‘Koran Curious: A Guide for Infidels and Believers’ By C. J. Werleman – Book Review by Michael A. Sherlock

‘Koran Curious: A Guide for Infidels and Believers’ By C. J. Werleman – Book Review by Michael A. Sherlock

‘Koran Curious’ begins with a description of Werleman’s experience in writing this book. In Werleman’s own words: ‘You become completely myopic in what it is you hope to achieve, constantly worrying if you’ve done the narrative justice.’ [1]

 If a completely myopic narrative was his aim, then he has not only achieved his goal, he has exceeded it.  This ‘narrative’ is not only myopic, it is a shambles, an incoherent collection of ill-sourced and largely uncited pieces of information, all hastily pasted together with the finesse of a first-year high school student with severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The agenda of this book is not to (presumptuously) provide Muslims and ‘infidels’ with a scholarly introduction to the Qur’an, but rather, it is to propagate an ill-thought out, regressive Leftist apology for some of the more problematic Islamic doctrines and beliefs that beleaguer that vacuous and insidious meme, ‘Islam is a religion of peace’.  The real agenda of the book is clearly spelled out in the foreword.  Quoting John L Esposito, Werleman pastes: ‘”Today’s historic changes, the death of Osama bin Laden and the Arab Spring offer an opportunity to redress anti-Islam and anti-Muslim bias (Islamophobia) and to reaffirm that American Muslims, like other mainstream Americans, desire a secure and democratic America. Despite the fact that American Muslims have had years to explain that neither they — nor their religion — sanction terrorism.”’ [2]

Not only did Werleman’s omission of a citation here act as a warning flag for the ill-sourced and ill-cited nature of this work, a nature faithfully adhered to throughout the entire contents of the book, but the content of this citation itself served as a clear indicator of this book’s overall purpose.  This purpose is further exposed within the large excerpt taken from Glenn Greenwald’s article, which, again, Werleman fails to properly cite.  This is not a book written to inform, but to persuade.  It is, from the first page to the last, a poorly-produced piece of apologia.

Before laying out my exhaustive and exhausting case against this book, I’ll give Werleman a little credit.  He does highlight a fact that many non-Muslims appear to miss – that being – most Muslims don’t really know what’s in the Qur’an, which is something they have in common with Werleman, having read ‘Koran Curious’ from beginning to end.  Also, the intention behind the work appears to be coming from a place of empathy.  Werleman, who lives in the United States, has witnessed the discrimination and bigotry that many Muslims suffer on a daily basis, and this appears to be one of the motivating factors behind his book.

Having made these minor concessions, it must be said, there is little to no value in producing a book that not only misleads readers with regards to the problematic doctrines and history of an inherently violent, oppressive and misogynistic ideology, but also, it doesn’t serve Muslims in Islamic states, who suffer the greatest oppression from the core doctrines of this ‘religion of peace’.  We must begin to clear a path toward an honest discussion of the problems directly associated with the religion of Islam, and for this reason, I’d highly recommend that you read Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue. I’ll now discuss the severe problems with Werleman’s ‘Koran Curious’ under the following five sub-headings:

  1. Absence of Citations, End Notes, & Bibliography
  2. Excessive Cutting & Pasting
  3. Poor Research
  4. Stylistic Nightmares
  5. Poor Apologetics
  1. Absence of Citations, End Notes, & Bibliography

Any book that attempts to deal with history and religion, as this book does, must contain thorough citations, end notes (or footnotes), and a bibliography.  This book contains none of these essential components.  When dealing with history, both primary and secondary sources are a must, but once again, such sources are almost entirely absent.  The scant citations that are provided within the text lack page numbers and volume numbers for multivolume works (see Werleman’s in-text citations of Karen Armstrong’s ‘Islam: A Short History’ and ‘A History of God’, as well as Edward Gibbon’s ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ [Vol.? (5)]…). [3]

  1. Excessive Cutting & Pasting

Over half of ‘Koran Curious’ is a curious cutting and pasting of Quranic passages and verses with only occasional and sparse (non-enlightening) commentary.  In fact, one can read pages upon pages of cut-and-pasted Qur’an and only encounter a few short sentences written by the author, and the commentary becomes sparser and sparser as the book drags on, as if Werleman became tired of writing and thought it convenient to simply cut and paste huge chunks of the Qur’an into his own “work”, absent any context.  The book simply ends with the final cut-and-pasted Surah (114). [4] There is no final summary and virtually no running exegesis throughout this tedious piece of redundant literature.

