Teaching Cruelty

The Koran is a short book by holy book standards, with boundless repetitions. That is ideal if your intent is to reinforce the message. A short book also makes for a more concentrated dose of violence.

The Koran is a shorter book than the Bible (by a factor of ten); pound for pound, it no doubt features more exhortations to violence.

So if you ask which book is “worse” in terms of belligerence, you might say that qualitatively the Hebrew Bible (and hence the Christian Bible) takes the trophy—thanks to that unrivalled embrace of genocide in Deuteronomy—but that quantitatively the winner is the Koran, at least in terms of the frequency of belligerent passages, if not in absolute numbers. And if, on top of the verses espousing violence in the terrestrial world, you add verses gleefully envisioning the suffering of infidels in the afterlife, the Koran wins the quantitative competition more decisively.

Richard Wright, The Evolution of God

Remove Deuteronomy from the mix, or consider only the Gospels and it’s no contest, qualitatively or quantitatively. Even Islamists shy away from trying to explain the Koran’s embarrassment of shameless sadistic revealed truths, for to do so would be to question their god’s very sanity.

The flattering invocation “the Compassionate, the Merciful“ is heard almost every time Allah’s name is mentioned by a believer. “In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” begins every chapter of the Koran except Chapter 1, The Opening and Chapter 9, Repentance (Ultimatum in some translations), which is mostly about making war. Nonetheless, the reader is reminded at least twice in the first chapter (only seven verses), repeated at the beginning of every prayer session, of Allah’s merciful and compassionate nature.


1 Al-Fâtihah

1:1 In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful,

1:2 Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds,

1:3 The Compassionate, the Merciful,

1:4 Master of the Day of Judgement,

1:5 Only You do we worship, and only You do we implore for help.

1:6 Lead us to the right path,

1:7 The path of those You have favoured Not those who have incurred Your wrath or have gone astray.

What happens to the mind of child who should be enjoying the likes Babar the Elephant or Cinderella, but is compelled to read, from cover to cover, a book filled with graphic descriptions of merciless torture and violence, and then start over?

An Indian Muslim boy looks up as he read the Quran during the holy month of Ramadan at a madrasa in Hyderabad. (Mahesh Kumar A/AP)

What kind of twisted perception of the concept of mercy and compassion will such children be left with after memorizing the following verses about the Compassionate not caring about the people He condemns to burn for an eternity for not believing in the Fire that is now consuming them.

52:13 On the Day they will be driven into the Fire of Hell by force.

52:14 “This is the Fire which you used to deny.

52:15 “Is this magic or do you not see?

52:16 “Burn in it. Bear up or do not bear up; it is the same for you. You are only rewarded for what you used to do.”

What kind of warped understanding of the concept of mercy and compassion will Muslim children be left with after reading about how the Compassionate takes obvious pleasure in the punishment He inflicts?

11:105 The day (Judgement Day) it comes, no soul shall speak without His Leave. Some of them shall be wretched, some happy.

11:106 As for the wretched, they shall be in the Fire; they shall have therein groaning and moaning;

What happens to the mind of a child who must commit to memory not only the horrific verses we have discussed so far, but others that are even more impressive in their attention to detail when it comes to the deliberate, cold-blooded application of torture? The following brutality may seem like something from an Itchy & Scratchy sketch, but, for believing children, it is not the product of a cartoonist’s imagination. Somewhere in time and space the Compassionate is actually doing what he obviously relishes to real people.

4:56 Those who have disbelieved Our Signs, We shall surely cast them into the Fire; every time their skins are burnt, We will replace them by other skins, so that they might taste the punishment. Allah indeed is Mighty and Wise!


14:16 Behind him is Hell, and he is given stinking water to drink.

14:17 He sips it but can hardly swallow it, and death surrounds him from every side, but he will not die; and beyond this is still a terrible punishment.


18:29 And say: “The Truth is from your Lord. Whoever wishes, let him believe; and whoever wishes, let him disbelieve.” We have prepared for the wrongdoers a Fire whose canopy encompasses them all. If they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten brass which scalds the faces. Wretched is that drink and wretched is the resting-place!


22:19 Here are two adversaries who dispute about their Lord. To the unbelievers, garments of fire shall be cut up and over their heads boiling water shall be poured;

22:20 Whereby whatever is in their bellies and in their skin shall be melted.

22:21 And for them are iron rods (to beat their heads with).

22:22 Every time they want, in their gloom, to get out of it (the Fire), they are brought back into it. [And it is said to them]: “Taste the agony of burning.”

Repentance and mercy usually go hand-in-hand. Not for the Compassionate!

23:101 And when the Trumpet is blown, they will have no kinship to bind them on that Day and they will not question one another.

23:102 Then, those whose scales are heavy – those are the prosperous.

