The Postmodern Koran

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ZEIT published a theological article speaking for and about the left’s wanna-have religion: postmodern Islam.

 

The author Mansur Seddiqzai is a school teacher and teaches Islam. In Germany church and state are not separated. Religious instructions are commanded by the constitution although students can opt out for philosophy classes on ethics.

Seddiqzai starts with an altered version of a story that he often reads to his pupils.

Heinz takes his son Fritz to the forest because he heard voices that told him to sacrifice him. The police intervenes.

 

After telling this story he usually asks the class how they would deal with Heinz. The usual condemnation follows. The pupils are supposed to learn that today’s morals are different from historical morals. And while he emphasizes again and again that all his students prefer modern morals to tribal ones, he does not give one argument why the modern ones are better.

 

He also alters the story in a significant way. The voice from G-d is turned into some voice in Abraham’s/Heinz’ head. This is another common element of many religious readings these days. Legends are not seen as legends first and, before digging into what they still tell us about those who taught them and the historical facts they reveal, we just assume that Abraham was a real man and the voice from an invisible being is just a loon’s invisible friend. This is how atheists mock the religious!

 

There is a difference if in a hypothetical scenario G-d himself talks (and questioning it is not part of the moral of the given story) or you just hear a voice in your head. I don’t know any Muslim, Jew or Christian who thinks that the Lord still talks to people. Usually the revelation is considered to be revealed.

 

Seddiqzai says that his students admire Abraham and his son “who is called Isaac in Judaism and Ishmael in Islam” for their submissiveness. Isaac and Ishmael are two different sons! Jews/Christians and Muslims disagree on who is supposed to be sacrificed! What is more important is that Isaac must be fooled to follow his father. He is not submissive at all! Even if stories tell us little, they never fail to tell us something about the people who told them.

 

The author tells his students that submissiveness is not modern. Back in the day, this were the moral, but now we are supposedly over it. Indeed the Koran story has submissiveness as its moral, complete submissiveness of both Abraham and Ishmael. Judaism does not even preach submission under G-d (read how Jacob became Israel). Given that the Festival of the Sacrifice عيد الأضحى is the most important annual event in Islam, the idea that modernity has changed something has little substance.

 

And we are hitting the basic problem of postmodernism. The claim that all cultures and morals were equal (present and past), everything were interpretation and nothing were binding, is immediately brushed away when the postmodernists demand that progress is infallibly for the better and the current authority is always right.

 

I personally believe that postmodernism is a sly trick to make people gullible. Endless lessons in schools are spent on interpreting things (arts, literature, religious texts, culture). Everything is freed up, no limits, it seems. Yet, the student who hits the opinion of the teacher best will be rewarded for it. Postmodernism does not question authority. It just questions the authority of the truth, the intention of words, and gives way to the political authority of the day. And the left’s willingness to misrepresent and strawman their opponents is the result of their postmodern interpretation circus in school.

 

Seddiqzai blows it with a “psychological interpretation.” In this version, Abraham dreams to sacrifice his son and only wished that his son was devout enough to let it happen.” Remember that the article does not make it clear that the story is completely different in Christianity and Judaism. The title is even “Religious class – When Heinz becomes Abraham.” So the reader is tricked into believing that what he says is equally valid for all Abrahamic religions.

 

Postmodernism comes with a big deal of dishonesty. It does not say, I disagree with the text. But this would be essential. People feel the dishonesty. Seddiqzai even admits that his pupils are not very happy with his “psychological interpretation.” If I were a Muslim and some ISIS recruiter walked up to me and asked, “Do you follow Allah or your dream-voice-in-the-head teacher?”, I would join up!

 

Seddiqzai answers the question about what is the right interpretation with “There is no right interpretation.” And because postmodernism is essentially authoritarian, he adds that “we” must not cease the interpretation to “esoterics” and “radicals.” Consequently “truth” is what the authority says and that is better the majority of “you.”

 

He goes on to say that the fight for “women equality” is about reinterpreting the holy texts. Doubtful students, who read the story correctly, are told that they would “give up their self-determination to a higher instance.” Yes, but this instance is G-d and when push comes to shove he might become more important than feminism.

 

No. Muslims must question, disagree and challenge old texts, fickle majorities and worldly authorities alike, and not interpret everything for their or anybody else’s pleasure.

