Sebastian Faulks: Koran has ‘no ethics’

Ain’t that the truth! Not only does the Koran have no ethics, the Koran also doesn’t recognize the Golden Rule. The Koran is equally void of morals. Everything that spreads Islam: Good. Everything that opposes Islam: Baaaad!


Cathy Galvin/Times

THE bestselling author Sebastian Faulks has courted controversy by saying the Koran has “no ethical dimension”.

In an interview with today’s Sunday Times Magazine, he added that the Islamic holy scripture was “a depressing book”, was “very one-dimensional” and unlike the Christian New Testament had “no new plan for life”.

Faulks was speaking in advance of the publication of his novel, A Week in December.

Best known for historical works such as Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, his new novel addresses contemporary London. Its characters include a health fund manager, a literary critic and a Glasgow-born Islamic terrorist recruit. Researching the latter, he read a translation of the Koran which he found “very disappointing from a literary point of view”.


He also criticised the “barrenness” of the Koran’s message and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad, especially when compared with the Bible.

“Jesus, unlike Muhammad, had interesting things to say,” Faulks said.

“He proposed a revolutionary way of looking at the world: love your neighbour; love your enemy; the meek shall inherit the earth. Muhammad had nothing to say to the world other than, ‘If you don’t believe in God you will burn for ever’.”

Criticism of the Koran is regarded as blasphemous by Muslims.

The Pseudo-Golden Rule or Do Unto Which Others?

Bill Warner

Muslims are very sensitive about the lack of a Golden Rule in Islam. So, when you bring this up they always rush to assert that Muslims love everybody, in particular, Christians and Jews. And, of course, Islam has a Golden Rule.

In a past newsletter, I argued that Islam had no Golden Rule. Marcelle Sagan replied to my post on the website of the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center, a site sponsored by the royal house of Jordan. Given this source of funding, so you expect the highest quality of scholarship on Islam.

So let’s take a look at some of Mr. Sagan’s arguments, one at a time.

He makes the usual claims of Islam being the victim of ignorant Islamophobes and advances that anything a critic about Islam has to say never, ever, has any truth in it at all. This attitude comes directly from the Sunna of Mohammed. Mohammed was never wrong, Islam is perfect and anyone who does not believe this is a bigot. Mohammed was always the victim. When he attacked unarmed caravans in the sacred months, Islam was the true victim, not the murdered kafir (non-Muslim) Meccans.

Mr. Sagan argues that Islam is filled with statements about the Golden Rule. His first claim for the Golden Rule is this Koran verse:

83:1 Woe betide the unjust who, when others measure for them, exact in full, but when they measure or weigh for others, defraud them!

Giving Islam the benefit of the doubt, doing business in an honest manner could be construed as a very narrow, weak version of the Golden Rule. However, let’s examine this verse in its context and with a frame of reference. When Mohammed moved to Medina, he found that the Medinans routinely cheated when measuring out goods in a sale. When the Meccan Muslims complained that they gave good weight and were being cheated by their Medinan Muslim brothers, Allah gave Mohammed this verse. The actual case involves Muslims selling to Muslims.

Here is a quote from the Hadith with some ethical advice along the same lines:

Bukhari 9, 86, 109: […] the Prophet said, ‘In dealing with Muslims one should not sell them sick (animals) or bad things or stolen things.”
Does this sound like the Golden Rule? Where are the kafirs (unbelievers) in this morality?

Then Mr. Sagan quotes Mohammed:

None of you believe until you desire for your brother, what you desire for yourself.
But who is a Muslim’s brother? Humanity? Mohammed gives us his answer:

Bukhari 1, 2, 12: The Prophet said, “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.”

Bukhari 3, 43, 622: Allah’s Apostle said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection. ”
What we see here is that there is a Golden Rule but only in an Islamic way. Muslims are to practice the Golden Rule, but only with other Muslims. This is ethical dualism.

Perhaps, Mr. Sagan missed the universal brotherhood hidden somewhere in the 6,800 hadiths of Bukhari. Do the math. There are 209 hadiths that mention the word “brother”. Of those 209 hadiths, 96 concern blood kinsman ship and the other 113, each and every one, are about spiritual brotherhood where a Muslim is a brother to other Muslims.

Then Mr. Sagan uses an outright deception. He states that in Mohammed’s farewell sermon, he said: “That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.” These words sound good until you read Mohammed’s farewell sermon and find he says no such thing. In this sermon, Mohammed did say to treat your slaves well, that Muslims are brothers to each other, that your wives are your prisoners and to beat them if they disobey you. Oh yes! That is universal brotherhood, compassion and Golden Rule. The only times Mohammed ever said anything about humanity or mankind, it was that mankind had to submit to Islam.

