Don't Burn Quran, Repackage and Update it

If you reform Islam, it would become a whole lot more tolerable


Don't Burn Quran, Repackage and Update it
by bahmani

Here's the funny thing, the Quran if you have read it, is about as perfect as an original religious text gets.

Unlike the various trans-generational translations and transformations of other religious books, the Quran was written in the same original Arabic that is spoken in most of greater Arabia today.

Written as a single poem, it has rhyme, rhythm, meter and everything you need to sing it. In fact the Quran is almost always sung mostly. Sung beautifully.

Understanding the Quran however, is an altogether personal thing. You might read the same verse as I read, and we can both disagree on the exact intent and meaning of it.

For example, (and to stay topical) you can read the verse on what to do about an adulterous woman. You might apply the stoning clause. However I could just as easily apply the clause that requires her to simply deny the false accusation 5 times publicly, and she would be free to go.

To make things even easier to misunderstand or worse, misinterpret drastically, the Quran comes complete with a set of randomly applied, arbitrary hadiths or interpretations of the various verses made by unauthorized, unregulated, or uncertified groups of men who collectively agree to call themselves "religious experts". These run the gambit from highly intelligent western-style and western-educated, to the village mollah. Anyone with a pen or a gun, can interpret the Quran and write up a hadith to explain it, it seems.

The hadiths are at once the same mortal source of utter confusion and clarity of the grand mystery and quiz of an immortal Quran. And there in lies the problem facing Islam in today's modern Western world.

Islam and the Quran with it's semi-official but altogether unofficial hadiths, now finds itself exposed of the many inconsistencies and inherent argument weaknesses, largely unbaked and not-ready-for-prime-time, reeling in an aftermath of entirely misunderstood, disastrously misinterpreted, and taking the indefensible loser position as Western cultural misanthrope.

Islam, as presented, for lack of a better word, and frankly, Islam as told through the current version of the Quran is unpresentable to a modern world in it's current form and fit. Which is why Islam often wants to change the world to fit it.

There are many many many many examples of it, and by it, I mean medieval bizarre rituals and seemingly meaningless interpretations of behaviors that simply do not fit into this Western modern world, in which many decisions are made by the increasingly godless silicon chips we drown ourselves in.

As Islam stands today, one could very easily argue that the integrated circuit violates Sharia law making all technology that uses it Haram. Actually that would make a good fatwa!

For a more realistic example that I won't mention, take the whole hejab and women's rights issue, which as an example of Islam's inability to fairly modify it's position, demands far more examination than I would even dare to undertake.

The one example I will offer up of why Islam needs to change in order to be accepted and survive, is the daily prayer.

Inarguably one of the five pillars of faith in Islam, the daily prayer, funnily enough seems to last all day long making the faithful follower an outcast, and a largely useless and unproductive member of society. If you pray as much as Islam wants you to, you're going to be out of a job in the West. Muslims are only going to be accepted in the West if they are as productive as their infidel counterparts.

The 6 daily prayer times exactly prescribed by an inexactly unauthorized "religious leader" who puts out the schedule online, requires me to pray exactly at the following time, for today (tomorrow's prayer times are different), the time zone I live in, here in the US:

Salat (Prayer) 5:32am
Fajr (Dawn prayer)6:44am
Dhuhr (Mid-day prayer)1:08pm
Asr (Afternoon prayer)4:44pm
Maghrib (Sunset prayer)7:30pm
Isha'a (Night prayer)8:44pm

To fully integrate into this society or to not, requires Western society to change around me the believer. I can handle the morning and night prayers if you let me combine them into one on either end of the day. That works for me. Because it works for everyone. Even if they don't, Christians and Jews and even atheists would do well to pray once in the morning and once at night to clear your head, and if you like, thank god for being all they can be. If they don't already. Islam can even sell that as a highly redeeming value of the package. You can see the TV ad for it.

So, everyone can do a quick "howdy do" in the morning and a "thanks for letting me live today" before you go to bed. No problem. No Argument.

However, even if I could bang them out in my legally prescribed 2, 15 minute daily breaks, and on hour for lunch hour at work, I'm not really able to mingle and socialize and make and maintain friendships with co-workers and such during the day. Being Muslim makes me not have any non-Muslim friends.

So, I am going to have to lose 3 of the day prayers right off the bat. If Islam wants me to stick with it, it is going to have to cut me some slack.

