“O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee…”

This book is evil, says people who have never read it.

Like that quote? It’s from the Quran.

No. Seriously.

There’s this conversation I’ve had with some of my more conservative friends, the same sort of talk I hear on conservative talk radio. “There’s some scary stuff in the Quran. It instructs people to kill the infidels.” I usually ask them for chapter and verse, which they – of course – can’t give. It usually turns out that they haven’t even read the book. “But I’ve heard…”

Where have they heard? Not from a Muslim, I can guarantee.

That’s why I appreciate the essay NPR ran today on its Web site, written by Anisa Mehdi. Mehdi, an American Muslim, makes the case that not only should Terry Jones know what it is he would be burning in the Quran, but Muslims should too. Observe:

The Quran tells about miracles performed by Jesus — some unfamiliar to the Bible, like talking when he was a baby and breathing life into a clay bird, but also recognizable miracles, like healing lepers and restoring the dead to life.

The chapter of Mary also tells stories of Abraham, Moses and Noah. Surely these are figures of prominence in the Christianity of the Dove World Outreach Center.

It’s a great read, and it can be found here: Before Burning Quran, Know What’s In It.

Not trying to convert anyone here. I’m not a Muslim myself. The uproar of the Cordoba Initiative’s Muslim community center and the Dove World Outreach’s Quran burning have made reminded me of the importance of understanding my faith and the faith of others.

Very kumbaya, I know.


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