The key to the Koran is to recognize that it is not a spiritual document, but simply a justification as to why one cult group and its members are 'better' than those outside of the cult. If you approach the Koran with an open mind and just read the words for what they are, no other conclusion is even remotely possible. In this context the 2% or less of the Koran which has something nice to say, only references the cult members. For example it is a crime to commit murder – but only against another Muslim. Over 150 verses make it valid and justifiable to kill various taxonomies or categories of UnBelievers. No objective reading of the Koran can contradict the above truisms.
In the early days of Islamic theology and Mohammedan preaching, much concern was expressed about the 'End of Days'. As with most developing cults, the attraction of doom, the end of time, and a day of judgement visited upon humans by some power on high, was offered by Mohammed as a reason to join his cult and reject the pagan polytheism of the Meccans, with their 360 idols including one named Al-Lah or El-Lah, the male moon deity and Mohammed's family idol. El-Lah, the offspring or a northern-Arabian interpretation of Baal, would become 'the one', taking on characteristics that the Al-Rahman moon deity or the 'one' of southern Arabia had long possessed. Thus would Al-lah or Al-ilah join together the cultural spheres of pre-Mohammedan Arabia.
Judgement Day in Koranic eschatology is a very unkind event to non-Muslims. Since you the Infidel have rejected Al-Lah, you are damned to eternal punishment. The Koran makes this clear in over 25 direct verses in which they are marched off to the pits and fires of Hell. Well over another 50 verses indirectly ascribe punishment, eternal damnation and torture to the UnBelievers. This says nothing about the 75 or so verses in which the Unbelievers are to punished; humiliated; forced to bow; beaten; warred against; or forced into bondage and slavery.
In Sura 85 we can see the rather clear savagery that Islam induces against non-cult members:
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful 085:001
By the sky, (displaying) the Zodiacal Signs;085:002
By the promised Day (of Judgment);085:003
By one that witnesses, and the subject of the witness; -085:004
Woe to the makers of the pit (of fire),085:005
Fire supplied (abundantly) with fuel:085:006
Behold! they sat over against the (fire),085:007
And they witnessed (all) that they were doing against the Believers.085:008
And they ill-treated them for no other reason than that they believed in God, Exalted in Power, Worthy of all Praise! -085:009
God in the Koran is the moon deity Al-Lah, an entity quite distinct from the Judeo-Christian ideal of the same and completely unknowable. Allah in the Koran is Mohammed and Mohammed is Allah. This 'thing' is not an anthropomorphic divinity, but a dialectical force which controls and recreates the world every second and who follows and regulates Mohammed's dictums. But notice lines 5 to 8 from Sura 85 above. The Believers are being attacked or ridiculed by the 'makers of the pit of fire', or people who are beneath the Believers. This Sura is clearly written when Mohammed and his cult were weak and being set upon which the Unbelievers are to punished; humiliated; forced to bow; beaten; warred against; or forced into bondage and ts of Mecca. Eventually Mohammed was forced to leave the city with his followers over a 2 year period [a planned migration as it turned out].
To hold the cult together Mohammed proposes [on behalf of Allah who is of course his invention and alter-ego]; clearly presents their demise:
Him to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth! And God is Witness to all things. 085:010
Those who persecute (or draw into temptation) the Believers, men and women, and do not turn in repentance, will have the Penalty of Hell: They will have the Penalty of the Burning Fire.085:011
For those who believe and do righteous deeds, will be Gardens; beneath which rivers flow: That is the great Salvation, (the fulfilment of all desires), 085:012
This is easily understood. If you don't Believe in the Allah cult, or in Mohammed, then off to Hell you go to the excruciating pain of the Burning Fire. Those who do not follow the cult are “the Unbelievers (who persist) in rejecting (the Truth)!” [85-20]. Islam is the Truth. Mohammed's words are the Truth. It is as simple as that. Reject any of the Koran or Mohammed's rules and you will be eternally damned.
The Koran is thus a tool of coercion and fear. There is no objective ethical program which captivates the reader or listener by its virtue, intelligence, faith through reason, or its application of the Golden Rule. Islam demands obedience because the Koran purportedly is the only path to political, spiritual, and social organization. If you reject that premise you are an Unbeliever and you will die an ugly horrible death.
[Note: This sura is taken from 'The Holy Quran', translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, reprinted in 1995, Goodword Books. Regarded as one of the best translations from Arabic to English of the Koran.]