Just to allow Muslims to become part of Monday Night will require some serious re-examination, and more rescheduling.

As you can see, not only is it not easy, it's almost impossible being Green.

As this one simple example of the sheer submission that today's version of a seemingly unbending orthodox Islam shows, if you cannot let the Muslim slide on a few things like prayer, or the hejab, or diet, you are going to further alienate Muslims from Western society and culture. And by alienate I mean appearing to be an actual alien from another planet.

The current view of Islam by very real god-fearing folks in Gainesville, Florida, is proof that Islam is the one who is intolerant. Intolerant of changing it's own very weirdness, as observed by Western culture and society who sees Islam as unwilling to meet it halfway.

However, if you reform and re-interpret Islam and iron out these kinds of wrinkled areas in which Islam grates and grinds counter to the grain of Western society and culture, acceptance and tolerance of it by becomes a whole lot easier.

Sadly, Islam in almost all incarnations suffers from a general lack of humility and worse respect for people and their religions that are far more established than Islam, and have come before it.

Precisely because Islam refuses to adjust itself at this time in history, it appears to be defiant in the face of those who respond by defying it.

The fierce pride by which a Muslim will force his wife to stay at home, and his daughter to wear the arbitrarily prescribed hejab to American public school, is perceived by the Church in Florida as the sin of vanity.

And rightly so.

Because if you think you know, when the truth is that you don't really, actually, you are wrong.

An Islam that refuses to accept the good in other ways, other cultures, and other faiths, and allow the inherent god-given right of the infidel and even and especially the apostate, to choose a path other than Islam, can certainly not demand or even expect to be, included.

Most religious experts in Islam whether they be full IRI certified Ayatollahs, mollahs, muftis, or Brooklyn-bred emams, seem to be inflexible in this area of co-existence.

However this is not unusual in an organized faith, that is desperately trying to maintain and grow membership against hostile market forces, and exactly like any other religion who is unlikely to allow mass departures if alternatives to it become too popular among it's flock.

Too many Kafirs it seems, is never good for the coffers.


more from bahmani

The fact is that Iranian

by alimostofi on

The fact is that Iranian culture became more Semitic and less Hindu in its cosmogony. I am an Astrologer, and in short I have totally different view.

The Ancients of the Earth were supernatural beings. 


Ali Mostofi



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


To my knowledge Gathas are the oldest of Avesta. Vandidad has mostly rules on how to live your life. The only part that may be old(er) is the first part. Fargards 1 - 3 having to do with the beginning of the world. Please provide your insignts into this. 


The Vendidad has both old

by alimostofi on

The Vendidad has both old and young parts.  The old parts predate Gathas.

Ali Mostofi



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I have read the Vandidad and Gathas.

Gathas are the most ancient part of Avesta attributed to Zartosht. The rest specially Vandidad are much more recent. By recent I mean Sassanid. The concept of Sayaoshant changed through time until the time of Sassanids.

Then Islam copied it and turned it into Imam Zaman.


In ancient pre-Islam Iran

by alimostofi on

In ancient pre-Islam Iran (or as you called Zoroastrianism), we have the concept of Sayaoshant.  The Gathas are just one part of the The Zend Avesta.  Sayaoshants and the whole concept of ancient Iranian Astrology is more than the Gathas.  You have to read the Vendidad from an Astrologers point of view, to understand what "The Ancients" were up to.


Ali Mostofi



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Ali Mostafi

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


You are right the savior is  not  in the Gathas. I came in later. It was definitely there by the time of Sassanids. But my point was that Islam borrowed it from Sassanid Zoroastrianism. I am pretty sure I got that right what do you think?


The concept of Imam Zaman is

by alimostofi on

The concept of Imam Zaman is actually not part of Zoroastrian religion per se.  It is part of Zoroastrian and Hindu or should we say ancient Indo-European Astrology.

In astrology we have the concept of Ages.  You all know the song "Age of Aquarius".  Well in Astrology we have a concept called the precession of Equinoxes and it is linked to the 1800 year or so cycle.  It is lot more than I have simplified here.  Now for each Age there is a prophet or Imam Zaman.  Jesus Christ was the one we are just finishing called the Age of Pisces.  Before that we had the Age of Aries, and you can see all the Aries motifs in ancient Iran.  We had the Age of Taurus, and you can see the Bulls everywhere.  In fact the change over is even depicted on Parseh.

