Books For Blasphemers: The Qur'an (Part 1)

on Friday, August 20, 2010
Seeing as the Qur'an has no narrative structure as such, and is divided into one hundred and fourteen Suras, it was much harder to split the limerick review into workable parts. Therefore, I'm doing the Solomon-like thang (in keeping with the Biblical theme of the month) and just dividing it down the middle. So here goes:

It backfired for ol' Salman Rushdie
And South Park's creators and Dutchies*
So with one caveat
That I've tried to respect
Here's hoping no-one tries to crush me

It thunders right from the beginning
Commands holy wars to be winning
Believers protected
From wrath they're excepted
The rest get one hell of a skinning**

A thief gets a sanction most crude***
With Jews there is free trade of food****
You will be scared to sleep*****
Pascal proves rather chic******
And a woman should not be seen nude*******

(* This is not a reference to marijuana, but rather the Dutch newspapers that ran the infamous cartoon competition. That said, it's probably best not to smoke marijuana while trying to read this.)
(** The Quran doesn't have a lot of good things to say about Jews or Christians, who it often refers to as unbelievers deserving of extreme punishment.)
(*** Chopping off the hand. It's in Sura 5 people.)
(**** Muslims who keep a Halal diet can partake freely of Kosher food. Also Sura 5.)
(***** Apparently God takes your soul when you go to sleep and is liable not to return it if you haven't been a good boy or girl. Sura 39, Line 41.)
(****** As Pascal said, the safer bet is to believe. Doctrinal support can be found in Sura 40, Line 28.)
(******* This is pretty much infused throughout. Questions of modesty and women's rights abound, generally not resolved in favour of women. It should be noted that I could find no textual support for the need to fully cover one's face, which suggests it is clerical exegesis, not the book itself that one must take issue with in this regard. That said, there is the line quite early on that "Women are your fields and you may plow them at will.")


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