Is the Quran from God?

After having talked to "Simon", I kept thinking about why I find it a bad thing to start an Orkut community (discussion group) with the title: "Quran is not from God".

I decided to ask the community why they want to have it. The answer was something like "why not". Freedom of expression means that people should be allowed to say that kind of things.
This argument is used very often, also e.g. with the Danish cartoons. A possible reply is that freedom of expression is not the same as the right to unnecessary insults. Why do atheists want to talk about the holy book and the God of Muslims, just leave that up to them. Then somebody said the atheists are just discussing it among themselves. I replied that it is not among themselves in this online world in which there are also many Muslims.

After a long discussion and some sleep I decided to start a new thread to explain my own concept of God.

This is what I wrote:

"Why am I posting in this community?
Why do I find it important to let my voice be heard as a protest against the claim that the Quran is not from God?
Maybe some people will understand what I mean if I describe the way I believe myself.

What matters most in a belief, is it what the priests / imams say? Is it what is written in the holy books? Is the most important thing that I obey to everything that the church / mosque asks from me? Am I a bad person if I skip praying or going to the church once?Should everything what is written in the holy books be for the full 100% literally true?

I don't believe in that way. As a child I could feel the presence of God. For me God has always been a God of Goodness and Love. The one who listens with care and great attention, the one who understands everything, who forgives, who gives me the strength to hold on. It's a friendly God to whom you can always go, also if nobody else has time for you. He gives the feeling that everything will be alright, the times can be very very difficult, lonely, sad. But he still supports me, he is always with me, he will never leave me and say: forget about me, from now on you will be alone. He promises me that at the end of the desert it will be beautiful and good. He sets me free and gives me the power to fight for goodness. I believe that there is one God, an almighty God of Infinity. Jews, Christians and Muslims and also people with other beliefs, they all believe in this same God. God doesn't talk to us directly. We can feel some of his presence but he doesn't appear on television or internet to tell the whole world once more what he wants for our humanity. So how do we know what he is like and what he wants for us? The only thing we have are the holy books. The prophets have died a long time ago. The priests and imams and rabbi's are human beings. It is possible that they spread the message of God but it is also possible that they just spread their own message.

So we have 3 religious books. These books were written by human beings. It was not that God was sitting on a cloud with a pencil, writing everything and then throwing it down to earth. The writers have heard the word of God, I think. There are many similarities between the 3 books. In all 3 bookd a story is told of how a good God tells his believers to be good human beings. The 3 books are each of them a guide to tell people how they should live. I find the lessons to turn the other cheek, to help your neighbour and the stranger, to be tolerant, to strive together for peace and justice as brothers and sisters, to be good to each other and to God, these lessons I find the most important. Maybe not everything which is written in the Quran is relevant, literally, for us right now. Maybe the writers at that time have included in the book some rules which applied for that time but not now anymore. And there are also some rules which say that we should only listen to the real God, not to fake human gods, we should not loose our way and move away from goodness. For people who don't want to listen to such an abstract message, they maybe understand it better when rewards are promised when they do it good and punishments when they are bad. No need to worry too much about the "worst creatures" if you try your best to be a good person yourself.So I am convinced that the Quran is from God, even if the people who wrote it down maybe didn't do that completely correct always. I also think that what the 3 books have in common has got the biggest chance of being exactly the way God meant it.Let's turn it around now, let's assume that the Quran is not from God, it has got nothing to do with God. And the Bible and the Torah neither. God doesn't talk to us on television.How can we know anything at all about God, then? We can decide to move to Hinduism or Budhism or animism. But if I want to remain a Christian, and I throw away the Bible, how do I know anything about God then? That's impossible.

God could be the devil. He good be a green Marsian with 8 arms. It doesn't make sense to believe if you don't know in what you should believe. So I think it is impossible to be a Christian without the Bible, impossible to be a Muslim without the Quran and impossible to be a Jew without the Torah. And if you do study these books, they can certainly help you in life. They are strong as ethical guides, practical, poetical. It is good to read the stories and to learn from it. I think these books are meant to be the word of God, the good God that I believe in. So I want to read them in that way."

It is difficult to have this kind of discussions with atheists / Islam-haters. They look at what terrorists think and do. They look at the book which inspired them for that. And then they draw their conclusions. By that way denying that over a billion moderate peaceful Muslims read the holy book of their faith in a completely different way.

After my text they wanted to prove that an omniscient and omnipotent God cannot exist. My God became defined as an unrealistic "cream cheese and coconut God". Then I explained that this is not a God I invented but the God from Levinas, Buber and Rosenzweig. So far they haven't been able to prove that this God doesn't exist, cannot exist.

This community is also a case of the systematic denial of the other. A refusal to reflect with an open mind. A refusal to try to step for one moment out of your own atheist shoes and to step into the shoes of a moderate Muslim. For Levinas the starting point is God. God as infinity, of whom we can see a glimpse through our relation with the other. The starting point is that God is good and that God exists. Then there are religions and religious leaders and religious books and believers. These books can help us to understand God. Of course the holy books from the Abrahamic religions are coming from the Abrahamic God.

Atheists can ask questions, always, about everything. How do we know that God exists? How do we know that the holy books are from him? Why are there three of them, not one? If God has got so much power, why doesn't he stop the suffering and injustice in the world? If God knows that bad things are going to happen, why doesn't he change the future? And if he does, why are so many bad things happening then?

Respectful questions and discussions between people who consider each other as equal and who acept from each other that they have opposing views.

Then I think that the community title should be a question: Is the Quran from God?
Then everybody can give their personal answers and they can exchange views on a basis of equality.

Simon's reaction is funny:
"NO WAY!!!We KNOW the Quran is not from god. There isn't any need for a question mark. We AFFIRM the fact that it is a mere book. That's the whole point. "

He also said:
"You know that I don't think much of anyone who takes that book completely seriously. It's a completely moronic. If any person is offended by our community title, it's his or her problem, not ours."

There you go. Simon knows the absolute truth, the Quran is a moronic book, he doesn't think much about the over an billion people who take the book seriously. He can insult them as much as he likes, that is their problem...

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