What happens when you choose controversial passages from the Bible and pretend they’re from the Quran? Just what you’d expect…and then something quite powerful!
Here’s a thought-provoking social experiment that could help cut through some of the deep divisions we’re seeing right now between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Two Dutch guys wrap a Bible in a Quran cover, read some gory passages from the book, and ask people on the streets what they think (of Islam, in effect). Their reactions are exactly as you’d expect…but something changes when they learn the passages are actually Christian.
Some people seem embarrassed by what they’d previously said. One admits to being prejudice; another blames the media. All of them without exception are taken completely by surprise that these words are taken from the Bible- especially the gruesome part about why it’s a good idea to cut off a woman’s hand.
The words don’t represent the faith, which is interesting: because when you apply it to Islam, you start to realize how easy it is for one fanatical group to wildly misinterpret a holy book for their own agenda (just look at the ‘God Hates Fags’ Westboro Baptist Church extremists, for example).
This video is a useful reminder that all holy texts are a product of their time: in some parts they are inevitably sexist, violent, and basically backwards. What can we expect from an ancient collection of stories? Christianity is no exception. The hate-filled extremist interpretations of a small minority ultimately have nothing to do with the book or the faith a whole.
The twitter hashtag #youaintnomuslimbruv (‘you ain’t no Muslim, bro’ in London slang) is an uplifting example of this. It’s been trending on Twitter since a man was stabbed in London, following the UK’s vote to attack Syria. We don’t yet know if the suspect is Muslim, but he is reported to have shouted: “This is for Syria!” before randomly attacking a man in his fifties.
An observer shouted: “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv,” and his words have since been used as a hashtag to show solidarity between Londoners, especially those Muslim Londoners who are feeling increasingly isolated and afraid.