i am not religious and i am not reading it for any kind of conversion moment. i am not even reading it to learn to be more politically correct. i'm reading it cause i want to use a part of it in a larger project i'm working on. it's not even a big part, but here i am with my own copy of the Koran.
it's hard going. the whole, 'God is infinite compassion but if you fuck with me and don't do what i say then God is infinite punishment' every paragraph or two gives me the shits. it really does.
(the translation i have lists it as God and not Allah, btw. Apparently the translator felt it would be easier on us white western people. well, perhaps, but it's not like i care for god from bible either.)
the thing that irritates me most about the Koran is the tone of the book. it's all fire and brimstone and if you don't believe in this you're stupid kind of stuff. it feels like it's trying to shame me into believing in it, and feels like all those scripture classes they forced me to at school where volunteered christians would arrive and inform me what a great fellow god was and tell me how infinite his compassion is if i believe and how infinite his rage is if i do not.
just so it's said: i have no problem with people who follow religion. if you do, fine. i don't. there's probably something out there, but it's not in these books and written by my fellow humans. so i'm not looking for people to come and tell me what a great book the Koran is and how it will show me the light. same deal for people with bibles. there's plenty of room for you, for me, and for people who believe in anything else to exist in this world.
but, back to the Koran.
the Koran makes me sleepy. just flipping through my cheap penguin edition makes me think about lying down, and my eyelids feel heavy. as i struggle through it, i find myself thinking that a knowledge of christian myths from charlton heston and the cartoons they make for xmas and easter have actually make it easier for me to follow, because when, for example, the Koran says something about david and goliath i at least know what the hell that is, when it doesn't explain it.
however, it's a struggle. me and allah or god aren't getting a long. we're disagreeing, we're bored, we think the other is a bit of a prick, and we wonder, briefly, how women can read a passage like "women shall with justice have rights similar to those exercised against them, although men have a status above women. God is mighty and wise," and seriously want to be part of this religion.
but the world is strange and things happen that are beyond my understanding. charlton heston got to work with orsen welles, for example.