And finally we are now entering the Age of Aquarius and everyone is worked up over the big alignment on Yalda 2012.  And each religion thinks their horse is the one that is going to win.  

So please leave religion out of it.  


Ali Mostofi



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Islam Prayers

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


We not set because of "Mohammad seek" anything from God. They are an almost exact copy of the Zoroastrian prayers. There are five "Gah"s aka periods of day in Zoroastrianism. There is a prayer called "Nemaz"(yes Islam copied that too) for each:

  • Havaan
  • Rapithwan
  • Uziren
  • Aiwisuthrem
  • Ushaen. 

Salman Farsi was a close advisor to Mohammad and knew all of these in detail. Not wanting to be less pious than Iranians they came up with 5 also. In fact many of Islamic rules are modeled after Zoroastrianism. For a reference on this just read Avesta:Vandidad available in English on Amazon for ~20 $. 

The Shia religion is even closer. For example 12  Imama are modeled exactly after Zoroastrianism. Not to mention the idea of Mehdi is modeled after the Zoroastrian saviour who will come at the end of the world.


Changing Islam

by divaneh on

The change is already happening although at a slow rate. There are debates about drinking alcohol, hejab, punishments and the rest already. Changing any religion however seems to be accompanied by branching.

I also would like to add that Islam seems to have a different focus in each country depending on the ruling party's policies.


Factual that are indeed true

by harris on

I believe you have written quite an article there. However I would say 40% of it is rather fiction or rather facts that are misinterpreted. I would just take a moment of my precious time to point out just one erroneous issue. The prayer schedules. There are 5 scheduled prayers not 6. Originally back in Moses time, there are 50 scheduled prayer timings but Prophet Muhammad had seek from God to lessen this to accommodate to the people of his times (our times).
Salat (Prayer) 5:32am Subuh prayer to be completed before dawn.
Fajr (Dawn prayer)6:44am - It is not a prayer but the end of stipulated timing allowed for the Subuh prayer.
Dhuhr (Mid-day prayer)1:08pm - This can be completed from the calling of the prayer to before Asar prayer.
Asr (Afternoon prayer)4:44pm - This can be completed from the calling of the prayer to before the Maghrib prayer.
Maghrib (Sunset prayer)7:30pm - This is the shortest among the time given and can be completed before the Isha prayers.
Isha'a (Night prayer)8:44pm - This is the longest time frame given to complete as you can perform it at prayer time or up to before Subuh prayer is schedule.
The flexibility of the timings will endure through any schedules we may have. If the difficulties faced are due to location, Islam is very flexible, that you can perform your prayers anywhere. I just hope that you learn enough before writing an article for I myself is learning Christianity and the Bible and God willing I will be awarded with Bachelor's of Divinity in Bible Studies and I can further understand the Christian teachings. For now I am just staying facts on my religion of choice and believe which is Islam and the facts that you have assumed are rather fiction and unknowledgeable. I apologise if I have said any words to hurt or insult as it is not meant in such a manner.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

dear writer

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

There are only five daily prayers in Islam, not six.

For those who don't know much about a religion, reforming it appears easy.


Oh no! Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

by al-dang on


for over a thousands years, Muslims did not have dynamite. 


Burning of books

by Princess on

Aside from whatever the contents may be, recycling would be a greener, wiser use of paper/trees... and then, there's... Origami! : )



"bushthevibrator" ! No apology needed ,bahmani

by bushtheliberator on

Iran,& this site could use a lot more humor,  and if you carried my nic into cyberspace you'd be glad to see anthing that looks  like a smile thrown with the usual brickbats.Elsewhere, I was assigned the nic "cruelnastyandabsurd",and then banned ;but I've truely come here for my education rather than the pleasures of cyber-gooseing,& eye-gougeing.

As if Bushiness didn't make me unpopular enough,I now admit to the I.coms that I've been washing down my Neo-con fantasies with that Iranian Green Reformist Koolaide.Undeterred by my utter lack of knowledge about Iran,& Islam, I'm convinced that the ascendancy of Najaf is a very positive development in Iran's Battle of the Beards.




They have been burning crosses in USA for over 100 years

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

and few christians  care.

