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The other good book

March 6, 2009
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IF THE BIBLE mixes together passages teaching both warfare and mercy, so does the Koran. Pay back evil with good, says God, and your deadliest enemy will become your dearest friend (Koran 41.34-35).

In both scriptures, in fact, the angriest words are directed not against national enemies, but against those who skimp on charity. The Koran's God condemns those who show no kindness to the orphan, nor compete with each other in feeding the poor; those who love riches, and seize the inheritance of the weak. If anyone deserves hellfire, it's them (Koran 89). Meanwhile, do you want to reach the spiritual heights? Then free a slave from bondage, feed the poor in times of hunger: always have faith, be strong and merciful (Koran 90).

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