23:103 But those whose scales are light – those are the ones who have lost their souls. In Hell they will dwell forever.

23:104 The Fire lashes their faces, and therein they shrivel.

23:105 “Were not My Signs (this Qur’an) recited to you, but you used to denounced them as lies?”

23:106 They will say: “Lord, our misery overcame us and we were are an erring people.

23:107 “Lord, bring us out of it (Hell); then, if we revert we are indeed wrongdoers.”

23:108 He (Allah) said: “Rot in it and do not talk to Me.

It’s all about winners and losers, with the losers getting all the pain and the winners, all the pleasure.

23:109 “There was a group of My servants who used to say: ‘Lord, we believe, so forgive us and have mercy on us; you are the best of the merciful.’

23:110 “But you took them for a laughingstock, till they made you forget My Name, while you were mocking them.

23:111 “I have rewarded them this day for their forbearance, making them the winners.”

Pleasure or pain, which will it be?

47:15 The likeness of the Garden which the God-fearing have been promised is this: rivers of water not stagnant, rivers of milk whose taste has not changed, rivers of wine delighting its drinkers and rivers of distilled honey. Therein they have every variety of fruit and forgiveness from their Lord too. Are they to be compared with those who dwell in the Fire forever and are given to drink boiling water which will rip up their bowels?

The Compassionate’s empathy-smothering revelations can only condition the young reader to grow up to be as merciless and uncaring as the author of the book he cannot avoid reading. On at least three occasions, the Compassionate, in the person of Pharaoh, will remind the child labouring to memorize verses of inconceivable brutality that His punishment for leaving Islam is to have your hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, then to be crucified upon the trunks of trees—palm trees if they can be found.

7:123 Pharaoh then said: “Do you believe in Him before I give you leave? This is indeed a plot you contrived in the city, in order to drive its people out. Now you shall know.

7:124 “I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides; then I will crucify you altogether.”


20:71 He (Pharaoh) said: “Do you believe in him before I give you leave? It must be your chief who has taught you magic. I shall then cut your hands and feet on alternate sides, and I will crucify you upon the trunks of palm trees, and you will certainly know whose punishment is sterner and more lasting.”

26:49 He (Pharaoh) said: “You have believed before I gave you leave. He (Moses) is indeed your chief, who taught you sorcery, and so you will learn. I shall cut off your hands and feet alternately and will crucify you all.”

As the child memorizes these techniques for inflicting unbelievable pain and humiliation he will be reminded that childhood offers no protection from the Compassionate’s vengeful and unforgiving nature. The spontaneous murder of a child by a fellow by the name of Khidr, believed to be a stand-in for Joshua (see Chapter “Moses and Khidr” Shared Prophets, Boreal Books), because the Compassionate fears his lack of commitment to Islam will cause his parents distress, forever etched in young impressionable minds: this God does not flinch at killing children who don’t do as they are told and replacing them with children who will.

18:74 Then they departed; but when they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Moses said: “Have you killed an innocent person who has not killed another? You have surely committed a horrible deed.”

Towards the end of their journey together, Khidr will explain to a dumbfounded Moses why he killed the boy.

18:80 “As for the boy, his parents were believers; so we feared that he might overwhelm them with oppression and unbelief.

18:81 “So we wanted that their Lord might replace him with someone better in purity and closer to mercy.

What do Muslim children dream about after reading about the Smasher and people bound to pillars while the Smasher creeps towards their hearts to burn them?


104 Al-Humazah

In the Name of Allah,

the Compassionate, the Merciful

104:1 Woe unto every backbiter and slanderer,

104:2 Who amasses wealth and counts it diligently.

104:3 He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal.

104:4 Not at all; he shall be cast into the Smasher.

104:5 And if only you knew what is the Smasher.

104:6 It is Allah’s kindled Fire,

104:7 Which attains even the hearts.

104:8 Upon them it is closing in;

104:9 On pillars stretch out.

What do they fantasize about during their waking hours? Do they ever forget the tortured and tormented verses, including those that encourage mutilation of people in the here-and-now, memorized under the benevolent encouragement of their teachers, imams, parents and guardians?

5:38 As for the thieves, whether male or female, cut off their hands in punishment for what they did, as an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty and Wise.

What do these adults think they are doing when they invite children to heed the Compassionate’s often repeated command not to associate with unbelievers (a sample in Safeguarding Antipathy – Can We Be Friends?)?

What about revelations that demand that Christians and Jews who are invited to become Muslim but decline, are to be killed unless they agree to pay a yearly tribute to keep on breathing? And then, there are the revelations that vociferously condemn people who believe in more than one god or goddesses and are not to be offered the option of paying a ransom to avoid being slaughtered on the spot.

