might even think they get their ideas straight from God. So what? We don't ban books because of nutters.
Or do we?
At a glance it seems to me that banning books is a typical European belittlement of people. Those who can't distinguish between fact and fantasy are generally mentally ill, and that's not the domain of the state unless such people commit actual crimes. Then we ban the person, not the book. Europeans favor book-banning, being the determinists we elsewhere usually are not. But what about the Qur'an, it being used as a hate-manual from the start and seemingly having no other purpose? The book, to the democratically minded person, is still just a book. The Qur'an is creepy and Satanic, but it's still paper and ink. It's just about impossible for reasonable people to be in favor of book banning. Just about impossible but not entirely. This might be one exception that is worth the effort to take on as a book that should be publicly executed as of in days of yester yore.
It might be worth demanding a ban on the Qur'an on the grounds that it is a hate-manual. We might want to demand a ban the Qur'an not because it is or isn't hate literature, that being irrelavant, but to piss-off the Muslims really badly.
Or we can be a little smarter than the average European politician, not that hard really, and we can demand that the Qur'an not be banned in Europe. We could turn this to our advantage by demanding that hate speach be allowed, the Qur'an desrving protection. We could quote it, print it, shout it everywhere, and demand that it be allowed in public regardless. We might well expose the Qur'an as hate speech by demanding that it be protected as hate speech.
We might, as democrats, come to the defence of Muslims and the Qur'an by demanding that Europeans not prosecute this vile rubbish. Muslims can't win this one no matter what they do.
Two takes on the same story below, thanks to eyesallaround, pastorius, and reailipundit. This one bears some thinking about, and we'll come back to it tomorrow. First the short version by Henrik, and then the long version from agora.
The Koran reported to the German police
Things are heating up in Germany. According to Jyllands-Posten, a wide array of grassroots movements organised in the Bundesverband der Bürgerbewegungen ((BdB - Federal Union of the Citizens´ Movements) has reported the Koran to the police, with an aim to get the law to stop its spread. The reasoning is that the book is not just a religious and historical book, but a political one, outlining a path incompatible with the German constitution.
The BdB busies itself with, as it says, "defending basic and freedom rights" against Islam. Their homepage is emblazoned with a Dannebrog (the Danish flag), with "Support Denmark! Defend the free world" above it.
The case has been brought to the police in several German states, at least in Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, and probably in more. Rightwing politicians have in several tv talk shows pointed out, that the Koran in reality is incompatible with the constitution.
The plaintiff (if that´s the word) in Hamburg, Jutta Starke, says that the case has been brought to the police´s attention 2-3 years ago already, but that it was dismissed as merely a historic book.
She ends thus: "The events of the last few months have made clear that the Koran is not just a historical book but a very potent political one, which we outline at length in our suit (if that's the word - Henrik)".
****The Quran reported to the Police
By Kent Olsen, correspondent to Jyllands-Posten
A broad alliance of grass-roots movements have gone to the prosecutors of several states to hinder the dissemination of the Quran. According to the indictment, the Quran is not just a religious and historic book, but also a political book, which is incompatible with the constitution.
At the prosecutor's office at Gorch-Forck-Wall 15 in Hamburg, an unusual letter was received Monday morning, containing an indictment filed this weekend. The indictment targeted the Quran, charging that the holy book of the Muslims, according to the accuser, is incompatible with the German constitution.
The accuser is "Bundesverband der Bürgerbewegungen (BVB)", which concerns itself with, in its own words, "defending basic rights and freedoms" against Islam. The extensive international furore, allegedly caused by the Muhammed cartoons, has made clear the relevancy of the alliance. Its homepage is decorated with a Danish flag with the words "Support Denmark! Defend the Free World." superimposed on it.
The indictment has been filed in several states, including Hamburg, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bayern and probably more.
In several talk shows on German TV, conservative politicians have pointed out that the Quran is incompatible with the German constitution. The Turkish-born writer Serap Cileli said on January 29 this year that "the Quran must be considered a historic document. It is not compatible with our constitution and Human Rights."
Now the alliance wants the matter tried at the courts.
Potent Political Book
The author of the indictment in Hamburg, Jutta Starke, says that the Quran was reported to the police two or three years ago, but that the report was dismissed on the grounds that it was a book of only historical interest.
"The events of the last months have made clear that the Quran isn't just a historical book, but very much a potent political book, a thing which we document extensively in the indictment," Jutta Starke says.
She says it is a task of Sisyphean dimensions to inform the media, politicians and churches of the true intentions of Islam in the enlightened world of the West.
"We are grateful to Jyllands-Posten that discussions about Islam have now become possible," says Jutta Starke.
"You suffer for all of Europe and that's why we find it indecent that Europe hasn't loudly, in unison, taken a stand for Freedom of Speech against the laws of the Quran."
The indictment consists of five pieces of paper and a number of appendices. The indictment says that it is not against Islam's spiritual message, but against the judicial and political message.
The decisive count of the indictment "is in the Quran's status vis a vis the Federal Republic of Germany's constitution". In the appendices to the indictment, 200 points have been listed "where the Quran is against and claims itself above the constitution."
The Quran has an Answer to Everything
It is pointed out that the Quran to Muslims is the end all, be all in matters of faith, in matters of society and state and in the discourse with people of different views. The Quran says that it is the words of Allah. According to the views of several, including leading, Muslims in Germany, it is literally and absolutely true at all time and in all places, the indictment says.
The newly elected German-born chairman of the Muslim Central Council of German, Ayyub Axel Köhler, is quoted in the indictment:
"A constitution after the principle of the division of powers into the legislative, the executive and the judicial powers, is nowhere to be found in the Islamic theory of the State. From an Islamic viewpoint, this is obvious, since the laws - the laws of God - in the form of sharia, are already made and thus no legislative power is needed, in that sense of the word. Only Allah is the legislative power."
A prominent Moslem, Ibrahim El-Zayat, is quoted as saying that he thinks it is possible that "the Federal Chancellor in 2020 is a Muslim, born and raised in Germany, that the Federal Supreme Court has a Muslim judge, and that a Muslim representative will be on the Federal Radio/TV Council to secure the Muslim citizens' constitutionally guaranteed rights."
"This land is our land and it is our duty to make positive changes. With the help of Allah, we will make it a paradise on Earth, by making available the Islamic ummah (ED: Islamic community) and all of mankind. Allah doesn't change the situation of a people till the people have changed the situation," El-Zayad is quoted as saying.
Violence against the Infidels
The indictment is against the 200 verses of 114 suras (ED:chapters) of the Quran that are not compatible with the constitution, including demagoguery, incitement to murder, murder and mutilation, war, acceptance of thievery against infidels, meaning all non-Muslims. Verses are also pointed out where the equal rights of men and women are not upheld and where people of different faiths are oppressed.
Example: "The unbelievers among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians): They are the vilest of all creatures." (Sura 98:6)
According to the indictment that paragraph violates Article 4 of the Constitution and Paragraph 166 of the Penal Code.
If this seems like a reasonable fight to enter, this fight to protect the Qur'an as hate speech from the censors in Europe, then we can make perhaps enough trouble for Muslims that they will again expose themselves as the savages they truly are. Those who are reasonable will be forced to denounce the outrages of the Qur'an; then voila, we will find our mysterious and long-hidden moderate. Or not.