  1. Poor Research

There are numerous instances throughout this book that betoken the work of someone who has simply done a day’s worth of google searches and reworded what he has read on various Islamic apologetic websites.  The following is one such example:

Koran Curious: ‘In AD 619, the death of his beloved wife of 24 years would become known as the Year of Sorrow for the devastation it wrought upon Muhammad.’ [5]

IslamBasics.Com: ‘…’in 619 A.D., the year which became known as the ‘Year of Sorrow…’ [6]

ImamSalim.Com: ‘The Year of her death is known as the year of sorrow, because of the devastation that it caused Muhammad’. [7]

This example was one in which the author luckily stumbled upon an accurate piece of information, but in the next example, the author wasn’t so lucky.

In his attempt to narrate the (uncited & unsourced) historical context of Muhammad’s birth, Werleman writes:

‘It was the year 570 CE, the “year of the Elephant”, which is claimed by Islamic scholars to denote the invasion by Yemeni forces responsible for partly smashing the Kaaba, that a young Quraysh woman, Aminah, announced to her husband, Abdallah, she was bearing child.’ [8]

Who are these mysterious Islamic scholars?  Werleman doesn’t say, neither does the Wikipedia page for Muhammad’s biography, but if Werleman had have done just a few extra minutes’ worth of research, he would have discovered that Islamic scholars no longer make this claim, as the invasion did not coincide with the year in which Muhammad was believed to have been born.

In Esposito’s ‘The Oxford Dictionary of Islam’, we read:

‘Year of the Elephant…: According to tradition and the earliest biographical accounts of Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Saad, the year of Muhammad’s birth…Historians today believe that this event occurred at least a decade prior to Muhammad’s birth.’ [9] Further, Armstrong (2007, KL #233) dates the ‘Year of the Elephant’ to 547 CE, over two decades prior to the birth of Muhammad. [10] In his clumsy attempt to set the scene for Muhammad’s birth, Werleman simply propagated an uncited and unsourced historical error.

Werleman’s Qur’an

There are numerous English translations of the Qur’an available for researchers to choose from.  Below is just a handful of the varying versions Western scholars of Islam use:

  1. Muhammad Marmaduke Picthall’s ‘The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an’ (1930)
  2. Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s ‘The Holy Qur’an: Translation and Commentary’ (1934)
  3. Arthur Arberry’s The Koran Interpreted(1955)
  4. Muhammad Sarwar’s ‘The Holy Qur’an: The Arabic Text and English Translation’ (1981)
  5. Ahmed Ali’s ‘Al-Qur’an, A Contemporary Translation’ (1984)
  6. Timothy Winter’s ‘The Majestic Qur’an: An English Rendition of its Meanings’ (2000)
  7. Alan Jones’ ‘The Qur’an’ (2007)

The translations above represent just a small batch of the plethora of reliable English translations available to Western authors, scholars and commentators.  It’s possible for an author to close their eyes, spin around five times and throw a rock and still hit a reliable English translation of the Quran.  So, which translation did Werleman’s rock strike?

Rashad Khalifa’s ‘Qur’an: The Final Testament’ (1989)

  ‘Koran Curious’ employs Rashad Khalifa’s self-published English translation, which is deemed by serious Islamic scholars to be the worst translation available.  How bad is Khalifa’s version?  Well, the production of this adulterated translation, along with Khalifa’s unorthodox teachings, resulted in his assassination in 1990, just a year after the publication of his English Qur’an. [11]  Khalifa’s translation mutilated the original Arabic, included his own haram ramblings, and subtracted verses that didn’t fit with his crazy hypothesis that all of the verses in the Qur’an contain multiples of 19.  Khalifa alleged that he was visited by the angel Gabriel and told that Surah 36:3 specifically referred to him.  To cut a long story short, Khalifa was a nut job with an agenda, that being, to rearrange the Qur’an to suit his Joseph Smith-styled version of Islam which made him the next Prophet.

