One night as we were talking, he got on my laptop and asked me, "How do you spell Mohammad?" And then, "How do you spell Qur'an?" I didn't know what he was doing, but then he said, "I'll be damned."
He was looking on Osho's web site. He is a big fan of Osho, a spiritual teacher from India who writes on every religion, revealing the shared, universal, spiritual nature at the core of every religion (or as we found out, almost every religion).
My son assumed that since Osho has written a book on every religion (and praised the core teachings of every one of them), Osho must have written one on Islam, and my son was going to read it and get "the other side of the story." But what he found was that Osho has not written about Islam, and not only that, he explained why he hasn't. Here is what Osho said:
Mohammed was an absolutely illiterate man, and the Koran, in which his sayings are collected, is ninety-nine percent rubbish. You can just open the book anywhere and read it, and you will be convinced of what I am saying. I am not saying on a certain page — anywhere. You just open the book accidentally, read the page and you will be convinced of what I am saying.
Whatsoever one percent truth there is here and there in the Koran is not Mohammed's. It is just ordinary, ancient wisdom that uneducated people collect easily — more easily than the educated people, because educated people have far better sources of information — books, libraries, universities, scholars. The uneducated, simply by hearing the old people, collect a few words of wisdom here and there. And those words are significant, because for thousands of years they have been tested and found somehow true. So it is the wisdom of the ages that is scattered here and there; otherwise, it is the most ordinary book possible in the world.
Muslims have been asking me, "Why don't you speak on the Koran? You have spoken on The Bible, on the Gita, this and that." I could not say to them that it is all rubbish; I simply went on postponing. Even just before I went into silence, a Muslim scholar sent the latest English version of the Koran, praying me to speak on it. But now I have to say that it is all rubbish, that is why I have not spoken on it — because why unnecessarily waste time?
- From Unconciousness to Consciousness
Chapter 5 by Osho
To those of us who study Islam, this is very mild criticism, but coming from Osho, it is severe and harsh, and made an impression on my son.