Book Reviews: The Koran

Book Reviews: The Koran

Compiled by Michael Copeland

  • “This wretched book … I have been unable to discover in it one single idea of value.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
  • “So long as there is this book there will be no peace in the world.”— William E. Gladstone
  • “When I have time, I must put it into German so that every man may see what a foul and shameful book it is.” — Martin Luther
  • “It’s a depressing book. It really is. It’s just the rantings of a schizophrenic. There is also the barrenness of the message. It has no ethical dimension.” —Sebastian Faulks
  • “[It] teaches fear, hatred, contempt for others. Murder as a legitimate means of spreading and maintaining this devil’s doctrine. It denigrates women, divides people into classes and demands blood and more blood.” — Voltaire (Quoted by Julius O’Malley, comment)
  • “He bestows praise upon such instances of treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, bigotry, as are utterly incompatible with civilised society.” —David Hume
  • An “incoherent jumble of fable and precept and declamation which seldom excites a sentiment or an idea, sometimes crawls in the dust and is sometimes lost in the clouds.” —Edward Gibbon
  • “…an incentive to war, and propagator of hostility…” —Dayanand Saraswati, Indian sage, 1883
  • “An ill-arranged collection of badly translated plagiarisms of earlier Jewish and Christian stories.” — Christopher Hitchens
  • “… right there in black and white, absolute encouragement — no, a divine instruction — to act atrociously towards the rest of the world. Page after page of it. Sex slaves, the lot. The thing is horrific. … and if you ask my opinion, the thing should be banned for inciting racial and religious hatred on almost every page.” —Tommy Robinson, in Enemy of the State
  • “…at times violent imagery of torment and punishment in hell, at other times direct commands to believers to deal mercilessly with unbelievers, conveyed in a frenzied torrent of words repeatedly revisiting the theme of hatred and vengeance…” — Mathieu Baudin, comment, Jihad Watch

  • “The Koran is a manifesto of murder, a death warrant for disbelievers, a purveyor of blood-soaked… sadistic savagery…” — Mortimer, comment Dec 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm
  • “It is a troop motivator, a plagiarized text that is self-referentially incoherent, ungrammatical, illogical and unhistorical, incomprehensible in the original text, a racist manifesto of hatred towards non-Arabs, a solicitation of murder, an anti-Semitic hate text, an anti-Christian death warrant, an extortionist’s manual, a justification for pedophilia, polygamy and violence against women. That is the short list of things wrong…” — mortimer, comment December 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm
  • “It’s this book that damages women.

    It’s this book that damages men.

    It’s this book that damages Jesus Christ.”

    Jay Smith

  • “… a vicious call to murder, an eternal malevolent force, a self-replicating DNA of hatred, an inspiration toward and legitimization of man’s most evil impulses.” —Dave J, Dec 8, 2015 at 11:15 pm
  • “… a document of exclusion, hatred and violence”bannedquran20
  • “a mishmash of hate, repetitiveness, tediousness, stupidity and incoherency.” — Wellington, comment Dec 26, 2015 at 6:43 pm
  • “…an experience similar to reading Mein Kampf.

    The implications of the text are quite scary. I was simply horrified.”

    — No Fear, comment Mar 25, 2016 at 6:24 am

  • a hastily contrived assortment of rants that lacks any coherence — acuara, comment
  • “that hideously evil piece of trash” — Saleem Smith, comment, Jihad Watch
  • …a twisted sick sociopathic battle plan to usher in a rash morally stunted desert people’s totalitarian supremacy. — Dravaa, comment
  • the babble of a demon-possessed man who blabbed for 23 years. — Rod Dodger, comment


  • “It’s a terrible book” — Tanya Joya, ex-Muslim, ex-wife of ISIS jihadi, on Piers Morgan’s television programme

For previous essays by Michael Copeland, see the Michael Copeland Archives.

23 thoughts on “Book Reviews: The Koran

  1. The agenda, becomes clear when read in chronological order, confirmed by Mohammad’s reasons in the abrogation verses, that totally empower the latter commanding ruthless verses.

