I agree with Nadir and Christopher Hitchens about the US Christian fanatics who protested the use of a Koran by freshman Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., in his swearing in: they are uncivilized morons. And I also agree with Nadir (I hope!) and Hitchy *and* with Thomas Jefferson that we should ban all such books from official government ceremonies. In particular, do we want any democratic official swearing allegiance to anything other than the democratically established laws of his or her own government? I say that officials should swear to a single document: the US Constitution.
This Hitchy article informs us about a the Koran that Ellison used, belonging to Thomas Jefferson's own library. What was TJ's relationship with Islam? Well, when TJ was president, he confronted the Ottoman Empire, a descendant of Mohammad's own Muslim anti-democratic empire. Citing Mohammad's Koran and examples documented in other texts, Ottoman sea captians along the African Mediteranian coast waged an aggressive war of piracy against all European ships. Just as with Mohammad's desert piracy practiced against non-Muslim camel caravans, the Ottoman pirates seized all property, and the humans on board (sailors, soldiers, travels of both genders and all ages) received one of three fates: death, slavery, or kidnapping-for-ransom. In all, the Ottoman Arabs and Africans took 1 million honkies as slaves-for-life, and European shipping in the Mediterranean nearly halted.
Until TJ created the US Marines and launched the US' first international war, resulting in a treaty that ended the piracy, a declaration from TJ that the US government was neither anti-Muslim nor pro-Christian, and the words "Shores of Tripoli" for the USMC Battle Hymn.
I already knew that part. What I didn't know was that the genius and visionary TJ created his own Bible, which comprised the New Testament (apparently TJ shared my distaste for the entire Old Testament) edited to omit all the superstitions and fairy tale elements: no virgin birth, no resurrection, no water-into-wine, no walking on water. That's the Bible I want! Hitchy wonders about doing such a thing to the Koran, but does not ponder the implications. First, many homicidal fanatics would attempt to kill the editor, publisher, sellers, and readers. Second, whereas a book consisting of only Jesus' gospels minus the fables would constitute a great and inspiring work of original and appealing philosophy, such an effort would leave the Koran little changed, and still even more repulsive than the Old Testament.