Mohamad Abdalla says we must understand violent passages of Islam in context. Mark Durie obliges.

Mohamad Abdalla says we must understand violent passages of Islam in context. Mark Durie obliges.

Australian scholar, Rev Dr Mark Durie explains that in understanding Islam, taking into account and understanding the full “context” may reveal it is even LESS peaceful than first impressions.

http://markdurie.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/violence-and-contexts-in-islamic-texts.html

Taking context into account, however, can actually make a “peaceful” verse quite nasty, and a violent verse even worse. There is nothing about “context” that makes it a magic wand to render peaceful and harmless every text over which it is waved. Context is neither a silver bullet against violent texts, nor is it a disinfectant for theological unpleasantness.

… radical jihadis themselves use a contextual model to interpret the Koran: they do not simply rely on context-free interpretations or on proof-texts — quotes taken out of context to support an argument. The Bin Ladins of the world — and theologians such as Sayyid Qutb who paved the way for them — have been more than familiar with interpretive tools such as the “context” of revelation, “abrogation,” or the life of Muhammad. Such subjects are on the curriculum in the jihad factories.

… In hermeneutics — the understanding and interpretation of texts, especially religious ones — context is everything. But context itself is blind to morality, and is not inherently a force for good. Unfortunately, for each and every verse (from the Koran) Abdalla cites, a reasoned contextual interpretation makes the meaning not better but worse.

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