  2. Then here’s this from Boris Johnson in 2005

    “To any non-Muslim reader of the Koran, Islamophobia – fear of Islam – seems a natural reaction, and, indeed, exactly what that text is intended to provoke. Judged purely on its scripture – to say nothing of what is preached in the mosques – it is the most viciously sectarian of all religions in its heartlessness towards unbelievers….”

    • That was after the 7/7 bombings. He also added “That means disposing of the first taboo, and accepting that the problem is Islam. Islam is the problem”….

      In 2008, while campaigning in the London mayoral election, he said he now believed, after having researched the Koran more in depth, that it is “a religion of peace” (more likely someone told him how many Muslim voters there were in London).

      In 2013, after the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, he wrote:

      “There is no sense in blaming Islam, a religion that gives consolation and enrichment to the lives of hundreds of millions of peaceful people…we need to make a hard and sharp distinction between that religion – and the virus of “Islamism”.

      I don’t think we can hope for anything from Boris Johnson.

  3. “To any non-Muslim reader of the Koran, Islamophobia – fear of Islam – seems a natural reaction, and, indeed, exactly what that text is intended to provoke. Judged purely on its scripture – to say nothing of what is preached in the mosques – it is the most viciously sectarian of all religions in its heartlessness towards unbelievers….”

    Boris Johnson. 2005.

    • Thank you for the useful link. It yields some further short reviews.

      “The sword of Mahomet, and the Coran, are the most fatal enemies of Civilization, Liberty, and Truth, which the world has yet known.”
      Sir William Muir, scholar of Islam

      “A wearisome confused jumble, crude, incondite; endless iterations, long-windedness, entanglement; most crude, incondite; — insupportable stupidity, in short!”
      Thomas Carlyle

      “…to read the Qur’an is a penance rather than a pleasure.”
      Anthony Flew, philosopher

      “Hate and violence inhabit the book ….., the Koran.”
      Robert Redeker. writer for Figaro

      “Declamation, repetition, puerility, a lack of logic and coherence…..”
      Salomon Reinach, French archaeologist

      “a unified message of triumphalism, otherworldliness, and religious hatred”
      Sam Harris

  4. Re. reference to “Mein Kampf”: Everybody should try it for himself, read the Quran and that one side by side. Unpalatable in entirety, but just a few chapters will make your jaws drop. I call it “Mohammed’s Mein Kampf” since then.

  5. An important reviewer of Islam and its Qur’an is former president John Quincy Adams, son of Founder / former president John Adams.

    “Observe that Adams not only documents the violent nature of Islam, in contrast with the peaceful and benevolent thrust of Christianity, he further exposes the mistreatment of women inherent in Islamic doctrine, including the degrading practice of polygamy.”

    What he has to say is too lengthy to post here. Readers can find his remarks online. Here are a couple,

    John Quincy Adams on Islam, by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

    John Quincy Adams On Islam: “Old Man Eloquent” (Part II), by Hugh Fitzgerald

    Candid Observations on Islam – Perceptive Insights from John Quincy Adams, John Wesley, and Winston Churchill

  6. A review written in danish in 2018:

    “3 surprising things about the Koran”:
    I was wildly surprised the first time I read the Koran. I can reveal already now that I was rather shocked. I had heard that Muslims consider the Koran to be Allah’s infallible and holy word. So it really had to be something special. I would have also imagined it would resemble the Bible a little. After all, both books define a religion.
    But I was completely wrong.

    The 3 surprises (expanded in the review):
    Surprise #1: It’s about the disbelievers
    Surprise #2: It’s not alt all like the Bible
    Surprise #3: It is very clearly not the word of God

    Does it get better when you know the context?
    No. Since I first read the Koran, I have read it in chronological order and studied the “context” in the form of the story of Muhammad, which is told in the biographies of him and in the hadith. Unfortunately, the knowledge of the “context” has not changed the impressions I already got at first reading. On the contrary. A story is still emerging about a man who used the “word of God” to gain power and justify his deeds. Deeds that in our day and in our civilization are considered immoral and reprehensible.

