Best-selling author Sebastian Faulks in an interview relayed his experience of reading the Koran, which he did as a matter of research.
Faulks turned to the Koran for his research, and was appalled: “It’s a depressing book. It really is. It’s just the rantings of a schizophrenic. It’s very one-dimensional, and people talk about the beauty of the Arabic and so on, but the English translation I read was, from a literary point of view, very disappointing.
“There is also the barrenness of the message. I mean, there are some bits about diet, you know, the equivalent of the Old Testament, which is also crazy. If you look again at those books of the law, Leviticus or Deuteronomy, there’s a lot about who you are allowed to sleep with, and if a man had lost his testicles he wouldn’t enter into the presence of God, that is just terrible. But the great thing about the Old Testament is that it does have these incredible stories. Of the 100 greatest stories ever told, 99 are probably in the Old Testament and the other is in Homer.
“With the Koran there are no stories. And it has no ethical dimension like the New Testament, no new plan for life. It says ‘the Jews and the Christians were along the right tracks, but actually, they were wrong and I’m right, and if you don’t believe me, tough — you’ll burn for ever.’ That’s basically the message of the book.”
Never shying away from a (potentially lethal) controversy, the British press is already out making mr. Faulk into the new Rushdie: Sebastian Faulks outburst risks anger of Muslims.
A spokesman for the Islamic Society of Britain, Ajmal Masroor, said Faulk’s statements ran the risk of stirring religious hatred against Muslims. “Attacks on Islam are nothing new, but the danger is this will have a ‘drip, drip’ effect. People don’t seem to understand the consequences of saying things like this could be quite severe. History tells us it can encourage hatred.”
See what is happening here? Just telling somebody what you thought when reading a bit of (atrocious) prose is ‘stirring up religious hatred’ these day.
(h/t De Dagelijkse Standaard)
[UPDATE001] Never mind. He actually didn’t mean it, or something…