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Peaceful coexistence
No scripture recommends democracy, socialism and individualism as strongly as the Koran

By Mehdi Mokarram
May 28, 2002
The Iranian

An answer to, Reza Ebrahimi's "The coming individualism".

I have a few questions and comments regarding Mr. Ebrahimi's understanding and interpretation of the holy scriptures, i.e. the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran.

His reference to Judo-Christianity, at the second paragraph of his article, is the only reference to Judaism brought forth. Some people, especially in the US, try to equate Judaism with Christianity by mentioning the Judo-Christianity word and continue with Christian idiosyncrasy as if that idiosyncrasy was also Judaic.

Beside the repeated Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran, the only commonality that I see between the Judaism and the Christianity is Jesus Christ, who the Christians worship and the Jews Crucified.

And the most pronounced none commonality of the two religions is "an eye for an eye" (or may be a thousand eye for an eye) verses "turn the other cheek" or utter forgiveness. I believe that this selfless attitude of the Christians, or turn the other cheek and love thy neighbor, both of which is an emphasis for the recognition and respect for the rights of others, are what contributes to the individualism that one observes in the Western Christian world.

Considering the true Islamic teachings, shouldn't the concepts of not worshipping idols (that includes all non living entities and living beings, including Emams and Mullahs), being forgiving and merciful, loving thy neighbor and giving all you can to thy less fortunate neighbors and masses, contribute to individualism, selflessness and creation of a civil society?

Islam very strongly recommends the privacy of religious practices and prayers. A Moslem does not have to go to any mosque or attend any ceremonies held in any mosque to be a "Good Moslem". Going to the mosque is recommended so that one may inquire about neighbors' needs, their health and to be informed of what goes on in their community. Then if able, it is recommended that one should try to alleviate any shortcoming of one's neighbors or the community as a whole.

I fail to see where in the Koran suicidal terrorism is recommended. I believe there is no place in the entire Koran that you can find such a statement. Of course as we know a bunch of lunatic-clerics or terrorist would not mind at all to assign that to the Koran. As for the Jihad, everyone knows by now that it is a must, if someone takes over your land or drives you out of your homeland.

Setting aside the untrue and self-serving interpretations of the Koran, no scripture recommends democracy, socialism and individualism as strongly as the Koran. Islam also deals with the pain and suffering of the destitute people. The combination of the above mentioned factors with other factors in the nature of true Islamic teachings are the driving force behind the tremendous growth of Islam in all regions of the world.

Islam is the religion of peaceful coexistence and tranquility. People of any written scripture are dealt with the same degree of respect as Moslems themselves. The proof of this can be observed in the history of the Islamic Empire of seventh century and the way Moslems Jews and Christians lived together peacefully and in harmony (please refer to "The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain" by Maria Rosa Menocal of Columbia University). Accordingly, Islam prescribed democracy more than any other religion of its time.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment to
Mehdi Mokkaram


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