Reading the Koran Print
By Alexis de Tocqueville   
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Reading the latter [Koran] is one of the most … instructive things imaginable because the eye easily discovers there, by very closely observing, all the threads by which the prophet held and still holds the members of his sect.… [T]hat the first of all religious duties is to blindly obey the prophet, that holy war is the first of all good deeds…all these doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them. Jihad: Holy war, is an obligation for all believers.…The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels. Only truces can be made [meaning...can only be interrupted by a  truce, not ended].… After the victory, 4/5 of the booty — land, buildings, and other property — of the defeated I shared out. Two motives: fanaticism, cupidity. Muhammadanism is the religion that most thoroughly conflated and intermixed the  powers in such a way that the high priest is necessarily the prince, and the prince the high priest, and all acts of civil and political life are more or less governed by religious law.… [T]his concentration and this conflation of power established by Muhammad between the two powers …was the primary cause of despotism and particularly of social immobility that has almost always characterized Muslim nations.

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