"The Forbidden Rumi" and I Rumi is a great Muslim mystic and poet. His faith in God does not deter him from riding the winds of dangerous thinking and free expression. His most audacious poems were published in a collection called "The Forbidden Rumi." I have chosen one of them and interspersed its verses between the chapters of my book. I wanted to let some fresh air in my dry discussion of the Quranic text. You see, the fifth chapter of the Quran was the last one to have been composed. It discusses theological questions and lacks the poetic rhythm of the much shorter chapters of the early days. I am neither a poet nor a mystic. I am not even a Muslim. And yet I feel I have something in common with a Rumi. I do not let the requirements of Islamic tradition, the strict rules of modern scholarship and the taboos of our time constrict my freedom to say what I think and to explain my forbidden views. I do so however in a friendly manner and without any animosity. My study of the Quran is based on knowledge not on faith. My purpose is not to provide spiritual ammunition to the faith. It is much more prosaic. I propose a new way of reading the Quranic text. Instead of seeing in it a divine revelation, I see in it the work of a man called Muhammad. I do what is forbidden for a believer. But I recognize the believer's right to see in the Book the very words of God.