A pair of Dutch pranksters have scored a YouTube hit with their latest video in which they ask members of the public to offer their views on some ‘shocking’ verses from the Qur’an.
However, unknown to the participants, the verses are in fact from the Bible.
Introducing the experiment, the pair, whose YouTube channel is called Dit Is Normaal, say: “Muslims have been accused of following a faith that has no place in our Western culture. What about Christianity? A religion that has influenced our culture greatly.”
Filmmakers Sacha Harland and Alexander Spoor disguise a Bible as the Islamic holy book, then highlight what they describe as “shocking verses that are in great contrast with our western norms and values.”
“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)
“If a man lies with a male … they shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus ch 20)
After reading the passages, believing them to be from the Qur’an, one passerby responds: “If you’ve been raised with this book and these kinds of thoughts, it’s going to influence the way you think.”
Another comments: “To me this sounds like they want to oppress you and force you to believe what they believe.”
Asked what they thought the main differences between the Bible and the Qur’an were, one man describes the Bible as “a lot less harsh and a bit more peaceful,” while a woman says of Muslims: “The world is changing and I think they should have to adapt to it.”
“It bothers me that some people see these old writings as the absolute truth,” says one participant.
After it’s revealed the verses they’ve been reading are actually from the Bible, those taing part reflect on the assumptions thay’d been making about the texts. “It’s all just prejudice really,” one says. I always try not to be prejudiced myself but apparently I already am. It’s just something you do unconsciously.”
Another replies: “Of course, I’ve heard bible stories when I was young and I went to a Christian school, but I realy had no idea this was in there.”