 

More about theology:

https://goldsteinweb.wordpress.com/category/theology/

Comments

Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:37am
I meant reads to his "pupils" not "children." Will edit it.
Dino Manalis Added Sep 8, 2018 - 8:04am
 There's no such thing as postmodern, because modernization is constant and religion has to adapt to economic; political; and social reforms.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 9:04am
Jesus went into the wilderness, Moses went up a mountain and Mohamed was in a cave. Funny that nobody was ever around. Why not in the middle of the World Cup Final so everyone can hear it?
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 8, 2018 - 9:15am
Opher, that is a very good question and I have written an extensive answer to that here.
Jeff Jackson Added Sep 8, 2018 - 3:05pm
Speaking of caves, Zarathustra went into a cave and came out after 10 years. Zarathustra was one of the first significant publications to claim that God was dead. By saying God was dead, by the way, Nietzsche was saying that ultimate truths were gone, not necessarily that who or what we call God was dead. It was about ultimate truths, and the overman, who would not believe the untruths put forth by man.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 8, 2018 - 3:25pm
Thank you, Jeff, for this well thought-out comment.
 
Before I dive into it, I should add that the historic Zarathustra, the founder of Zoroastrism, is not the literary figure that you are talking about.
 
It is a long time ago that I read anything from Nietzsche. He is an important cultural figure though. Not because he changed the way we think, but he documented the way his times thought and he became crazy over it.
 
It is often argued, and I have come to believe that, too, that the hate against G-d that was so prevailant during the French Revolution caused an enormous cultural shift. Germany was later Christianized than France and always remained more pagan.
 
Nietzsche noticed that the morals are dissolving. What frightened him was that without G-d mankind has a basic accountability problem. It is not only unclear why one should do or not do something. There is also no punishing instance for leaders. Hitler later said, "either Germany must win the war or it does not deserve to live." Because the emotion of guilt would be enforced by the moral system of the winner.
 
I think the Ubermensch (overman) is somebody who notices that morals are not absolute per se. Men are capable of setting morals. You just need to present yourself outraged enough to make everybody agree that your enemy must be punished for this or that action. The action will be considered a sin in future. I think the Ubermensch understands this dark magic and uses or abuses it.
jdamsforall Added Sep 8, 2018 - 3:25pm
The Koran itself is utterly false on three important points, Friday is not the Sabbath day any more than Sunday ever was;  Allah is not the creator of the Universe, Allah is the moon goddess of Baal Worship, which is actually devil worship, and if this wasn't bad enough, the Koran sanctions bestiality, forcible child rape, forcible spousal rape, lesbianism, homosexuality, bisexual orgies,slavery, gang rape and genocide...answering islam.org/Shamoun/bestialityhtm...
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 8, 2018 - 4:05pm
Allah is clearly influenced by the moongod. There are similar Christian variations that missionary work in pagan areas in Africa and South America created.
 
The Koran does not sanction bestiality, but "child rape" in terms of underage marriage is a problem. "Spousal rape" is only criminalized in Western countries and only since very recently. Homosexual sex is punishable by death according to the Koran. Slavery was always a big problem in Islam. Mohammet had many slaves, including sex slaves. "Gang rape" in the context of war was permissable and also genocide.
Ward Tipton Added Sep 8, 2018 - 11:14pm
In all the histories I have read, Islam is actually the result of a religious revolution of sorts, resulting from the introduction of Christian and Pagan Principles into religious "traditions" in both the Counsels of Nicea and Constantine. 
John Minehan Added Sep 9, 2018 - 7:04am
"I don’t know any Muslim, Jew or Christian who thinks that the Lord still talks to people."
 
Well, except for the idea of "the still, small voice" or the conscience.
jdamsforall Added Sep 9, 2018 - 5:12pm
The Koran does be indeed sanction bestiality, ...if you have sex with an animal you cannot sell it for food.... I will quote the surah where this is found if you want ,regarding homosexuality lesbianism and murder all a Muslim need do is determine a person is kafir and they can then rape and kill them, they can do whatever they want to them...trying to excuse these horrible abominations by explaining them away is the same as tacit acceptance.... Muslims are exceedingly hypocritical, Ayatollah Khomeini in the days of Jimmy Carter was the biggest pimp  in all of Iran, literally....Islam is nothing more than devil worship
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 9, 2018 - 6:20pm
Ward T: I'm not sure what your comment means. The councils of Nicea and Constantin somehow entered paganism into ... Islam?!?
 
John M: Granted, there is a believe of G-d giving hints and enlightens our conscience, but it is not the plain "he voices it straight to me" anymore.
 
jdamsforall:
I will quote the surah where this is found if you want 
Yes, please.
they can then rape and kill them [kafirs]
No, this is also more complicated. It must be in a context of jihad and that must be either declared by a caliph or be solely defensive.
Your sentence with homosexuality is a bit mangled. It is forbidden in Islam.
Ward Tipton Added Sep 9, 2018 - 9:33pm
Benjamin Goldstein - 
 
Perhaps I should have phrased it differently. Apparently, from the histories I have read, Mohamed (Pick your spelling) implemented the new religion based on his disdain for the inclusion of Christian and Pagan beliefs into the still newly arrived Christian religion, which he perceived to be a perversion of the ancient religion ... the Pentateuch, still used by Christians, Muslims and Judaism. It was meant to be a more religious conservative movement ... a return to the original if you will ... with his own slants. His "slants" were then interpreted even further based on the interpretations of his sons as they each formed their own variants. Add in a few generations and much of the original was changed based on selective interpretation. 


