“How Can Any Man With Good Sense” Overlook the Koran’s Violence?
He [Bruce Thornton] then quotes Alexis de Tocqueville, “one of our most brilliant political philosophers,” who wrote the following in 1838:
Jihad, Holy war, is an obligation for all believers. … The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels … [T]hese doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran … The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them (emphasis added).
I well recall my own first reading of the Koran. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I thought "if this is what Muslims are reading, we're in trouble".
I then re-read it with two highlighting pencils in hand, marking the violent passages in yellow, the peaceful ones in green. By the end, my yellow pencil was worn to a stub, the green one nearly pristine. We can now do textual analysis of online versions of the Koran, the quantify that. Over 20% of the verses are specifically anti-infidel, and over half are violent. It is not cherry-picking to quote violent verses. It's at the guts of the "Noble" Koran.
Even those verses that are peaceable in the Koran are found to be abrogated (Islamic naskh) by later violent ones. That is, the opposite of what happened to Christianity, where the Love and Peace New Testament abrogates the often-violent OT. I am an atheist, but reading the Bible after the Koran is like chalk and cheese, a wonderful relief to read of tolerance and love, after the violence in the Koran. Don't believe me? Read the Koran. Then read the NT.
Similarly in the Hadith, records of the sayings and deeds of Muhammad, I've done the textual analysis of the word "jihad". I found that in over 90% of its mentions, it referred to "holy war". Only in less that 10% of cases did it mean what the apologists claim is it main meaning: "spiritual struggle" to better oneself. It does indeed mean that, as well. But mostly it means to war against the infidel.