Fundamentally speaking

“Muslims who preach hate are to be deported and subject to new restrictions, Charles Clarke announced in the Commons on Wednesday. So what would the home secretary have to say about stuff like this: ‘Blessed is he who takes your little children and smashes their heads against the rocks’? Or this: ‘O God, break the teeth in their mouths … Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime; like the untimely birth that never sees the sun … The righteous will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.’ No, this is not Islam, it is the Bible. And there is a lot more where that came from.

“Why, then, are so many commentators persuaded that the Qur’an is a manual of hate – compared to the Judeo-Christian scriptures, it is very tame stuff indeed. More disturbing still for Christians and Jews, the nearest scriptural justification for suicide bombings I can think of comes from the book of Judges, where Samson pushes apart the structural supports of a temple packed with people. ‘Let me die with the Philistines,’ he prays, just before the building collapses.”

Giles Fraser in the Guardian, 23 July 2005