Regarding Khalifa’s Qur’an, London-based Islamic scholar Ziauddin Sarda wrote:

‘So impressed was Khalifa with his discovery that he began to describe himself as ‘Rashad Khalifa, PhD, Messenger of Allah’.  Khalifa was murdered in 1990, but his legacy has continued unabated.  Thus, the function of this translation is to prove, by hook or by crook, that the magical number 19 is embedded in each and every verse of the Qur’an.  There is a large worldwide Muslim movement of benighted imbeciles who swallow this nonsense.’[12]

Here are three examples of where Werleman cut and pasted Khalifa’s translation into his book:

  1. Surah 4:34

Werleman’s Koran Curious:

When it comes to the treatment of women, opponents of Islam commonly cite this verse: [Note: This is the only commentary provided on this controversial verse]

[4:34] The men are made responsible for the women, and GOD has endowed them with certain qualities, and made them the bread earners. The righteous women will cheerfully accept this arrangement, since it is GOD’s commandment, and honor their husbands during their absence. If you experience rebellion from the women, you shall first talk to them, then (you may use negative incentives like) deserting them in bed, then you may (as a last alternative) beat them. If they obey you, you are not permitted to transgress against them. GOD is Most High, Supreme. [13]

Khalifa’s Qur’an:

‘Do Not Beat Your Wife*

[4:34] The men are made responsible for the women,** and GOD has endowed them with certain qualities, and made them the bread earners. The righteous women will cheerfully accept this arrangement, since it is GOD’s commandment, and honor their husbands during their absence. If you experience rebellion from the women, you shall first talk to them, then (you may use negative incentives like) deserting them in bed, then you may (as a last alternative) beat them. If they obey you, you are not permitted to transgress against them. GOD is Most High, Supreme.

The probable reason Werleman selected this poor translation may be due to its ‘soft’ [incorrect] approach to controversial Quranic passages and teachings. Notice how Khalifa’s advice at the top of this surah contradicts both his parenthetical comments within the body of the surah and the surah itself. Do not beat your wife vs Beat them as a last resort.

  1. Surah 9:5 ‘The Verse of the Sword’

This particular verse is known to scholars of Islam as the ‘verse of the sword’, and I shall conclude this book review with a brief discussion on this verse under the sub-heading ‘poor apologetics’.  Werleman provides no commentary on this verse, which, as you shall see later on, is a grave omission for anyone genuinely wishing to teach people about the Qur’an.

Werleman’s Koran Curious:

[9:5] Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make. If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), you shall let them go. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful. [14]

Khalifa’s Qur’an:

 [9:5] Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make. If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), you shall let them go. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

Now compare Khalifa’s translation to a more reliable one (Muhammad Sarwar Trans.):

[9:5] ‘When the sacred months are over, slay the pagans wherever you find them. Capture, besiege, and ambush them. If they repent, perform prayers and pay the religious tax, set them free. God is All-forgiving and All-merciful’.

  1. Surah 2:223

 This time I’ll start with the reliable translation and then give you Werleman’s (Khalifa’s) to compare it against.

Yusaf Ali Trans.:

 [2:223] ‘Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.’

Werleman’s Koran Curious:

My mistake, Werleman omitted this verse.  He, for no apparent rhyme or reason, simply jumps from Surah 2:221 to Surah 2:229. Oh well, here’s Khalifa’s:

Khalifa’s Qur’an:

[2:223] ‘Your women are the bearers of your seed. Thus, you may enjoy this privilege however you like, so long as you maintain righteousness. You shall observe GOD, and know that you will meet Him. Give good news to the believers.

If you were able to spot the difference between Khalifa’s translation and Ali’s, and you keep in mind the true purpose of Werleman’s book, I think you’ll understand why he chose this particular translation.

I did promise you three examples, and given that Werleman either avoided, or was ignorant of, that particular misogynistic teaching, I’ll offer you a final example to show that Werleman used the worst available English translation of the Qur’an.

Final Example: Surah 23:5-6

 I’ll ‘Werleman’ (cut and paste) Surah 23:1-7 of ‘Koran Curious’ to include Werleman’s single sentence comment on these verses, then I’ll give you Khalifa’s version of Surah 23:5-6. Please pay particular attention to the two bolded verses.

‘Muhammad encourages Muslims to be vigilant in carrying out their religious and charitable duties, and those who do will be most rewarded.

[23:1] Successful indeed are the believers;

[23:2] who are reverent during their Contact Prayers (Salat).

[23:3] And they avoid vain talk.

[23:4] And they give their obligatory charity (Zakat).

[23:5] And they maintain their chastity.

[23:6] Only with their spouses, or those who are rightfully theirs, do they have sexual relations; they are not to be blamed.

[23:7] Those who transgress these limits are the transgressors.’ [15]

Khalifa’s Qur’an:

[23:5] And they maintain their chastity.

[23:6] Only with their spouses, or those who are rightfully theirs, do they have sexual relations; they are not to be blamed.

