Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Qur’anic exegesis

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “help“, came with a brief message:

Book-chucking is now a trope.

Thanks to Hassan Radwan for the inspiration. You can follow him here: @abdulazizbulbul/

So far I haven’t been able to find the inspiration offered by Radwan, except for an article at the Clarion Project that describes his view, as an “agnostic Muslim”, that the Qur’an shouldn’t be taken literally (Ceiling Cat help him!). A quote:

But as long as we don’t tackle the belief that the Quran is the infallible words of God then no matter how many problems are solved or inequalities righted there will always be another group seeking to impose the word of God against reason and conscience.

This is why when you defeat one group another even more desperate rises from their ashes. The idea that the Quran is fallible will of course come as a terrible shock to most Muslims brought up as we are to believe the Quran is the perfect and infallible word of God, but I firmly believe that once we Muslims get passed [sic] this shock and emotional reaction and begin to reflect more rationally we will see that in fact this is the only way to save the real soul of Islam from the extremists who are in fact the ones destroying it.

In actual fact the Qur’an never uses words like infallible, perfect nor miraculous. The reason this belief seems to have gained ground is because of the challenge the Quran makes to “bring something like it.” Though being unable to imitate something doesn’t of course mean it is either perfect or infallible. The Quran does say it is from God, but then again what I’m saying doesn’t contradict that. I accept the Quran was inspired by God. It’s just not verbatim his actual speech.

Given that, then the inspiration for the strip becomes clearer:

16 Comments

  1. FB
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    “In actual fact the Qur’an never uses words like infallible, perfect nor miraculous.”

    6:114 What, shall I seek after any judge but God? For it is He who sent down to you the Book well-distinguished; and those whom We have given the Book know it is sent down from thy Lord with the truth; so be not thou of the doubters.
    6:115 Perfect are the words of thy Lord in truthfulness and justice; no man can change His words; He is the All-hearing, the All-knowing.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I personally don’t think the contradicts what he says. Also, the justification of Qur’anic infallibility by scholars is the one Radwan refers to.

      Just my opinion, which is coloured by the fact I don’t think Muhammed is any more real than Jesus, and the origins of the Qur’an are distinctly dodgy.

      • FB
        Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Really?

        “In actual fact the Qur’an never uses words like infallible, perfect…” “Perfect are the words…”

        Perfect-perfect? Actual fact? Words?

        • Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          Heather, I think it pretty likely that a warlord called Muhammad existed, as indeed I think that an apocalyptic Jewish preacher called Jesus existed.

          The problem with courses on the historiography of Muhammad is the irrational reaction of Muslim fellow students to any sceptical point. They tend to have a notably rich amount of emotional investment in the book itself: such that it is almost inconceivable for them to view it as existing in history. So questions about the 150 years or so between the date of the Koran and the chains of transmission providing evidence of Mo’s day really do not compute. For Muslim fellow-learners, the question seems unthinkable. And genuinely offensive.

          Someone or some persons wrote the Koran: and they provided a fantastic blue-print for the Ridda Wars and Arabic imperialism. Sure, some of the book may be interpolated with convenient passages for later expansionists and schismatics. But just because we have such vitriolic responses from apologists on the mildest questions about the origins of the Koran – appealing to the theological when the conversation is historical – that does not mean that a man Mo did not exist and did not write a lot of what we know as the Koran. With the evidence we have, that seems the most likely conclusion.

  2. nicky
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    A good cartoon, if only….

  3. mikeyc
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    A nice piece by Radwan. He is well spoken. At turns he seems rational and liberal (in the classic sense) then he’s mystical and takes god as a real being. I found myself both discouraged -at his goddiness- and encouraged -by his reason. He does sound like the type who could bridge some gaps. I find him eloquent but I remain unpersuaded. There many be some Muslims though who might turn away from Islamist ideas, at least, by people like Radwan.

  4. Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks to that first panel, I now have Ball of Confusion by The Temptations running through my head.

    • TJR
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Damn, now I’ve got Land Of Confusion by Genesis running through my head.

  5. busterggi
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    If god couldn’t get it right the first time then why think he’ll get it right the second, third, fourth, fifth, nth time?

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Christianity had a few folk who from almost day 1 felt a non-literal reading of the Bible was necessary, notably Origen (184-253 CE).

    The most obvious indicator the Bible can’t be literally true are the two creations of Adam. (Genesis 1:26-27 on round 1 and Genesis 2:7 2nd time around.) and the wildly divergent 2 accounts of the birth of Jesus.

    But the Koran has built in this notion that if there seems to be a contradiction, than the later section supercedes the first section, and there do not seem to be any notable Origen-type thinkers in early Islam.

    • FB
      Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      There is a verse in the Qur’an that warns against interpretation:

      3:7 It is He who sent down upon thee the Book, wherein are verses clear that are the Essence of the Book, and others ambiguous. As for those in whose hearts is swerving, they follow the ambiguous part, desiring dissension, and desiring its interpretation; and none knows its interpretation, save only God. And those firmly rooted in knowledge say, ‘We believe in it; all is from our Lord’; yet none remembers, but men possessed of minds.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    “Book-chucking is now a trope.”

    How many books could a book-chucker chuck if a book-chucker could chuck books?

    All the holy ones, let’s hope.

    • Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      The local CFI group had a discussion about the Koran (with a reader of Arabic who had never been a Muslim leading).

      He was asked to say something positive about it – and he pointed out that his copy was wonderfully bound and covered. It was – and as such I have trouble with book chucking, even with holy books. Besides, having “ammo” also helps. 🙂

  8. Blue
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Their ” in bed ” – together deals always
    make me chuckle. hehheh. hehheh.

    How NOT happening within Either’s … … reality !

    Blue

  9. Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    If the pacification of Islam (or at least, the violently inspired muslim) comes to fruition, god, that is, the crazy humans who wrote this stuff will indeed have a clear chance to “sort it out” and go to the “pub”.
    Whatever that may mean to you, cause as we know, going about your business from Bagdad to Brussels can be dangerous if not fearful, where it should not be. Then and only then will Islam be “perfect!”.

  10. Mark R.
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    How does one “down the pub”? Lots of heavy drinking? Well, those two could use it. 🙂


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