It would also be sadly underestimating Islam ... submission ... into just a religious system of beliefs as one of its stated purposes is in fact the Religious Caliphate or the Religious (Theocratic) Political body ... something Christians are often wrongly accused of. 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 10, 2018 - 5:31pm
Ward Tipton: I personally don't even think that Mohammed was terribly concerned with religion. He somehow mingled with Jews and Christians for some time and picked up some of the legends. I think what formed the "religion" was his authoritarian rule that simply allowed nobody to contradict him on anything. The Quran is actually quite messy. The above mentioned Ishmael is not mentioned in the Quran. Muslims later developed the idea that the son who is supposed to be sacrificed were Ishmael and not Isaac like the Bible says. Mohammet and most of his followers could not read. I think Islam is the product of a historic Chinese whisper game of sorts.
Sam Nowaczynski Added Sep 11, 2018 - 7:16pm
Postmodernism is not the belief that all cultures and morals are equal.  The belief that some cultures are superior to others is called arrogance, mixed with a tad of racism. 
jdamsforall Added Sep 12, 2018 - 12:37am
Mr Goldstein, Jesus never under any circumstances whatsoever sanctions rape of a man or woman... Muslims are filled with a spirit of blood lust, they profess to be followers ie...examples of the creator of the universe, a sinless holy God...as if God dwells in them and is raping and murdering through them.....this is is criminal  insanity...all will such will be destroyed by the very God they have blasphemed...wicked sin laden humans can declare all manner of supposed holy wars, and they are no more servants of God than Lucifer for it is Lucifer who controls them...when Jesus came down on Sinai and instructed Moses the idea the Moses,Aaron,Joshua or David, etc...ever acted of their own volition in killing people is a complete lie....David did not ever go to war except he first asked Jesus what he should do...Jesus directed all his battles....the Catholic church's wickedness in the middle ages was all foretold in Daniel and Revelation, Islam likewise, none of what they did was ever sanctioned by Jesus...as a matter of fact, it was Jesus's people both Islam and the Vatican were murdering... hundreds of millions of Protestants died during those 1260 years of darkness...why ? Because they "protested" the abominations of Rome...apostate religions in the Bible are symbolized by the whore called Babylon...as a matter of fact all false religion is Babylon....regardless of their profession they all commit and practice known sin...even known abominations....of which all rape and murder and those who commit it  shall be utterly wiped from the face of this earth....the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom...to DEPART from evil...that is understanding....he that hears my words ...and does them not ...shall be likened to a man that built his house upon the sand....he will be be washed away in the storm.....no created being can obey a divine law....we are made out of nothing..!!! Only God dwelling in you can divinity ever be recreated into a fallen created being... Lucifer is an Angel fallen ...he has a kingly bearing for he was the highest created being in the universe, he sinned so horribly ...the Spirit of God left him never to return....the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God .....neither indeed can be !!!   You either die to your carnal mind or you will perish because of your carnal mind....the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked...the carnal mind and heart will never obey the law of God...for the carnal spirit proceeds from Lucifer.....by whom a man is overcome...of the same is he brought into bondage....a bondage from which none shall ever escape...Jesus is the High Priest...He alone has Blood ....He alone has righteousness and to spare....surely in the Lord is plenteous redemption....Jesus testified through David in Psalms regarding wicked men...thou thoughtest I was altogether such an one as thyself....wicked evil humans who exalt themselves against Jesus ...all such are filled with Lucifer's evil....Lucifer knows it is utterly impossible to defeat infinite power....he is horribly terrified and desperate....he knows his time is very short....he be only wants to kill as many humans as he can....if they die in their sins he doesn't have to suffer their punishment...you better wake up....
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 12, 2018 - 2:00pm
Sam N:
Postmodernism is not the belief that all cultures and morals are equal.
It is usually a position postmodernists hold and promote.
The belief that some cultures are superior to others is called arrogance, mixed with a tad of racism.   
Is it really arrogance when a factual superiority is noticed on the basis of standards that are common sense? Some people certainly look better than myself. Would it be arrogant if these people told me that they look better? One can objectively measure the approval of the looks by other people. I don't think that this is arrogance.
Culture isn't a race.
Do you agree that cultures are inferior/superior to one another?
 
jdamsforall:
This looks like a copied and pasted text with triple dots for left-out words and lines.
 
jdamsforall Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:54am
Goldstein... you are afraid of truth, you've been running your whole life...you'll stand at the bar of judgment and you'll be speechless...

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