Why did Mr. Sagan manufacture this quote? Because, Mohammed repeatedly advised Muslims to deceive the kafir if it would advance Islam:

Bukhari 5, 59, 369: Allah’s Apostle said, “Who is willing to kill Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” The Prophet said, “Yes.” Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). The Prophet said, “You may say it.” […]
And finally, let us examine the Golden rule in Mohammed’s life. Since he is the perfect moral example, his actions define morality. If we look in the Sira, Mohammed’s biography, we do find incidences where he treated the kafirs well, but the treatment was always part of seduction and persuasion to get them to submit to Islam. If that did not work, then he attacked them. In the end, Mohammed violently attacked each and every neighbor he had. He was the ultimate bad neighbor. The Golden Rule makes you a good neighbor. Islam’s dualistic ethics make Muslims the same kind of neighbor as Mohammed was.

The reason Muslims use deception about the Golden Rule is that they know not having it makes Islam look bad. Why do politicians, preachers, rabbis, educators and media commentators repeat the propaganda about how wonderful Islam is? Their duplicity or silence stems from fear and ignorance.

So, Muslims, preachers, politicians, rabbis, educators and media pundits are deceivers, but for different reasons. Muslims are following the example of Mohammed and our leaders are ignorant cowards. When seen in this light, even though they have been given no Golden Rule to follow, perhaps the argument can be made that Muslims are more admirable than these others.

Bill Warner, Center for the Study of Political Islam

27 thoughts on “Sebastian Faulks: Koran has ‘no ethics’”

  1. Faulks is just a novelist (with his only non-fiction being biographies not related to the subject), so we can only assume he is either trying to create a scandal to sell his books – he admitted that they are not selling so good since he tried to write a James Bond episode) or he has become one of those born-agains.

    Either way he is a fool for tempting to provoke radicals just for selling copy.

  2. Ok here is a bit of blasphemy/ The Krap Kran is a turgid vu=irtually unreadable heap of repetition, nonsense, misogyny, antisemitism, Arab supremacism, violence and paedophilia with justifications and sanctioning for slavery , wife beating polygamy and megalomania. For example the Krap Kran tells us that allah PREDESTINES everything but that you have FREEWILL LOL. It also says that this self same allah creates beings whose mind HE seals so they can never believe in him . Then this moron allah punishes in eternal hellfire these beings HE created and whose mind HE sealed. So that makes allah an illogical, sadistic perverted invention of the pervert Mohammad.
    He creates PREDESTINES , SEALS and punishes what a cretin. But then logic and Mohammad never got along just look at all the contradictions and mistakes in the Krap Kran. Thank God for abrogation hey Solkhar wow that saved some blushes LOL

  3. Reaslist (sic) apparantly does not like the Qur’an.

    But just as apparent, I along with most if not all Muslims, not to mention most academics, will disagree with him totally in just about everything. We wonder if he is in fact an aethiest, not that it is a criticism – far from it, as his criticism of hellfire that God has created is also followed and believed in Christianity and Judaism. Mind you Realist (sic) got it wrong, the hellfires are not eternal but a lengthy stay.

    It would be nice if Realist (sic) actually got something correct.

  4. What’s with the Reaslist (sic) / Realist (sic) stuff, Solkhar?

    Does “Reaslist” (sic) have some meaning for you?

  5. By the way, Solkhar, the Biblical Lake of Fire is for ever, unlike the “lengthy stay” that “allah” deceives his followers with:

    “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

    Unless you change your mind about Jesus Christ, you will get the
    chance to find out how long “for ever and ever” is. I trust that you
    will not put it to the test – it is not recommended. I assume Mohammed has found that “allah” dudded him by now.

  6. You have your opinion, that is your right, I will not unlike you try and sell my religion, I have enough faith and confidence not to have to go out and sell it.

    You will not see me either prostheletizing my faith, I ask no one to become a Muslim on this blog and I do not condemn the religious beliefs of others, I would not be so petty or pathetic to do so.

  7. Incidentally, Solkhar, going back to this claim of yours:

    “Mind you Realist (sic) got it wrong, the hellfires are not eternal but a lengthy stay.”

    “Allah” seems to have a different view, as in …

    “Those reject [truth] among the People of the Book are the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, dwelling there therein forever. They are the worst of creatures.” [al-Bayyinah, 98: 6]

    Who is telling the truth, Solkhar? You, or “Allah”?

    No weaselling, thanks.

  8. Oh Solkhar how nice to see you CANNOT deny that your allah is a vindictive illogical sadist for creating, predestining, and sealing and THEN punishing beings all in HIS name LOL. Oh no you just want to quibble about how LONG they will be punished for. Maybe there is some hope for you as you do accept allah’s sadistic illogical FAULTS. Thank you g=for thet.

  9. solkhar

    You seem literate , your use of words is OK – in other words , you’re not absolutely stupid .
    How can you claim islam as your ‘religion ‘ without blushing ?

  10. Persikas, I think it is just another role-play by Solkhar. He has little
    grasp of what his cult believes, & just makes it up on the fly, appealing
    to “psychologists”, “five schools of islam” & other distractions to bolster
    his nonsensical claims.

  11. Whoever enticed Solkhar in to the CULT with his Taqqiya (maybe a boyfriend) only told him the sugar coated BS and the apologist web sites because its quite obvious our little ‘revert’ has absolutely no idea about the CULT of Hate and Death he is now trapped in and so is always made to look a complete fool when he tries to defend it.

