Better Understanding Islam And The Qur’an. Democratic Perspective revisits an interview with Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan and founder of Informed Comment, to discuss his book Muhammad, Prophet of Peace Amid The Clash Of Empires. Cole explains that the Qur’an has been very badly translated. “I looked at it with the eyes of an historian,” he says. “I’m reading it in the original Arabic and I’m reading it in context with the Greek and Persian and other works of that time. Context is everything.”
Cole further explains, “There is nothing distinctive in the Qur’an about war. The great French student of Islam, Maxime Rodinson told my teacher…’Any religion can be interpreted any way.’” Cole says that’s true of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and other religions.