I will be honest, reading the Koran is a lot harder than reading the Bible as it is just so whacked out. This is especially true when you get to sections where there are random words and you need to delve into some Arabic to try understand what is going on. Starting from verse 104-112 of Sura 2 had me going WTF how does anyone understand this crap? Really even after a few readings I was still going WTF, but I persevered and this is the basics of the verses 104-112. However, before I continue I want to say how worrying this difficulty of understanding is. If the Koran is so difficult to understand it means it has a large capability to be distorted like we see in many religions and as is done in many Islam itself with stupid rules like do not draw the prophet Muhammad, which is written no where in the Koran. The fact that we see terrorists using the Koran as a basis to recruit or enforce their motives likewise shows the capability of just making stuff up when reading the Koran. Some Muslims will say that the Koran has been studied deeply by scholars and as such it is simple to understand by looking at what these scholars say, but as with scholars in any myth/philosophy field there truly is no consensus when it comes to understanding.
Back on track, in my first readings, I probably was trying to understand to much, and my advice to anyone reading the Koran is read superficially as the message stays the same no matter what any Muslim or Koranic scholar will tell you. Needless to say, the fact that it should be understandable without reference to a scholar/thesaurus/university degree in theology/think tank would lead credence to it being a divine message.
The verses 104-112 deal mainly with the message that non-Muslims are going to receive their suffering, while Muslims will be shown mercy by Allah. Particularly this message is directed at the Jews which should come as no surprise when we see the hatred that has been directed at the Jews so far with Muhammad even going so far as to call them scouted apes. What I do find refreshing in the Koran is that it specifically calls the other Abrahamic religions out on their perceived flaws with express mention of both Jews and Christians.
"And they say, "None but Jews or Christians shall enter Paradise:""
So we see Islam doing what every other single religion on planet Earth does and that is telling us that if we do not follow their special book then we are not following the correct god. It is because we are not following this correct god then that we are destined to not make paradise or get elevated to the next cycle of rebirth or come back as an alien or whatever other tripe Scientologists and Raelians believe.
The special hatred for Jews is elaborated on with mention that they did to Moses what they are doing to Muhammad now, and that is ignoring the true message from Allah.
"Would ye ask of your apostle what of old was asked of Moses? But he who exchangeth faith for unbelief, hath already erred from the even way."
Needless to say Islam wants the Jews to just give up their faith and follow the new way without asking questions, i.e. have faith and not unbelief. This is rather an absurd notion to just think people are going to accept a new set of rules when there is no evidence to convince them that the new set of rules are true and come from God. I suppose as is expected of atheists, the Jews should just know Allah exists and the writings from the Koran are all real and perfect.
In fact Muhammad addresses that the laws of the Jews were right for their times, but thing have changed in the modern age and as such the laws have changed and the Jews should be willing to embrace new laws which Allah has given.
"Whatever verses we cancel, or cause thee to forget, we bring a better or its like. Knowest thou not that God hath power over all things?"
Unsurprisingly, this is also the same reasoning Christians use to chastise Jews. Remarkably all these religions claim the same thing, and that is that their book is the last divinely inspired book. What surprises me is that Allah has not updated this book in the last 1400 years, yet he was prepared to update the Christian scriptures after 600 years. This is remarkable, as the world has advanced so much in the last 1200 years to a level way beyond any advancement that happened in the time between the Bible and the Koran. Never mind that the New Testament was following hard and fast on the heels of the Old Testament.
That is all for today, hope you enjoyed the read you infidels ;)
The version of the Koran I am reading is the John Meadows Rodwell translation. An online version can be found at the al-quran.info website
Additionally, for commentary I am utilizing the commentary of Maulana Muhammad Ali which is available at muslim.org/english-quran/quran.htm