But There Are Peaceful Passages in the Quran Too
"What about the good verses? There are peaceful passages in the Qur'an too!" This one is easy because the Islamic world already has a well-established answer to the question.
Every reader of the Qur'an, since the time it was written, has noticed conflicting messages. And they've had the question, "When two passages from the Qur'an conflict, which one should I follow?"
The Qur'an itself answers the question. It says if two passages conflict, the passage revealed later is better than the one revealed earlier. The policy is known as abrogation. Learn more about abrogation here.
Since the order in which the chapters of the Qur'an were written was carefully recorded, each instance of a conflicting passage is easily settled. The bad news is: The peaceful passages were some of the first written, and the intolerant, violent passages were almost all written later.
So the short answer is, "Yes, there are peaceful passages in the Qur'an. But they have all been abrogated."
Bill Warner wanted to know exactly how many verses in the Qur'an are positive for non-Muslims, so he counted them. The answer is 245. That's pretty good. That adds up to 4,018 words in the Qur'an, and comprises 2.6 percent of the total Qur'anic text.
But, says Warner, "in every case, the verse is followed by another verse that contradicts the 'good' verses." Furthermore, except for seven verses, every "good verse" is abrogated later in the same chapter (known as a "sura"). Those seven exceptions are abrogated in later chapters.
In other words, every single one of the verses in the Qur'an with a positive message for non-Muslims is abrogated, leaving nothing positive for non-Muslims. Not one verse.
There's more. Warner says, "The media emphasizes Islam's positive verses about the People of the Book, the Jews and Christians. Even this turns out to be illusory. Christians and Jews receive the goodness of Islam only if they agree that their sacred texts are corrupt, the Koran is true, and that Mohammad is a prophet of the Christian and Jewish religion." If they do that, they will get the blessings of Islam. Of course, if they do that, they are no longer Christians or Jews; they're Muslims.
So there is nothing positive in the Qur'an for non-Muslims. Period. And there are 527 verses in the Qur'an that are intolerant to non-Muslims, 109 verses calling on Muslims to make war on non-Muslims.
When non-Muslims read the Qur'an and don't like it, sometimes they're accused of "having an unfavorable view of Islam" or being an Islamophobe. Or they may be simply accused of "hatred." But, really, what is there to like about any of this if you're a non-Muslim?
Have you ever wondered which is the last chapter? And what does it say? Since abrogation uses chronological order, the last chapter would probably not contain any abrogated verses (unless an earlier verse within the last chapter conflicted with a later one in the same chapter). Otherwise, if the chapter contained any information about non-Muslims, it would be the "last word" on the subject.
If you look at the Chronological Order of the Qur'an, you can see the last chapter is called Nasr. Every chapter has a name. In the traditional order, Nasr is the 110th chapter. But it was really the 114th; the last one "revealed" to Muhammad. He died 80 days later.
But the last chapter doesn't say much. It's just three verses basically saying "When Allah has achieved victory and conquered lots of people and when they are becoming Muslims in great numbers, praise Allah and ask for forgiveness." That's about it.
But if you look up the second to last chapter, called Taubah (which means "Ultimatum"), you will find it says a great deal about non-Muslims. In the traditional chapter order, this is chapter 9. Find out Allah's "last word" on tolerance and peace toward non-Muslims here.
If someone has resisted what you are saying by insisting there are peaceful passages in the Qur'an, and if you came up with a different answer than mine, please add it here. Thank you.