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Richard Dawkins: “The Bible itself is as toxic as the Quran”

OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 24: Richard Dawkins Author and evolutionary biologist, poses for a portrait at the Oxford Literary Festival, in Christ Church, on March 24, 2010 in Oxford, England. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 24: Richard Dawkins Author and evolutionary biologist, poses for a portrait at the Oxford Literary Festival, in Christ Church, on March 24, 2010 in Oxford, England. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)

Dawkins said: “The Bible itself is as toxic as the Quran but most Christians are not taught to believe it literally. Most Christians are taught to believe it metaphorically or allegorically.”

He thus seems to be assuming that both contain passages mandating warfare against unbelievers, but Christians spiritualize or allegorize those passages, while Muslims do not.

This question is important whether or not one believes in the Bible, for it may help determine how one views the magnitude of the jihad threat, and how resolved one may be to resist the jihad imperative. And so it warrants close examination.

In the Bible, there are passages that certainly appear to be “toxic.” The Book of Numbers recounts that after the Israelites defeated the Midianites, they presented the captives and spoils of war to Moses. But the prophet “was angry with the officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. Moses said to them, “Have you let all the women live?” He reminded them that these women had earlier caused the Israelites to “act treacherously against the LORD.” Consequently, Moses told his men: “Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves” (31:14-18).

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