Embarrassingly abject dhimmitude from the man who just days ago was saying that the Koran had “no ethical dimension,” was “a depressing book,” and was “very one-dimensional,” and who even suggested that Muhammad was schizophrenic. If someone wrote that about the Bible and Jesus today, he would be invited to all the best dinner parties and maybe get a nice foundation grant. But say it about the Koran, and unless you have a bit of spine you will soon be bowing and scraping just like this, in the face of the stealth jihadist smear and intimidation machine:
“Sebastian Faulks: The book I really can’t put down,” by Sebastian Faulks in the Telegraph, August 24:
[…] When, with some excitement, I first read the Koran last year as research for my novel, I confess that I was disappointed by it. Raised as a child on the exciting stories of the Old Testament and inspired by the revolutionary teachings of the New, I had, perhaps naively, expected something comparable. The Koran has lovely passages, some of which inspire my character Farooq in the novel, but I did find it, from a literary point of view, repetitive.
As for whether it is ethically less developed than the New Testament, a Muslim friend put it to me like this: “You must compare like with like. Compare it to the Old Testament.”
That is a fair point. I fully accept that the ethical dimension of modern Islam has been provided by generations of scholars and thinkers over many centuries; it was perhaps too much to expect to find it embedded from the word “Go” — to expect, in other words, that the Koran would be two books, two testaments, in one.
While we Judaeo-Christians can take a lot of verbal rough-and-tumble about our human-written scriptures, I know that to Muslims the Koran is different; it is by definition beyond criticism. And if anything I said or was quoted as saying (not always the same thing) offended any Muslim sensibility, I do apologise — and without reservation.
It was never my intention to offend my Muslim friends or readers, and if you read my novel I think you will see how I have shown the positive effects of the Koran on a kind and typical Muslim family. The family son, Hassan, falls in with bad men and is misled. I can’t tell you without spoiling the story whether goodness prevails; but if it does, it is considerably due to the love of his devout parents….
Of course, the Prophet Mohammed was the most prodigious of all voice-hearers, and as Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, noted yesterday, he has often been accused of being “possessed”. Sometimes the words of the Koran do have a slightly ranting rhythm to them — though this may be due to the translation, and Arabic has a different natural intonation from English.
But to me the idea that anyone could have achieved what the Prophet achieved in military and political — let alone religious — terms while suffering from an acute illness of any kind seems completely absurd. I believe that only a healthy and lucid person could have achieved what he did — and I am very happy to make that belief clear….
Oh, it’s crystal clear.
Interesting title, also: “The book I really can’t put down.” I doubt he means that he finds the Koran so gripping that he can’t stop reading it. He means he can’t denigrate it. He can’t put it down. Even if he wants to. Because he is afraid of the consequences — either death threats or the opprobrium of polite society that routinely denigrates Christianity but finds Islamorealism “bigoted,” or both.