For the zillionth time in modern history, Islam and Muslims are shunned by Western societies in response to terrorist attacks that are allegedly committed in the name of Islam. With a growing consensus in many Western communities that the Islamic teachings are the root cause of such violent and terrorist acts, two Dutch prankster-filmmakers run a little experiment to see what people thought of some teachings in Christianity that left many people in utter disbelief.
Since its release on Friday, the video entitled ‘The Holy Qur’an Experiment’ has attracted around 2.7 million views. “Since the recent events in Paris, and the association between ISIS and Islam, the Islamic belief has been under constant scrutiny,” says the Dutch duo, presenter Sacha Harland and producer Alexander Spoor who run the YouTube Channel ‘Dit Is Normaal’ (This is Normal), in their video. “Muslims have been accused of following a religion that has no place in our Western culture. This made us wonder: What about Christianity?”
In their experiment, the filmmakers disguise the Bible as the Qur’an, and read out “a couple of shocking verses that are in great contrast with our Western norms and values” to passersby, asking them for their impressions on Islam and Qur’an.
Such verses include: “If you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me … you will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.” (Leviticus ch 26) and “If a man lies with a male … they shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus ch 20).
Made to believe they were being read verses from Qur’an, one respondent thought that “If you’ve been raised with this book and these kinds of thoughts, it’s going to influence the way you think.” Much to the trouble of another passerby, she responded saying: “Cutting off people’s hands… I mean, apparently that’s just the way they are.”
“It bothers me that some people see these old writings as the absolute truth,” added another participant.
Seeing as how troubled the respondents were with the verses that were read to them, they were then asked to share what they thought the main differences between the Bible and Qur’an were.
“Hearing this, I would think the Qur’an is more aggressive,” was one impression, which was resonated in other responses that said: “The Bible is a lot less harsh and a bit more peaceful.” Other passersby noted that the role and perception of women was a key difference between the Bible and Qur’an.
To conclude, one thought: “The world is changing, and I think they should have to adapt to it.”
However, everything changed when it was finally time for the moment of truth where the filmmakers revealed that “these ‘beautiful’ verses from the Qur’an are actually from the Bible.”
To their surprise, most participants started to laugh while others squinted. One participant blamed it on the influence media has on people, whereas another commented that “I really had no idea this was in there,” even though she went to a Christian school.
“It’s all just prejudice really, I always try not to be prejudiced myself but apparently, I already am.”