Okay, what do these ‘ayat’ (verses) actually say?

Picthall Trans.:

[23:5-6] ‘And who guard their modesty – Save from their wives or the (slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy…’

Here we have a teaching that permits men to rape their sex-slaves, but what was Werleman’s commentary on such an inhumane teaching? ‘Muhammad encourages Muslims to be vigilant in carrying out their religious and charitable duties, and those who do will be most rewarded.’ That’s it! That’s all he had to say about a teaching that has been faithfully oppressing and exploiting women for centuries.

Muhammad’s Farewell Sermon

Werleman cut and pasted a unique version of Muhammad’s ‘Farewell Sermon’ into his book to show the compassionate side of Muhammad.  In this version of the ‘Farewell Sermon’, Muhammad is alleged to have said:

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. All mankind is from Adam and Hawwāʾ, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.’ [16]

Muhammad sounds so warm and cuddly, doesn’t he?

In true Werleman fashion, he doesn’t cite the version, volume, page number, nor even the hadith narrator, and there is a good reason for this lack of citation – there is none. The version of the sermon that Werleman cut and pasted from the internet is a forgery, a fake which can be traced to Syed F.H. Faizi’s ‘Sermons of the Prophet’ (1991). [17]

Regarding this forgery, Daniel Pipes, who is an American historian and the publisher of the Middle East Quarterly Journal, remarks: ‘The only authentic thing in this so called sermon is aya 49:13 but the rest is anachronistic.’ [18] Below is a version of Muhammad’s ‘Farewell Sermon’ that I have sourced from one of his recognized biographers (al-Tabari, Vol. 9).  Compare the two versions, then see if you can guess why Werleman didn’t use an actual biographical source:

“Now then, O people, you have a right over your wives and they have a right over you. You have [the right] that they should not cause anyone of whom you dislike to tread on your beds; and that they should not commit any open indecency (fāḥishah). If they do, then God permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain from [evil], they have the right to their food and clothing in accordance with custom (bi’l-ma‘rūf). Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals (‘awānin) with you and do not possess anything for themselves. [19]

In this version of the ‘Farewell Sermon’, there is no talk of equality between blacks and whites, (a modern fabrication) and it also permits husbands to beat their domestic animals, sorry, wives, but not severely, thank goodness!

If Werleman had have taken the time to actually research what he was cutting and pasting into his book, he’d have probably discovered that this speech was, at least in large part, a rank forgery, but one shouldn’t expect too much from an exposed plagiarist, I suppose.

  1. Stylistic Nightmares

This book, despite posing as a scholarly introduction to the Qur’an, reads as if the author is a teenager with a severe marijuana addiction.

Below are just a few examples of Werleman’s poor phraseology and failed attempts at humour:

‘…you can see how unforeseen to him [Muhammad] the idea 19 hijackers, mostly Saudi, would take his words to justify using planes as missiles for the death and destruction of innocent civilians in a land far away and in a country he had never heard of. Having now read so much of Muhammad, that thought is breathtakingly remarkable and helps reminds us that despite religions humble beginnings, it has now moved beyond its expiry date. But that’s a whole other can of whoop ass.[20]

  ‘Whenever I close my eyes and conjure an image of a Bedouin tribesman, I evoke images of men in flowing robes, walking the crests of windswept sand dunes. Or when Samantha hits on that wealthy Arab dude in ‘Sex In the City 2’. But I digress.’ [21]

For example, there are passages that Sam Harris, End of Faith, points to within the Koran that he uses as a “ha, gotcha” verse.’ [22]

I could continue listing the litany of examples of poor phraseology, but I get the feeling that you’ve read about as much as you can bear.

  1. Poor Apologetics

This book is a poorly sourced, cited and worded piece of Islamic apologia.  The arguments Werleman clumsily advances to mitigate the violence of Muhammad and his religion are all common amongst low-hanging Islamic internet apologists.  I’ll address the main one.

