A group of fundamentalist muslims active in Germany, called Salafists, has started a weird propaganda campaign. They are distributing 100.000 copies of the Koran for free to passers-by. They obviously are so delusional, that they really believe in people being prone to be converted by reading the Koran!
I once did spend some hours reading parts of the Koran myself. I needed to read the original source about how women are supposed to be treated by devout muslims. Considering male muslims as dangerous monsters from mere hearsay is a prejudice, but after reading the Koran, I have evidence for the validity of my reasons to be scared of muslim men.
The distribution of free Korans has been discussed by the media as a hazard. I doubt that being given a free Koran will influence anybody in his or her right mind towards any sympathy for islam.
I think that these Salafists are spending a lot of money on helping people to get horrified from what they read, if they bother to read the Koran before throwing it into the garbage.
As far as I know, muslims consider throwing the Koran into the garbage as a sacrilege. By giving the Koran to people, who throw it out, they even indirectly contribute to this sacrilege.
Yeah, I'm thinking half won't be handed out and half will end up in the trash. I'd be surprised if anyone read it.
The problem with most religionists is that they haven't read their own holy books. They rely on what their leaders tell them about their writings during their religious services. So if the not-particularly-religious Germans have mostly never opened a Bible, what makes the Salafists think they will open a Koran? But on the other hand, they are entitled to waste their own money in any way they see fit.
And I have to admit that reading religious works is hard slogging. I have attempted at times to read the Tanach, the Talmud, the New Testament, The Book of Mormon, the Koran and a couple of books from minority Japanese sects. I never get very far, because I get so bored, and none of it makes much sense to me. On the other hand, my nephew is going for a graduate degree in philosophy, and he eats this stuff up. Doesn't believe any of it, but with his steel-trap mind, he can pull out quotes and cites for any argument he happens to want to participate in. I admire that quality! :-)
That's why Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) said of the Book of Mormon, "it's chloroform in print. Especially the Book of Ether."
And it came to pass, that as a former 4th Generation Mormon, son of Mormon pioneer stock, and a graduate of six years of Mormon seminary and four years of religion classes at Brigham Young University, I am proud to say that I have actually made it all the way through the Book of Mormon, all 522 pages of it. It wasn't easy. Took more than a year. Though if you asked if I never fell asleep while reading it, I would refer you to Mark Twain. Didn't have the Church's desired effect; it was one of the factors in my decision to apostatize.
Oh, I would read some of it. I have read parts of it ~ lots of arbitrary mandates, many which contradict each other.
I don't know if I would squirrel it away or trash it. But I definitely would not barbeque it publicly.
I have read parts of the Koran. The Bible and Torah, too, and have read the Bhagavad Gita cover to cover (though that's not hard; it's a short book). I have read some of the Vedas, the Sutras, and various other holy books. Even the Tibetan and Egyptian Books of the Dead.
None of them made a very good case for joining their associated religion (with the exception of the Gita, which is concise and generally morally consistent).
So I think the Salafists are barking up the wrong tree. It isn't going to help. It would be much better for them to work on purging terrorist extremism from the ranks of Islam; that would make a far better case for their religion than asking people to read the Koran, which did not impress me at all.
Thank Go....odness for my kindle.
I travel a great deal for work (in the US) and sometimes due to flight delays or my own poor planning, I would find myself in a hotel room with a recently completed book and nothing else to read. US hotels are famous for having bibles in the rooms (book of mormon too in the Marriott chain) and, given no other reading material, I would flip to a page at random and start reading. Needless to say, reading what was supposed to be the divine words of the creator of the universe, did the opposite of converting me. I would just always go, "oh my goodness, how could anyone anyone read this and think, 'Yeah, that explains things.'" So, having only read selected passages of the koran (from those few passages I think it compares favorably to the bible), I say, "Pass 'em out." Encourage people to read it from cover to cover and ask themselves, "does this match what you know of the world?"
Holy books are one of the best arguments in favor of naturalism. And for having a device that you can instantly download a new book you've been wanting to read.