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Directions: Choose four of the following passages, two from each section. Write a well-developed paragraph for each passage you’ve selected. Your paragraphs should:
- Explain what is happening in the passage.
- Quote at least three important phrases from the passage and explain why you think they’re important, how they help readers to understand the passage, and how the phrases connect to the text as a whole.
- For this reading response, connect the passages to at least one of the contemporary articles as well (“How Politics Has Poisoned Islam,” “A Letter Concening Muslim Toleration,” and/or “Islam’s Problem with Blasphemy”)
- When you are finished, you should have written four paragraphs, one corresponding to each passage you selected.
Section 1: The Koran, The Feast, Jonah, and Joseph
- “You who believe, be steadfast in your devotion to God and bear witness impartially: do not let hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to awareness of God. Be mindful of God. God is well aware of all that you do. God has promised forgiveness and a rich reward to those who have faith and do good works; those who reject faith and deny Our revelations will inhabit the blazing Fire” (75).
- “Who could be more wicked than someone who invents lies against God or denies His revelations? The guilty will never prosper. They worship alongside God things that can neither harm not benefit them, and say, ‘These are our intercessors with God.’ Say, ‘Do you think you can tell God about something He knows not to exist in heaven or earth? Glory be to Him! He is far above the partner-gods they associate with Him! All people were originally one single community, but later they differed” (83).
- “. . . ‘Because of God’s grace to us and to all mankind, we would never worship anything beside God, but most people are ungrateful. Fellow prisoners, would many diverse gods be better than God the One, the All Powerful? [No indeed!] All those you worship instead of Him are mere names you and your forefathers have invented, names for which God has sent down no sanction. Authority belongs to God alone, and He orders you to worship none but Him: this is the true faith, though most people do not realize it’” (89).
Section 2: The Koran, Mary, The Lord of Mercy, Purity of Faith
- “[This is” a statement of the Truth about which they are in doubt: it would not befit God to have a child. He is far above that: when He decrees something, He says only, ‘Be,’ and it is. ‘God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him: that is a straight path’” (94).
- “It is the Lord of Mercy who taught the Qur’an. He created man and taught him to communicate. The sun and the moon follow their calculated courses; the plants and the trees submit to His designs; He has raised up the sky. He has set the balance so that you may not exceed in the balance: weigh with justice and do not fall short in the balance. He set down the Earth for His creatures, with its fruits, its palm trees with sheathed clusters, its husked grain, it fragrant plants. Which then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny” (96)?
- “In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy. Say, ‘He is God the One, God the eternal. He begot no one nor was He begotten. No one is comparable to Him” (97).