I have obtained a copy of the Qur'an, the Muslim Holy Book, for the purposes of study. Islam is one of the major religions of the world, and has a high profile in news events. Not always for the most positive reasons, but neither has its older brother, Christianity. The Qur'an is a slow read, as you have to read each verse and each chapter with full attention. The translator (for I have an English-language copy) warns of the dangers of misinterpretation, giving several examples of how the texts of the Qur'an have been warped to suit people's intentions.
Having gone through the first major sura [chapter], the parallel with the Old Testament is unmistakeable. Moses, Aaron, Abraham, David, Goliath, Saul, Solomon, Mary, Jesus (to give but a few examples) are all referred to by name. The differences between the Bible and the Qu'ran are also patently obvious. The Qu'ran directly refers to the Christians and the Judeans as People of the Book (hence the title of this post).
It is a fascinating read, as it grants an insight into Islamic culture, and by virtue of that, an insight into some of the events of the last few decades in the world.
I think it is highly deplorable that Islam has been given such a bad name by a tiny minority who abused the religion for political motives. It should not be forgotten that it was Arabic culture, where Islam is rooted, that granted us the phenomenon of the zero, without which we would not all be sitting by our computers, doing all these marvellous things on the WWW. In order to understand what goes on in a major religion of the world, it is imperative to read its holy text and do so with an open mind, which is what I am trying to do.