Just ignore the publicity seekers and they go away. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Al Dang

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


The destruction of Budahs in Bamyan was a greate tragedy and a crime. But be fair. For over a thousand years Muslims had control over that area. It was only after the modern day Islamists Taliban came that this happened. Again as much as I do not like Islam this was not the doing of most Muslims. In fact if you read the reasoning Taliban gave it was mostly  them giving a finger to the West. 

The story is that the Taliban were approached by some Western group wanting to preserve them. They offered money to do so. When the Taliban asked for money for their population the group said "no". They said the Buddahs were their concern not the populatio. The Taliban reacted by saying that if that is all the West cares about then F*** Y***.

I do not find this an acceptable excuse for destroying historical treasure. But it does explain the though process.  Burning the Quoran will not bring back the Buddahs. In fact it may encourage more of the same. This was a childish act on the Taliban's side and does not merit another childish act on the side of some asshole in the West.



by Spike on

In the spirit of learning, can you explain/clarify a few things for me?  From a  utilitarian standpoint, it seems to me that getting rid of Saddam was a good thing, liberating the oppressed Shiites of Iraq, and the population generally from his control.  I must admit that I am not as concerned about whether or not it was good for Iran.  The thing that would be good for Iran (I believe) is for an overthrow of the current govt, but I am willing to leave that for another discussion.  The main reason you seem to be saying that it is bad to move the center of Shiite scholarship to Najaf is lost revenue for Iran.  If the Shiites and Sunnis didn't split over the succession, then why did they split?  And if they've never warred over the issue, why have they been killing each other all these years?


Thanks vildemose for the good news

by Bavafa on

And I am glad that is called off, as it was a purely stupid act and only design to get attention.

Metaphorically speaking, if they burn it then no one can read it to see how flawed its contents are. It is like assassinating a terrorist or a dictator as oppose to capture and bring him to a just and fair trial. The latter will expose his true nature where is the former will make a hero out of him for some, this is beside the fact that by assonating him you have become what he was.




by پندارنیک on

Can you elaborate on six daily prayers and their times?



I'm glad the Quran burning is called off

by Spike on

The nutty pastor in Gainesville only has 50 followers.  If everyone had ignored him in the first place, it would have had no impact.  While he had a right to do it, I'm glad he didn't because it did not help the discussion at all.

I'm glad we won't have the idiots from CAIR running around screaming about hate crimes etc.  They're really starting to wear on me.


Dear VPK: Absolutely. Thank

by vildemose on

Dear VPK: Absolutely. Thank goodness, it's called off. It would have provided so much fodder for IRI's propaganda.


Oh no!

by al-dang on


will Buddahs statue in Bamyan cry?

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

vildemose Jan

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Glad to hear this thing was cancelled. You all know that I am very critical of Islam. But to burn the Quran is just plain out stupid. I am very happy that it is not going to happen.


The moronic pastor

by vildemose on

The moronic pastor cancelled his stupid stunt but he got his 15 minutes of fame..



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Burning The

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Quran is a really stupid idea specially by those who know nothing of it. All it does is prove that these people lack the knowledge to criticize it so they burn it. I am no fan of Islam but the right way it to point out the problems with it. Not to burn it.

The book "Dar Peyromooneh Islam" by Ahmad Kasravi is the intelligent way. He unlike these idiots knew Quran by heart. He knew what he was talking about and could point out the problems. 

These guys are no better than the Mongol hoards. When faced with something they do not understand they burn it. 

Not a good way to prove your point.


A Time for Everything

by Anvar on

I agree with the “Don’t burn the Quran” sentiment, but I think the search for a modern-day Islamic Luther would be futile.

Even the contributions of the real Martin Luther to the world of Christianity, from the unity and spirituality viewpoints, are debatable.  The Catholic Church has not gone away and thousands of little Protestant denominations have only increased disunity within the religion as a whole.  Many Protestants view the Pope(s) as the Anti-Christ; and the Catholics don’t know what to make of some Evangelical snake-handling Protestants who believe in Salvation only through Grace.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I (also a Baha’i) believe that a fundamental reformation of any religion can be achieved only by the revelation of a newer religion.

Besides, how exactly are you going to reform a religion (one degree of separation from God) when you can’t even reform a theocracy (two degrees of separation from God)?  

However, talk is cheap.  I wish for everyone who is truly interested in reforming Islam (to properly fit in the modern world), to write down exactly what they’d like to see changed.  I’d guess that over 80% of the items on their lists are already covered by the newer religion.  If I’m right, then perhaps the “reform” has already taken place; and If I’m wrong, then good luck searching for the Islamic Luther.  I wish you patience and a very long life.

