Top positive review
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An invigorating read.
on 14 December 2012
It's against my nature to adopt or absorb other's opinions to form my own. That's probably why I never find reading about philosophy or religion all that winsome and engaging. However, contrary to a typical book on a religious subject, this one is neither preaching nor persuading rather absolutely invigorating.
"The Islamist Delusion" is an extraordinary blend of factual and historical information, modern science, spiritual concepts associated with religion and author's critical analysis. All presented clearly, accurately, with order and coherence with a mindful opportunity for a reader to determine which emotion to follow. I was fascinated, amazed, astounded, intrigued and wondered at the same time. It won't be wrong if I call this book a "critical abstract" essentially as it is a distillation of the most important components of the religion and the author has appropriately succeeded this task by thoroughly researching and laying down all facts and analysis in a comprehensive but succinct way. He has perfectly composed the ocean in a pearl if you may.
From the title till the end, the reader remains completely engrossed. The author captures the attention right from the start by sharing a little part of his life, a personal letter to his cousin, where he opens up to him and share his journey from agony to relief. You can picture him going through many sleepless nights searching for answers, disappointment and despair in religion and finally the tough decision he had to make to be honest with himself that I can absolutely relate to. As you flip through the pages you go through topics mentioned in Quran, the missing parts, fallacy, discrepancies in religion defined through the references from original sources (Quran and Hadith) as well as the divine challenges and its evaluation with scientific and evolutionary facts. The book has varying emotions and moods but the author has shown impeccable skills by keeping the smooth flow of information going and keeping readers' interest and curiosity alive at the same time.
"Meme" analogy is one of my most favorite parts that I have read over and over again. Somehow it hasn't seized to intrigue me as yet. In the beginning it sounded little complicated but as I continue to read it, I felt he has written too little about it. With every read it left me even more intrigued. Some of my other favorites, since I am unable to pick just one, are, comparison and similarity of religions that has a very descriptive and interesting take, the "fine-Tuning argument," section on "quotations," other details that I would have never known but for this book for example no mention of "Rape" in Quran not even acknowledgement, spin language of Quran with completely different meanings in authentic Arabic dictionaries, confounded interpretations amongst various school of thoughts on a variety of issues including but not limited to, the punishment of apostasy or blasphemy, prohibitions and permissibles, "Pascal's Wager", reward points, famous edicts, appalling surah al-Dajjal and al-Niswan against Quranic challenge and last but not the least, author's personal notes while reading Quran.
This book has proven to be a fresh breath of air with various parts complemented with non-Quranic rhythm such as famous quotations and Omar Khayam's poem give this invigorating publication a slight poetic taste. With each repeated read you will find something new to fascinate yourself along with all the answers without the pain and years of research and suffering. Author's simple language and style puts you at ease with the sensitive subject and stimulates your brain in desiring to more knowledge. If I have to sum it all up in one word I would call it "magnificent."
Thank you Saif.