The Historical Context Argument

Werleman employs the ‘Historical Context Argument’ to defeat some of the common and justified charges laid against the cruel and violent teachings contained with the corpus of Islamic Scripture.  Here is one example from ‘Koran Curious’:

‘He [Sam Harris] quotes numerous verses including: “Never think that those who were slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, and well provided for by their Lord; pleased with his gifts and rejoicing that those they left behind, who have not yet joined them, have nothing to fear or to regret. God will not deny the faithful their reward.” [3:169] Now, in isolation we can use this against Islam, as Muhammad appears to be pronouncing an endorsement for martyrdom, carte blanche. What Harris doesn’t say, however, is that Muhammad recited this particular verse in the days prior to facing annihilation, because he had learned the Meccans were planning on laying siege on Medina with the purpose of finishing off the Muslims once and for all. Essentially, Muhammad had to raise the will of his men to defend the city at all costs, for the Quraysh of Mecca intended to execute every Muslim man, woman, and child should the city’s defenses fall. Moreover, he would never have envisaged that 1,500 years later, men would read this verse and use it for justification to hijack a jetliner and fly it into a building filled with innocent people.’ [23]

Firstly, Muhammad, at least according to the authors of various hadith, constantly reiterated the virtues and rewards of martyrdom, not just for his time, but as a general rule. Take the following sahih hadith, for example:

  ‘Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr). Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any sariya (military unit) going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah’s cause and then made Alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then again martyred in His cause.”’ [24]

Whilst Muhammad couldn’t have foreseen the 9/11 Islamic terror attacks [because he wasn’t actually a Prophet], his message encouraged such atrocities, and to show this we need only read the following ayah from the Qur’an: [8:39] And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do. There are many other hadith and Quranic passages I could cite, but I think it more expedient to move on and discuss the central weakness of the ‘Historical Context Argument’. If the Qur’an were only a history book, then the ‘Historical Context Argument’ would be appropriate, but it isn’t, is it?  No, it is a book that poses as the ever-applicable, perfect and complete word of an all-knowing deity. 

Qur’an: Complete and All-Applicable [Mohsin Khan Version]

 [7:52] Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (the Quran) which We have explained in detail with knowledge, – a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe.

[10:37] And this Quran is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah (Lord of the heavens and the earth), but it is a confirmation of (the revelation) which was before it [i.e. the Taurat (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.], and a full explanation of the Book (i.e. laws and orders, etc, decreed for mankind) – wherein there is no doubt from the the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns,and all that exists).  See also; Surah 12:111, 6:114 & 6:115.

The Qur’an is the central pillar of the Islamic religion, not Edward Gibbon’s ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’. Arguing that the more uncivilized teachings are restricted to specific historical contexts strips the Qur’an of its (perceived) all-pervading authority and renders it a partially-irrelevant piece of historical literature, which, as I’m sure most Muslims would agree, is a highly blasphemous argument.  To put it in other words, Muslims believe that the Qur’an is a book of laws that has not, and cannot be, overturned.  I guess you could say that arguing that such uncivilized edicts are irrelevant today is like arguing that Roe v Wade (1973) is irrelevant to issues concerning women’s legal rights in the 21st century. As a final note on Werleman’s poor apologetics, I return to his omission regarding an elaborated discussion on Surah 9:5, ‘The Verse of the Sword’. This verse belongs to the Medinan class of ‘ayat’ (verses).  The ayat in the Qur’an are divided into the earlier Meccan and later Medinan classes of ayat, because it is believed that the Qur’an was slowly revealed to Muhammad over a number of years, although I think it more likely that Muhammad may have suffered a brain condition that caused him to hallucinate such quasi-biblical “revelations”. Most of the peaceful verses belong to the Meccan class, whilst the later violent ones belong to the Medinan.  Now, if Werleman had have done a little more research and a little less mindless apologia, he may have stumbled upon an exegetic doctrine known in Arabic as na’skh (abrogation).  This doctrine holds that later ayat have the effect of abrogating earlier ones. This doctrine (na’skh) rests on the following verses from the Qur’an: [2:106] Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things? [16:101] And when We change a Verse [of the Quran, i.e. cancel (abrogate) its order] in place of another, and Allah knows the best of what He sends down, they (the disbelievers) say: “You (O Muhammad SAW) are but a Muftari! (forger, liar).” Nay, but most of them know not.

