on 26 January 2014
I was first introduced to the books of ibn-Warraq by an Egyptian friend who is like ibn-Warraq an apostate from Islam, and I have since sought out his work. I particularly recommend his "Why I Am Not A Muslim" to everyone.
"Why the West is Best" is a fascinating look at the cultural and civilisational superiority of the West particularly in comparison to the Islamic world. The topics addressed will be familiar to most educated english-speaking Westerners but ibn-Warraq brings the fresh and insightful eye of an intelligent, well-informed, and well-educated outsider to them, and makes them new again. The book is particularly refreshing as a corrective to the present self-hatred exhibited by many western cultural commentators, particularly those on the Left.
This book is a good companion to ibn-Warraq's "Defending the West" and well worth reading, as are all ibn-Warraq's books. It's only - minor - fault is that it sometimes reads like a good anthology of individual articles.
on 5 December 2013
Required reading for pretty well everyone. Ex-Muslim Ibn Warraq, originally from Gujarat, now lives in New York for fear of his life. Writes brilliantly about the limitations of Islam, and indeed every other system, EXCEPT that of the West, which uniquely has produced tolerance, irony, self-awareness and the capacity for self-criticism. He's pretty harsh on Hinduism too. Riveting
on 1 June 2014
Get this. Erudite, loving, honest and a joy to read. I've read 'Why I am not a Muslim' which anyone who doesn't know much about Islam should read and 'Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's 'Orientalism'' (which I found a bit turgid and heavy going as he plowed through Said's book countering each argument in turn). I feel this is the book that he really wanted to write as a counter to Edward Said rather than 'Defending the West'. Said's book is the standard text in Left wing Universities all around the world (which is Every University in the UK) and this should be required reading in those same universities for those wanting a more truthful principled view of Western civilisation. It filled my heart with joy reading it and finished way too early for me.
on 16 August 2013
This book asks people in the West to consider the good points of Western culture. The author is concerned about the self-hatred of people in the West and he argues that even with it's flaws it is better than all other cultures. In particular he points to the extreme barbarism to be found in the Islamic creed. It needs to be said that he is not a muslim basher but rather a critic of the Islamic creed and he indicates how this creed in intrinsically violent. He suggests that we consider well before casting of a vibrant culture in favour of a creed that advocates the killing of apostates, amputation as a punishment for crime and honour killings for adultery.
on 20 September 2012
Unputdownable ,great account of human values which are the western values by default ,I liked the chapter about slavery which is terrorizing explaining how Africans and Arabs resist end of slavery and how they killed thousands of innocent people