Boreal Books

Why

The Koran

Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice

The Koran by topic, explained in a way we can all understand

Paperback, 828 pages, comprehensive index

If what you are looking for is a quick and complete reference to what Allah revealed to Muhammad in His Koran, or a coffee table book that is bound to spark a spirited discussion about a timely topic, look no further than Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice.

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I’ve just finished reading Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice by the Canadian scholar (sic) Bernard Payeur [and Lucette Carpentier], and the book is exactly what it’s touted to be: “Everything you’ve always known about the Koran, and more, explained in a way we can all understand”.

Mr. Payeur’s original field is not Islamic studies, so he approaches his task as an intelligent outsider. The result is a thorough and comprehensive view of what the Koran actually says.

In addition to the Koran itself, the author has read the hadiths and various commentaries by Muslim theologians, so the book reflects the established Islamic institutional understanding of what Islam’s holy book means.

Virginia, U.S.A.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the book for me was putting it in a historical context when describing the life of Mohammed and how this could have affected the writing of the Koran.

London, U.K.

Brings order to chaos.

Ottawa, Canada

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Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice may be too cumbersome or expensive for some, even as a paperback, which is why it has been broken up into six smaller books, all priced under $18.00.

Let Me Rephrase That!

Your Layman's Guide to Abrogations

Paperback, 204 pages

16:101 And if We replace a verse by another – and Allah knows best what He reveals – they say: “You [Muhammad] are only a forger.” Surely, most of them do not know.

Knowing what more than 200 revealed truths (immutable facts communicated to a mortal by a god) an assumed omniscient deity replaced or abolished, i.e., abrogated, as inconceivable as that may seem, is essential to understanding the ultimate Message of the Koran.

Cover art is a rendition of a picture of George Burns from a poster for the 1977 Warner Bros. film, "Oh, God!" Like the movie, I hope you will consider Let Me Rephrase That! a mildly irreverent but never gratuitous treatment of a reverential figure.

Lulu

Kids and The Koran

Children and The Koran

The End of Empathy

Paperback, 186 pages

A lack of empathy, whether it be an instilled pathology or a manifestation of loyalty to one’s tribe — which successive governments and our courts have encouraged by favouring religious distinctiveness over shared secular values — means we can no longer count that love of country or respect for Western civilization and what it stands for will see us through.

The threat that an absence of empathy and tribalism poses could be significantly reduced if we made the Koran for adults only, thereby limiting the corruption of innocence that is a god’s pathological loathing for those who refuse to submit to His Will. 

By having you read what children who should be enjoying Babar the Elephant or Cinderella are reading, I hope to convince you to try to do just that—for their sake, and ours.

amazon  iBooks

Teach Your Children Well

The future as a truism and a cliché

Paperback, 87 pages

It is both a truism and a cliché that children are the future. Where that future will be shaped is in the classroom.

Teach Your Children Well looks at the long-term implications of reintroducing the teaching of religion into the public school system, and the granting of exceptions to the general curriculum for religious reason In Canada, with the Province of Québec leading the way, a secular public school education is being sacrificed to accommodate a religion that considers schooling, where its revealed scriptures are not given precedence, as blasphemous.

Can two incompatible value systems be accommodated within the public school system, and the inevitable clash between reason and unreason avoided?

Will the politics of accommodation lead to peaceful co-existence, or simply allow Islam to recruit in a place that was previously off limits?

Temporarily unavailable

The Prophet

1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet Muhammad

Paperback, 440 pages

Islam is not so much a religion as a way of life with thousands of indelible rules which instruct every waking moment of a believer’s existence.

First, there are God's revealed rules, those of the Koran which we have talked about in Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice; and then there are the hadiths (or Hadith; in English academic usage hadith is often both singular and plural), the sayings and example, i.e., deeds of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Koran and the hadiths are the basis the Sharia, i.e., God's Law, and are pretty much all you need to know to lead a God-fearing life and gain access to Paradise.

In learning about the hadiths, you will also become acquainted with the real Muhammad as his closest friends and his child-bride, Aisha, remember him.

Discontinued

To be replaced by a second edition (improved presentation, contents cross-referenced to Boreal Books on the Koran, appendices, additional footnotes, etc.) in November 2019.

