Comments on the "Problematic Verses in the Koran" Page

October 14, 2002

Hey Rami,

Just thought I’d drop you a line after having visited your web page.

I have a really good friend that is Muslim and we had recently been talking about our religions, being that I am Catholic. Your site really put things into perspective. For one thing, I really admire the manner in which you approach this debate, it says a lot about you. In this day in age, it is very hard to find someone that is so respectful of other cultures and that has the willingness to try to understand them.

So I hope that you keep this web site up-to-date, I’m sure it’s a really good start off point for trying to understand each other in this ever changing world.

I do have a question, though. My friend says that the Koran has not been altered in any way since it was first written down. I find this hard to believe because as we all know, mortals are not perfect and languages change throughout time. I’m going to do more research on this, but I was wondering if you had any good sources.

God Bless,


July 23, 2002

Dear Rami,

I read with interest your constructive criticisms regarding the quran, and
the responses from muslims.

It saddened me that certain criticisms were not answered by muslim brothers
or sisters.

Personally, I believe that the quran is a closed book today. Many muslims
recite its verses, but few understand its meanings. Perhaps that is the
reason why the response to your criticisms was not comprehensive.

I have a very busy schedule but I would like to make amends for the neglect
of my brothers and sisters, and respond to the criticisms. Unfortunately, it
will take me time to give a considered response, for you have raised deep
and challenging issues.

Please let me begin with a response to your criticism regarding 'Militant


In the first instance, it is true that the quran does indeed provide
specific injunctions that permit and regulate warfare. This is in stark
contrast to the christian teaching in the new testament which instructs
christians to 'turn the other cheek'. However, islam is a religion which
seeks to guide man's practical as well as spiritual affairs. In this regard,
a pertinent question would be whether any christian nation has ever
practised the christian teaching regarding war or criminal punishment? It
seems clear that all christian societies advocate punishment when crime is
committed and the right to make war in self-defence if not in aggression.

To the legal mind, an immediate problem becomes apparent in this scenario.
If the principle of turning the other cheek is ignored and if there are no
christian principles governing warfare because warfare is simply
unchristian, then what regulations exist when a christian nation decides to
make war? This is not a vague hypothetical situation. Christian nations have
engaged in warfare from their earliest days. The sad truth is that when the
christians conquered Jerusalem in 1095, for instance, they "slaughtered all
the inhabitants that they could find (men, women, children, newborns)" (this
reference is from The
muslims, by comparison, were far more just and forgiving when they
reconquered Jerusalem.

The historical facts are beyond question, even christian historians accept
that the muslims were far more civilised than the christians in this
long-running conflict. But the question is why? My personal belief is that
the new testament gives a teaching regarding warfare and punishment which is
simply unsustainable in practice. And more worryingly, it fails to provide
any guidance when warfare is made. The quran, on the other hand, accepts
that warfare is occasionally a necessary evil, and provides guidance to
limit the evil effects of warfare.

The quran gives muslims the following precepts with regard to warfare: 'And fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do
not transgress. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors.' (The Cow, 2:190)

'Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because
they have been wronged. And Allah indeed has power to help those who have
been driven out of their homes unjustly only for saying "Our Lord is Allah."
And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, cloisters and
churches and synagogues and mosques would have been pulled down wherein the
name of Allah is oft remembered. And Allah will surely help him who helps
Allah. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty.' (The Pilgrimage, 22:41-2)

The quran gives the right to fight in self-defence. The quran also gives the
right to fight for defence of religious freedom. The quran makes it the duty
of every muslim to fight for the defence of christian churches and jewish
synagogues! And lastly, the quran tells the muslims not to transgress,
beyond self-defence. Is there any civilized society even in modern times,
which would condemn such a teaching?

It is true that certain militant muslims may misconstrue passages of the
quran and use them to justify terrorist activities. However, it is foolish
to argue that for this reason, the quran should cease to provide regulation
of warfare! The guidance of all scriptures of all faiths has been
misconstrued. For instance, white supremacists use the old testament to
support their twisted beliefs. The fact is that no fair-minded muslim can
engage in terrorist activity on the basis of the above quranic injunctions.

Lastly, let me say that I do not and indeed cannot defend the behaviour of
militant muslims. However, the quran is the perfect and sacred word of God,
and its defence is my pleasure.


My response:

Thank you Rasheed for your reply,

You have fallen into the classic error of judging Christianity by its misapplication - wars fought by its followers and/or atrocities committed in the name of the Cross.

That is not how I judge Islam. If you notice my article is purely theological and I make no reference to any wars or atrocities committed in the name of Islam. Islam has devolved since its golden age and fallen into the quagmire of stagnant legalism and clericalism. It has robbed itself of the right to self-criticize which will lead to its extinction.

You commented on one issue I have with Islam. What about the other absurd verses: "Scientific and Spiritual Inaccuracies ", "On Poets and Art In General", "Verses On Jews and Christians ", "On Women ", and "The Muslim Paradise".

I appreciate your time and effort.

Rami E. Cremesti BS, MS

Hey there Rami

I was doing a search on the internet and I came by a site that was obviously yours :) It was, as expected, great. You had some questions about Islam which I find quite valid and I too, even as a Muslim, am waiting for a response. :)

You're a good guy Rami, but I'm sure I don't have to tell you that. I loved the pictures of Lebanon. My father just returned from a 5 month stay in the "old country".

I hear some Lebanese say, "where is Lebanese patriotism?" and I found it on your site Rami.

Anyway, just wanted to send you a "hey, how you doin'?". :)

Take care,

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