    From the conclusion:
    I would recommend anyone to read the Koran. That should be a duty. Too many people display a strange indifference to the ideas of Islam. As if it doesn’t matter. An extremely strange attitude that is not at all consistent with the meaning we otherwise attach to culture and ideas.

    • “Surprise #1: It’s about the disbelievers”

      Bill Warner has the run-down. Some 61%, by verse count, of their Qur’an outlines how Muslims are to deal with the non-Muslim. In a word, harshly.

      “Islamic doctrine says a great deal about the kafir [non-Muslims]. Most of the Koran is about kafirs, 61%, only 39% is about Muslims. About 20% of the Hadith is about kafirs and 98% of the Sira is about kafirs. Mohammed was fixated on kafirs and annihilated every kafir by violence, exile or conversion. When Mohammed died, there was not a person alive in Arabia who would argue with him.”

  7. The Qur’an does seem to be a manifesto of a criminal organization that is bent upon lying, cheating, stealing, extortion, sexual abuse, and murder. Should the adherents to what this ‘book’ proclaims be subject to the terms of the RICO act?

  8. What a wonderful thread…I am so appreciative of the article and the additional historical quotes brought to the fore in the Comments!!

    Thank you all for your vigilance.

  9. I enjoyed the historical ones, I feel like they are more relatable as most of those people are respected by almost all groups and are more likely to make them question islam, as opposed to modern fighters against it, who might be just ignored for being “racist” or whatever. Would be great if you could find more of those. Nevertheless great job!

  10. I have read some of the works of the great Schopenhauer, but wasted very little time on the koran. Quotes therefrom are sufficient to see it as barbaric nonsense. It amuses me to see the oft-quoted term ,Islamic scholar, schooled in what ?, I ask myself. Who would waste time studying such a mindless tome?

  11. The Koran: words of a rutting murderer who used religious wording borrowed from the Bible to cleverly sacralize and give the stamp of Godliness to the worst of subhuman impulses: murder, theft, pedophilia, racism, misogyny, mass killing and unbridled fornication,among other sins.

  12. And when some moonbat tries to tell you that the muslim god and the Christian God are one and the same, ask them if they understand they are describing a schizophrenic who, simultaneously, demands carnage and forgiveness.

  13. John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the USA, had this to say about the foul screed.

    “The precept of the koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.”

  14. I have also read it and found it atrocious. The sunna: the example set by the prophet are also part of the religion. Its even a greater question to me how this works in reality. For example. Men and women are not allowed to watch the opposite gender. It is called zina of eyes. Its a sin that can lead to more. Is this mentioned in the quran no. Its from the hadith. Intercourse without marriage is also a sin. Yes some regions or one in particular play with that by doing one day marriages to be able to allow for prostitution of course this is not how it should be. I appreciate the views expressed by all here but without hadith and sunnah the quran does simply not cover all of islam. As someone interested in philosophy I can say yes reformation and enlightenment as a process is needed for certain things in this religion. But the traditions that hold their sovieties together are similar to christian traditions and some are firmly on common ground with what any sensible ethical moral individual would do. Zakat: giving to the poor structurally. On set times of the year when there are celebrations so that they too can partake and enjoy. The way many take care of family members old or disabled even when those familymembers have a very foul attitude. Lets be comprehensive and not leave out certain things. For reforming the bad (which stems from ignorance arrogance and a macho culture) sides will have to happen with and from within those subjected to it. Because killing them all off is not possible. Educating and discussing is. And since Europe does not plan to adjust policy a good solid middle way has to be found! At this moment there is no unified answer presented. But it does exist: philosophy ethics and morality need to be discussed in schools. As an answer to sects to ignorance and despair. Because of the silence from the western world children bully eachother leading to depression and higher suicide rates. Pretending all is well and that western society is without fault is not the solution. Because rude ignorant (sometimes quite immoral) people from other cultures take full advantage of this massive blind spot. Lets get out of our comfortzone and start doing something about this. A very concerned mother as my children tell me how this ill raised children behave aggressively towards them and others.

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