Regarding the ‘verse of the sword’ and the doctrine of na’skh, the scholars of Islam at Cambridge University say: ‘An interesting instance of such categorisation is the verse to which Ibn al-Jawz refers, ‘the verse of the sword’. This is the name given to Q 9:5, a verse that begins, ‘And when the sacred months have passed, kill the idolators wherever you find them . . .’ According to one of the standard treatises on this topic, Q 9:5 abrogates at least 124 other [peaceful] verses, the last of which is Q 109:6 [To you be your Way, and to me mine.].’ [25]

The more peaceful Meccan verses (such as Surah 109:6) are popular propaganda tools employed by Werleman and the regressive Left, but these mindless panderers appear to have no idea that such teachings have long since been abrogated by others which call for violent Jihad, the brutal suppression and oppression of non-believers – that prescribe the death penalty for apostasy and blasphemy, and that encourage Muslims to extort protection money (‘jizya’ – see Surah 9:29) from non-Muslims who suffer the misfortune of living under Muslim rule.   Both liberal Muslims and non-Muslims need to begin to educate themselves on the core doctrines and principles of this ‘religion of peace’, and on how such doctrines and principles have been employed over the centuries, and continue to be employed today by Islamic states and secular ones influenced by the Qur’an, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, as well as Islamic groups such as the Taliban, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc. If we choose to remain wilfully ignorant with regards to very real threat that Islam properly applied presents, if we continue to apply special rules to Islam which prevent an honest discourse on its dangers, we run the risk of aiding the useful idiocy of the regressive Left, which in turn assists the more radical Islamic groups and states in their deliberate exploitation of the tolerance of liberal societies, societies that are becoming increasingly at risk of having their freedoms turned against them and then obliterated by an ideology that belongs in the annals of medieval history.

Final Summary

  ‘Koran Curious’ is, and I say this with absolutely no hesitation, one of the worst books ever written on the Qur’an.  It employs poor and misguided apologetics, foul phraseology, forged biographical material, the worst English translation of the Qur’an available, and what’s worse, over half of the entire contents of this pathetic piece of literature is merely a cut-and-pasted copy of Rashad’s ridiculous translation of the Qur’an.



End Notes:

  1. J. Werleman, ‘Koran Curious: A Guide for Infidels & Believers’, Dangerous Little Books, 2011, Kindle Location (KL). #130.
  2. Ibid. KL. #148; [My own citation: John L. Esposito, ‘Getting it Right About Islam and American Muslims’, Huffington Post, May 24, 2011, cited at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-l-esposito/american-muslims_b_865262.html, accessed on October 23, 2015.]
  3. J. Werleman, ‘Koran Curious: A Guide for Infidels & Believers’, Dangerous Little Books, 2011, KL #378, #983 & #771.
  4. Ibid. KL #4359.
  5. Ibid. KL #768.
  6. Islam Basics, ‘The Year of Sorrow’, cited at: http://www.islambasics.com/view.php?bkID=46&chapter=14, accessed on 25 Oct. 2015.
  7. Imam Salim, ‘Islam from the Heart’, cited at: http://imamsalim.com/blog/2015/06/27/10th-ramadhan-urs-bibi-khadija-mecca/, accessed on 25 Oct. 2015.
  8. J. Werleman, ‘Koran Curious: A Guide for Infidels & Believers’, Dangerous Little Books, 2011, KL #412.
  9. John L. Esposito, ‘The Oxford Dictionary of Islam’, Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 344.
  10. Karen Armstrong, ‘Muhammad: Prophet for Our Time’, Harper Perennial, 2007, KL. #243.
  11. Assassination of Rashad Khalifa – http://tucson.com/news/local/crime/man-convicted-in-imam-s-slaying/article_2fdb3b40-97a7-55bd-9181-1ed839bacb28.html.
  12. Ziauddin Sarda, ‘Reading the Qur’an: The Contemporary Relevance of the Sacred Text of Islam’, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 50.
  13. J. Werleman, ‘Koran Curious: A Guide for Infidels & Believers’, Dangerous Little Books, 2011, KL #1344.
  14. Ibid. KL #1728.
  15. Ibid. KL #2476.
  16. Ibid. KL #1081.
  17. Fraudulent Translation of Muhammad’s Last Sermon to Make it Egalitarian – http://www.islam-watch.org/home/89-other-authors/134-fraudulent-translation-of-muhammad-last-sermon-egalitarian.html.
  18. Daniel Pipes Middle East Forum – http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/161758
  19. Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, ‘The History of Al-Tabari Vol. 9: The Last Years of the Prophet’, (Trans. Ismail K. Poonawala), State University of New York Press, 1990, p. 113.
  20. J. Werleman, ‘Koran Curious: A Guide for Infidels & Believers’, Dangerous Little Books, 2011, KL #615.
  21. Ibid. KL #354.
  22. Ibid. KL #293.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Sahih al-Bukhari 2:1:35
  25. Jane Dammen McAuliffe. ‘The Cambridge Companion to the Qur’an’. Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 187-188.

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