This is my Koran. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
I purchased it last week. I paid for it with the money I earned by my labor. I bought it from a secular book store, in cash.
This book is considered holy by a large number of people. A large number of those people believe that we all should hold that view, upon pain of death. And a large number of those people have demonstrated, repeatedly, that they are more than willing to kill those who do not revere their book.
This is not their book. It is mine. I have the receipt.
I bought it for several reasons.
The first is, as I said, this book is the reason a lot of people around the world want to kill — and regularly do kill — unbelievers like me. It tells them to do so, and they consider it the world of God, so it’s not exactly optional.
So I want to read it. I want to see if I can get a grasp on what it says, what it means. I understand that it is an English translation, and the only “true” Koran is written in Arabic, but I don’t speak Arabic. This is as close as I’m going to get.
I might do other things with my book than read it. I might decide to decorate it and share my creative efforts here.
I will not be doing this out of hate. I will be doing this to celebrate that I am an American.
As an American, I have every legal right to do whatever I wish with my property. The Constitution guarantees my right to speak as I wish. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, which includes the right to be free of religion.
In the United States, blasphemy is a legally meaningless word. It literally has no place in our courts. Should an American choose to violate the tenets of any religion, even Islam, then the government simply shouldn’t care. It has no right to enforce the laws of Islam or any other faith against American citizens — or even non-citizens within its jurisdiction.
As an American, as a non-Muslim, the laws and tenets of that faith hold only an intellectual curiosity in me. I have no obligation to honor or respect or abide by them. They are as utterly meaningless to me as the rules of etiquette in Thailand or the latest fashions in Lesotho or the price of cosmetics in Helsinki.
Should I choose to deliberately and consciously violate Islamic law, it should mean absolutely nothing to anyone. I owe no allegiance to that faith. My nation has never acknowledged Islamic law and recognized it as binding on our soil.
This is my Koran. I intend to read it, and try to understand it. I may also do other things with it.
And yes, there will be pictures.