A Dutch group called Dit is Normaal recently took to the street in order to see if people could differentiate between verses that came from the Quran and the Bible.
It is a prank that, in light of rising fears against Islam in the wake of recent terrorist attacks, is surprisingly politically and socially relevant. In fact, the purpose of the video, says the two men behind it, is to highlight the hypocrisy of Christian prejudice against Islam. The two recorded their interactions with people on the street and titled it “The Holy Quran Experiment.”
Muslims, the “Holy Quran Experiment” claims, have had their religion criticized to the point that many say that it has no place in the Western world. And so, in light of that belief, it led the group to wonder if Christianity, which has a great influence in the world both socially and politically, actually has a place, as well.
“The Islam has been under huge scrutiny lately and is often criticised for being an aggressive religion… but what about Christianity? We disguised a Bible as a Quran and read some of it’s [sic] most gruesome verses to the people.”
Christianity is, after all, the worship of the Prince of Peace, and heralds itself as a peaceful religion. And Islam, of course, has gained a reputation for being a religion of violence and forced submission. And so, some of the more jarring verses from the Bible, verses that go against what is considered right and normal in Western civilization, were highlighted and read aloud to various people in the street under the guise of being from the Quran.
There was a range of verses read, from those dealing with how women should act, and what she should be allowed (or not allowed) to do, homosexuality, and even a verse that references forced cannibalism as punishment.
“A woman should learn in quietness, and full submission,” the man reads, referencing Timothy 2:11–12 from the Bible. In fact, the man explains, the whole entire Book seems to believe that a woman has to be submissive.
“I do not allow for a woman to teach,” he reads, underscoring the point on expected female submission. The verse is also from the book of Timothy and reads, in its entirety, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression…”
As for the strange cannibalistic reference, the Dutch duo referenced Leviticus 26:29, and is a pretty shocking verse.
“If you reject my commands and abhor my laws, you will eat the flesh of your own sons, and the flesh of your own daughters.”
It certainly doesn’t seem as though those are words anyone in the West lives by.
“If two men sleep with each other they will both have to be killed,” is read aloud, as well.
Of course, with a cover that proclaims the book to be the Holy Quran rather than the Holy Bible, it is no surprise that everyone who listened assumed that those verses were, in fact, from the religion of Islam. But their reaction to the verses, in light of where the verses are actually from, seemed very telling.
“How could anyone believe in this? That’s unbelievable to me.”
“The world is changing and I think they should have to adapt to it.”
“If you’ve been raised with this book and these kinds of thoughts it’s going to influence the way you think.”
“To me this sounds like they want to oppress you and force you to believe what they believe.”
The respondents were then asked what they believed the biggest difference was between the Bible and the Quran, with most agreeing that the Muslim Holy Book was certainly a lot more aggressive than the Christian one.
The people were shocked, of course — not just by the fact that the Bible, which is supposed to promote a religion of peace, contained such verses that are beyond the societal norm for values in the West, but by their own reactions, as well.
“It’s all just prejudice, really,” one young man says. “I always try not to be prejudiced myself, but apparently I already am.”
Watch the video and share your reactions in the comments below!
[Image via Getty Images Europe]