If God reveals religions, shouldn’t it also be God who updates them?

The following is from the Bible:

A Time for Everything  

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.




by Raoul1955 on

Your guess could be classified as [a personal] fantasy unless you can provide statistical data based on scientific polling to support this 100%...
You can google on how to conduct scientific polling.


bushtheliberator: Sorry Iran is a bad example

by bahmani on

(Are you sure he isn't bushthevibrator? Sorry I couldn't resist! Dude you are so wrong about Bush!)

Iran is a bad example as an example of reform of eslam. Iran is merely trying to legitimize the minority position of shiites in a largely sunni moslem world.

Bush by getting rid of saddam actually made things worse for Iran, because until Najaf was freed, Iran and specifically the city of Qom was the emerging center of shiite eslam in the world. The universities there crank out 10,000+ mollahs a year.

That and the grand experiment of actually running a country in a shiite way, were going well until Bush gave the shiites back their main shrine Najaf, the resting place of ali the shiite accepted successor to mohammad. And the source of Cassius Clay's name change to Muhammad-Ali.

This took the steam out of Iran's ambitions to make Qom the papacy for shiism.

Once this was done, everyone wanted to (rightly) pilgrimage to najaf instead of Qom. That's a lot of empty hotel rooms in Qom! IN addition the Ayatollah of najaf was now making some counter noise.

So Iran had no choice but to involve itself in Iraq (which it now owns! Just read Iraq's and Iran's opening paragraphs of their constitutions) in order to control najaf and continue their shiite expansion.

The argument has never been about who is right about the succession, sunnis or shiites. That is why historically (and contrary to popular western and US military belief) they have NEVER warred over it. It is one of those rare unprovables, so moslems tend to let it be a mystery.

But it is all about power and control. Sunnis who control Mecca, have historically held the upper hand and franchise. Because, sunni or shiite, you still have to make the pilgrimage to mecca to be legit.

Iran wants shiism to offer some similar kind of cachet, so it is working stuff out now to see what it can offer the moslem world. So far it appears to be playing around with social governance and politics, vis a vis offering a well thought out argument and alternative to Western culture, values, and civics.

Which has it's pros and cons. Mostly cons so far.


new wine in old bottles

by maxwellagha on

Dear Bahmani & others

When Jesus was asked if he was reforming or updating Judaism, he said you cant put new wine into old bottles, meaning you cant reform religion, that is, the new ideas will make the bottles expolde ie the relegion.

religions like everything else have a time span, they have their spring, when they create civilisations, arts, literature, architecture, and are a force for the devlopment of man, then they start their decline throught the summer when they have many converts and they spread, then gradually their autumn and winter when they become fanatical, when their followers start persecuting people who are different to them, their clergy start to meddle in politics, they think they have the right to kill "infidels", etc. Their followers dont obey the teachings of the religion, ie they dont say their prayers, they drink, take drugs, dont have any respect for their own religious leaders...

Does this sound like the Islam of today?  then God sends a new religion, this is what happened to Judaism, then Christianity and now Islam, in every case the founder of the religion mentions some one coming later to tell people new things, and in every case when that some one turns up 1000 years later the clergy knowing their time for fooling people is up rejects that person and persecutes him and his followers.

I believe the religion which has reformed Islam and all the other religions of the past is the Bahai Faith whose followers and its founder have been and still are presecuted by an ignorant and politically motivated clergy.  Before you ask as a Bahai I also believe that there will be other religions after the Bahai faith when there is a need to reform the bahai teachings.


Spike: % of moslems willing to eform

by bahmani on

My guess, is 100% of modernist moslems (those struggling with being modern and moslem in their day to day life) would want a reformation. But 0% would admit it publicly, because of the mountain mohammadan mollahs have put in front of them. And the general disagreement among clerics that this is even needed.

The arguments against modernity are many and compelling. From a global warming standpoint, wouldn't it be better if we all rode donkeys instead of driving SUVs? This kind of thinking is the ammo used by the clerical system to dissuade inquiring minds.

What is needed is a Luther figure to emerge in eslam. A moslem who knows the rules better than the clerics and can expose the flaws and weaknesses in order to fix what's wrong.

I nominate Reza Aslan.