Algerian and Tunisian Free Thinkers under threat for ‘ridiculing’ Quran
A series of verses mimicking the style of the Quran titled Surah (Chapter) Corona have lit Arab social media on fire. The verses were written by an Algerian atheist Djilou and shared widely angering many conservative Muslims who have issued death threats and calls for arrest of those involved. We have been told Djilou’s Facebook profile has been suspended due to mass reporting by those Muslims angered by the Surah.
Amna al-Sharqi, a Tunisian girl who shared the verses of Surah Corona is under investigation and has had a warrant issued against her by the Tunisian Public Prosecution. Amna has confirmed that she has received death threats and intends to prosecute those threatening her. She also stated that “Surah Corona was not a distortion of the Quran since it does not include any references to religion or god.”
Among others, a young Algerian woman Sana Bendimerad has been the subject of thousands of threats of sexual violence and death.
Challenge of the Quran
The Quran dares disbelievers to produce a surah like it, commonly referred to as the challenge of the Quran. It claims that the task is impossible to achieve and as a result is a common task taken up by those that disbelieve in the faith starting during the life of Mohammed himself. One of his primary rivals Musaylmah even wrote his own version of the Quran.
The famed physician Mohammad Zakariya Al Razi mocked the challenge in the 10th century stating: “Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter. … You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: ‘Produce something like it ?’”
The original verses composed by Djilou in Arabic are included below
Amna stated on social media that she has been released from police custody following intervention by Professor Enas Trabelsi