  12. Solkhar’s responses on the above thread are devoid of substance and meaning.

    This person just gets some kind of vicarious satisfaction in knowing that thre are bloggers who actually waste time in responding to his/her drivel.

    That’s all folks.

  13. I read the Koran, it tells me that Allah actually lives in hell – not in paradise!! Apparently he spends his time in hell punishing the non-Moslems.

    This was a stunning admission to me because hell is – by definition – the one place that God cannot be. This made me aware of who Allah really is and then it becomes logical why his followers commit so many acts of atrocity and evil against humanity on a daily basis.

  14. Quite so, BDD. Matthew 25:41 makes it clear that [hell] is prepared for
    satan and his angels, so “allah” is under no illusions about his destiny,
    though Solkhar is confused about the time span (everlasting).

  15. All I see is personal attacks and shunned minority whinning and whinging in the background. Each of you avoiding the subject of the thread, that the agenda-groups claimed Faulks condemning Islam when in fact he did not.

    Continue as you do, it is quite amuzing and very clear.

    p.s. There are references to resting in hell as a punishment and references to everlasting, I do not pretend to be a theologian and I leave the metaphors and symbolism for those whom are interested in it. Either way, I do not go down the pathetic route of prosthelitizing on one-side and bagging another’s faith on the other.

  16. While I have absolutely no say in how this site is managed (nor should I) I will add my two cents here – Firstly, if people are trying to entire into a genuine dialog then insults and insinuations should be kept to a minimum. If a real islamic troll appears then rip it to pieces and drink the blood if you feel so inclined – please take that as a rhetorical statement. The point is that even if we disagree with each other all sides have a chance ( following Kosh (B5) – their side, my side and the truth) to learn from each other and to try and moderate their points of view. Sometimes this means just saying “well I disagree”. Now, locking the doors and hurling insults out of the window does not achieve very much. We all have much in common – we agree that radical islam is a real and pressing danger. but we differ on how to resolve this issue or how to contribute in a meaningful way to a workable solution. Perhaps contributors might think that this is a worthwhile goal and try and keep the “goal” in mind. Some people here feel that islam itself is a problem – this is a valid point of view – if my understanding of the arguments presented is correct then people like Solkhar feel that islam is not the problem, but certain interpretations of it are (here “intepretation” is implied in the general sense not only pertaining to muslims) and that the entire muslim community should not be condemned – this point of view is also worthwhile. The goal of a discussion is to come closer to the truth, which lies, at least for the noted topic somewhere between the two limits I implied. If we can identify then where islam, or its interpretations, are breaking down then we have moved forward- we have more information – we can reappraise our points of view and the discussion moves forward in the direction of a resolution and eventually some useful working direction to offer to politicans etc might appear. This point of view might seems like an “arts wanker” direction (apologies to arts students out there, but we physical science people are a basic lot) but it presents a goal that can at least be partially achieved, which should be the point of any endeavour or even any discussion. If you have learned nothing after talking to someone for 30 minutes then you have basically been wasting time. I have not intended to say that anyone is “in the wrong” simply to point out that we can use this resource much more profitably. Back to my equations – much more forgiving in comparison to humans!

  17. kaw,

    well said and agreed.

    Though I think you will find it almost impossible to do so on this blog, considering that the objective of the blog-owner is denigration of the entire faith and not actual debate and discussion. He also condemns anyone apposed to his view but allows others to sell their religion in the same breath as condemning the target one.

    Certainly I can get caught up in the emotion of the issue, considering that they are talking and bagging my core values and faith instead of what I believe is the target. I have absolutely no problem in condemning and pointing out the radical and extremist views, actions and behaviours of Muslims, in fact identifying the more serious side of some of it is still my job – though now part-time.

    If you go back to my postings, you will see I condemn and point out when attacks are against the tennants of my faith, the Qur’an and I do not and have not supported any of the actions that are identified as unacceptable. On some occassions I have tried to point out why some may think the way they do, not to support it but to clarify. I also have pointed out historical facts and inaccuracies when the poster or commenter has basically got their history incorrect.

    In each time that I have done so, I have been met with rather juvinile and purposeful personal attacks and accussations. That says it all.

  18. Absolutely nothing Spiritual or Religious exist in pisslam,End of the Story.
    Kaw i understand your point of view But i’m not interested by dialoguing with the muzz or the troll of service here,..muslims have nothing good to tell us,absolutely nothing (le Néant) i will not loose my time with these cretin in my life.Anyway they will never change and i know what to do with them.

    1. Trying to be a smug little Frenchie troll talking dirty, Solkhar?

      Just to give you an idea how “reasoned” our “moderate Muslim” solkhar is, folks:

      “The dogs never indicate anything of value thus it is good you do not comment on..”

      YOUR values, solkhar! We are asking about your values. How do you expect to convince anybody that your religion is the right one when you are not able to debate it? When you refuse to answer (half) the questions you promised to answer?

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