“Remember, what people read as the Koran is interpretation. The only thing that is Koran is the Arabic. The battle over interpretation is, what are the original words in Arabic? How do we actually define them? Many of them are fake and intentionally misleading interpretations,” he argued.
“The others that are about wars and battles, we need to separate and say, ‘You know what? Maybe it made sense in 620, 625 C.E., but we need to circumscribe those and say we no longer apply to today.’ You have to separate the historical part of the passages from applies to today,” he advised. “Muslims have done that with the rejection of polygamy that’s permitted, with the rejection of the cutting of hands for stealing, things like that. There’s a way to separate those things, and other ways to reinterpret.”
As a much more delicate example, Jasser noted there is a passage in the Koran about the permissibility of beating women, but he suggested it could be reinterpreted in a modern context as “going on strike” (i.e. separating from her) instead of physically “striking” her.
“There are modern ways to reinterpret the exact same words in a non-Salafi, non-Wahabbi, more modern liberal way while staying true to the authenticity of the script,” he stressed, referring to two schools of Islam that reject modernization and insist on highly literal interpretations of the Koran.