When free versions are available, why did I pay good money for this translation of the Quran? Some of the value is in the English-language translation itself. But much of the book is commentary from experts on Islam. I paid for that. Initially, I made a good faith effort to read the entire book, page by page. But by the time I made it through the introduction, through the first surah and into the second, I realized that the commentary was bogging me down. Most of this book consists of commentary. For now, it distracts me from my purpose.
So I have spent the week reading the Quran, but focusing on Mohammed’s words exclusively. It is slow but rewarding work. I take the time to copy passages into my journal so that I can better argue with the ideas themselves. When I read, I argue. If I don’t argue, I am not engaged. The fact that I am arguing much with the Quran means that I am very engaged by what it says. When I get to the end of the 114th surah, I will have the basis for my for the article I am writing. I won’t be done. But I will be on my way.
I want to explain why I cannot embrace Islam. Idealogical differences motivate me. More than a quarter century ago, I left the Catholic church. My reasons for rejecting Christianity were just as valid then as they are now. But they apply equally well to Islam. I am convinced more than ever that religion misrepresents God.