Quote of the day (1)

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written, that is all.

Oscar Wilde

I found this quote on a muslim site as an introduction to a posting that asked whether Oscar Wilde really was right in saying this. The text caught my eye for a completely different reason.

I read it with Geert Wilders’ upcoming film in the back of my head. Geert Wilders is a Dutch politician known -among other things- for his plea to forbid the Qur’an. He’s now planning to issue a film about it, and it’s not going to be friendly…

Wilders himself claims he’s read the Qur’an hundreds of times. That’s a lot, for someone who has a job as a politician. In his view the book contains lots of violence, intolerance and hate, just like Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. However, millions of muslims read quite different things into it. It’s unfortunate that there are too many muslims who seem to agree with Wilders, but that does not deny the fact that Wilders’ assertions about the Qur’an are open to discussion.

Loads of people are feeling apprehensive about Wilders’ upcoming film. Muslims fear yet another insult to their religion, non-muslims fear muslim violence. All because of a book. Oscar Wilde’s quote puts things in a proper perspective: it’s no use labeling a book ‘immoral’, people are.

If we forbid the Qur’an today, tomorrow it’ll be Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho (e.g.) and before you know it, we’ve reintroduced the Index of forbidden books. Monty Python was right: you never expect the Spanish Inquisition.

2 Responses to “Quote of the day (1)”

  1. […] the level of irritation for Muslims. But so far, absolutely nothing has really happened, except talk. And it’s damn effective, even if you don’t agree with […]

  2. I’ve read an English translation of the Qur’an only once, but there seemed to be nothing in it that was offensive.

    One can take a certain sentence out of context and complain about it but, when read in the context of the paragraph, it’s offensiveness is diminished.

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