What happens to the mind of a human being of any age who commits these horrifying descriptions of pain and suffering to memory and is required to repeat these same cruel, pitiless, vicious verses as part of the five daily mandatory prayers (Sunni) to a god who claims to be the embodiment of compassion and mercy?

The Koran’s comprehensive schooling in intolerance, hate and cruelly cannot only do away with any empathy for the victims of Allah’s pathological paranoia and narcissism but kindle a pleasure from seeing them suffer. This lack of empathy was evident in columnist Sheema Khan’s account of Muslim-Canadian teens defending the murder of 186 children by armed Islamist groups who stormed their school in the Russian town of Beslan in 2004.

How the Muslim community can tackle the scourge of extremism, Sheema Khan, The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, May 30, 2017

On Sept. 3, 2004, I had just finished speaking about the life of Mary – regarded as one of the best women in history (Mary is the only female mentioned by name in the entire Koran, and for good reason. She is there to give credence to Allah’s denials that Jesus is His son) – to a group of Muslim teens.

Hours before, news of a violent end to the Beslan hostage crisis in southern Russia had broken, in which 186 children were killed. Armed Islamist groups had stormed a local school a few days before, held teachers and students captive without food or water and wired the gym with explosives.

Rather than continue further discussions about Mary, I wanted to ask the youth about the murder of innocent civilians – especially children – in Beslan.

The males were unequivocal: The Russians got what they deserved, for their brutal war against the Chechens. It was revenge, pure and simple.

Stunned, I asked: Did Prophet Mohammed ever kill children and unarmed adults? No, they answered. Did he condone such acts? No. Did he condemn such acts? Yes, they answered. I concluded: So, who will you follow? Mohammed, or the opposite? They acknowledged the former.

I thought of this exchange following the terrorist attack in Manchester last week. Much has been written about the life of the assailant, Salman Abedi, a second-generation Libyan born and raised in Britain. His sister surmised that he had acted in revenge for the killing of Muslim children by coalition forces in the Middle East...

Khan’s audience found reason to justify the slaughter of so many children but so does she in a gratuitous paragraph about the Manchester massacre in which she shifts the blame. This is somewhat typical of Islamists. On May 22, 2017, Salman Ramadan Abedi detonated a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb as people were leaving the Manchester Arena following a concert by Ariana Grande killing twenty-two, mainly young women and girls, and wounding 139; more than half of them children.

What we saw was mainly war wounds… the kind of wounds you would see on a battlefield… shrapnel wounds and the shrapnel included things like nuts and bolts and nails… and to this day we continue to operate on some children.

Dr Ibrar Majid, lead trauma and orthopedic surgeon at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, has spoken to the BBC. June 1, 2017

Why Salman Abedi did what he did in my conclusion to ISLAMOPHOBIA. It had nothing to do with the nonsense that Khan chose to repeat, that he “had acted in revenge for the killing of Muslim children.” In the meantime, remember the above picture.

Fitna and the Seductive Sounds of Hatred and Cruelty

I once knew a girl who was just mad about Julio Iglesias. He was not yet well known in Canada when she returned from a vacation in South America with one or more of his albums. The first time she played his recordings, I became a fan. I did not understand a word he sang, but his melodies were captivating and he had such a beautiful voice. She said his songs were all about love and I believed her. Years later, when he started recording in English the same songs I had heard in Spanish, I believed her even more.

Geert Wilders—at this writing the Dutch leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV)—in the spirit of Theodoor van Gogh, also made a film about Islam.


“Theodoor van Gogh was a Dutch film director. He directed Submission: Part 1, a short film written by Somali writer and politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which criticised the treatment of women in Islam in strong terms. On 2 November 2004, he was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan Islamist who objected to the film's message.”Wiki

The twenty-six-year-old Bouyeri shot van Gogh before slitting his throat as he was pleading "Mercy, mercy; we can talk about this" and pinning a five-page condemnation of Western society to his body.


I have seen Wilders' film Fitna, and yes, it is provocative, but definitely not as offensive as 9/11, and other terrorist attacks it recalls using motivational verses from the Koran sung a cappella. What is most striking about the film is not the images of the dead and mutilated, but the lyrical and mesmerizing rendition of violent and hate-filled revelations calling for the murder of unbelievers. If you don’t understand Arabic, you can almost imagine yourself making love to Allah’s words except that, unlike those of Julio, they have nothing much to do with love.

If the violence and hate that are contained in verses sung without instrumental accompaniment (playing musical instruments or listening to music is a grave sin punishable by an eternity on Fire in Allah’s Hell), broadcast to the Islamic community in Arabic, were broadcast in English on MTV for example, there would be an uproar. Non-Muslims would be appalled that impressionable young minds are subjected to so much violence and hate, beautifully expressed in in a language mostly only insiders can understand.