Elevate Difference

Inside The Koran

Inside the Koran is an excellent insight into Islam through the interpretations of a vast category of people from ayatollahs, clerics, and scholars to farmers, activists, housewives, and modern Muslim women. In a day and age when wars have become the universal circus at play on the bandwagon of religion, a deeper knowledge of the Muslim faith is more relevant than ever before.

From the practice of veiling and the debate on the status of women to the permissibility of jihad, Inside the Koran provides a deeper overview on these subjects by aligning the differing views together into one message: Islam speaks for peace and forgiveness and grants an equal status to women and men alike. "And if you punish, let your punishment be proportionate to the wrong that has been done to you; but if you show patience, that is indeed the best course” (Quran 16:126).

A beautiful scene from the film depicts a Muslim woman’s desire to wear the hijab despite her mother’s refusal to accept the veil as a commandment of the religion. This example of conflicting opinions highlights the importance of tolerance and respect, as is repeatedly quoted in the Koran: "There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way” (Quran 2:256).

The film also highlights another highly significant element of Islam: it is a religion devoid of priests and pastors. Hence, clerics and fundamentalists who continue to preach their own version of Islam are in no way doing justice to the religion. All are equal in God’s way, be it a man or a woman, a farmer or a cleric. “Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed to you, Muhammad), and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabaeans; whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does right, surely their reward is with their Lord, and there will come no fear upon them neither will they grieve” (Quran 2:62).

Director Antony Thomas investigates how Islam’s teachings in the Koran are very tactfully being employed by nations and powerful leaders alike to further their own political, cultural, and social norms. He explores the branches within the religion—including the Wahabi, Sunni and Shia Islam, as well as Sufism—and very simply merges the similarities and differences within these divisions through the voices of the people themselves. From an ordinary Egyptian woman to several notable scholars, Inside the Koran unveils the beliefs of ordinary Muslims who firmly believe in co-existence and tolerance of all.

Cross-posted with Gender Across Borders

Written by: Maria Khan, September 19th 2009

"A beautiful scene from the film depicts a Muslim woman’s desire to wear the hijab despite her mother’s refusal to accept the veil as a commandment of the religion.

Maria, why is the scene beautiful? It seems like another example of lecturing us to accept women's "choices" even when they are patriarchal.

I think we need new religions. There is so much baggage in all the world's major religions that I don't think we'll ever completely reform them.

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