 

Plays/Scripts

Remembering Uzza

If Islam was explained to me in a pub

Paperback, 452 pages

Remembering Uzza is meant to make learning about Islam a mostly pleasant experience while not sugar-coating or leaving out the nasty bits. And, is there a better place to get acquainted with a religion that has everyone talking than in the relaxed atmosphere of a favourite pub, in the company of friends and a troubled but engaging young woman to give you an insider's perspective?

The name Uzza is from al-Uzza ("al" before the name means "the"), the Arab Venus and the most revered of all their goddesses. Pre-Islamic Arabs worshipped al-Uzza, along with al-Lat and Manat who they believed to be the daughters of Allah.

Uzza is a story for our time that has the potential to change the course of things to come. Except for Uzza, and a short appearance by a couple from a neighbouring municipality, all other characters, including Archie the bartender, are modeled on real patrons of a once-popular Ottawa nightspot.

To keep the conversation between Uzza, Johnny, Gerry, Bob and Archie as unaffected as possible, implicit and explicit references to verses of the Koran and the sayings and actions of the Prophet are explained in a substantial supplement of endnotes.

amazon

Alice Visits a Mosque to Learn About Judgment Day

Paperback, 80 pages

The dialogue is made up, but the revelations are real, as are the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. The character of Alice only bears a remote resemblance to the heroine of Lewis Carroll's tale of a young girl "who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures."

Alice Visits a Mosque to Learn About Judgement Day is a short, often brutal play/script (it could not be otherwise) about an important concept in Islam on which the Koran expounds at length.

Alice is not meant to offend but to enlighten. It is both a play and an invitation to learn more about the Koran and the Prophet. We hope you will read it (or see it, if it ever makes it to the stage or the screen) in the spirit in which it was written.

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Canada - The Fractured Nation Interviews

An Inquiry Into The Breakup

Paperback, 228 pages

2006 nominee for The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic.

Imagine a world where Canada is just a memory. Imagine that the breakup of Canada has been a reality for almost ten years.

How did Canada’s demise come about? What has happened since Canada disappeared from history, and what do former Canadians have to say about the country that is no more?

Lulu

Essays

Between a Pillar and a Hard Place

Paperback, 274 pages

"We in the West find it incomprehensible that theological ideas still inflame the minds of men, stirring up messianic passions that can leave societies in ruin. We had assumed that this was no longer possible, that human beings had learned to separate religious questions from political ones, that political theology died in 16th-century Europe. We were wrong.

"After centuries of strife, the West has learned to separate religion and politics – to establish the legitimacy of its leaders without referring to divine command. There is little reason to expect the rest of the world – the Islamic world in particular – will follow."

Mark Lilla, professor of the humanities at Columbia University in The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics and the Modern West (2007)

If you are going to read one book on Islam, make it Between a Pillar and a Hard Place. In mostly short, easy-to-read, to-the-point essays, I touch upon everything you need to know about the implications of being wrong.

amazon Lulu

BOREAL 2016

Paperback, 432 pages

A commemorative recreation of comments, articles and extracts from a watershed year when headlines and scriptures came together like at no other time since boreal.ca went live in April of 2003.

Amazon

A Personal Journey

Shooting the Messenger

A Whistleblower's Tale

A statement about politics, morality and ethics in government with the Canadian Foreign Service as the erstwhile villain.

Paperback, 187 pages

"Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so." Mark Twain

One of my first memories is of losing a friend. We had played together in a sandbox at his place that afternoon. It was not a real sandbox, just a pile of sand dumped in the middle of a muddy driveway. His father, who was in the gravel hauling business, came home at the end of the day unaware that his son was still playing on the pile of sand and drove over him.

A teenager, I survived a similar fate, crushed under a giant wheel. This near death experience would serve to remind me, later in life, that we are not here just to occupy space — that we are here for a reason. The reason for my whistleblower’s tale would become the reason for my dedicating nineteen years of my life to learning and writing about Islam.

Lulu

Last Will and Testament

4. (C) (ii) I direct that ...

         (c) To transfer all of my published works and unpublished material... into the Public Domain.

 

Boreal Books® is a registered trademark of Bernard Payeur