231 of 268 people found the following review helpful
Don't go by the subtitle,
This review is from: The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion (Paperback)
I bought this book because I simply wanted more information after having read the Quran.
An expatriate New Yorker, I ordered two translations of the Quran (one English, one German) after the attacks of 9/11 in order to find out what it really teaches as well as to find arguments supporting my view that Islam was a religion of peace. To my surprise, I was disappointed as to the latter! Also, I found the text, with few exceptions, to be nearly incomprehensible, not to say muddled: no logical progression, very little context. I am familiar with both Old and New Testaments of the Bible, and although certain things appear strange and sometimes barbaric to modern sensibilities, the texts can be understood. Spencer tells us why this is not the case with the Quran.
What struck me most was the repeated stressing of the inferiority of non-Muslims; the constant harping on the punishments awaiting them, prohibitions against forming friendships with them, and above all, the overriding importance of waging war to spread Islam.
Spencer addresses these and many other issues that influence Muslims today. He makes very clear why jihadists can quote the Quran or cite Muhammad's example when planning acts of terrorism. We must remember that from the seventh century onward, Islam was spread by fire and sword through previously Christian countries and that the much-maligned Crusades were a reaction to this threat.
Muhammad accomplished a number of positive things; he forbade female infanticide; enjoined Muslims to support one another, be honest in their dealings and help the poor. But all of this fairness and justice applied only to brother Muslims, and of course women were second-class citizens. Fourteen hundred years ago this may have been the case nearly everywhere, but the countries proceeding from the Judao-Christian tradition have moved forward and no longer insist on living exactly as in biblical times. Not even the most virulent Christian fundamentalist would advocate the more egregious actions mentioned in the Old Testament.
Islam is in dire need of a historical- critical system of exegesis to bring it into the 21st century.
Spencer does concentrate on the negative, but uses only the Quran itself and other Muslim sources to support his arguments.
I find the title a bit unfortunate; it might lead one to expect a wild-eyed rant, but the book is well-researched and seriously written.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Jul 2009 14:33:30 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 23 Nov 2009 11:25:16 GMT]
Posted on 29 Jul 2009 13:55:09 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Jul 2009 13:55:32 BDT
Posted on 18 Nov 2009 02:28:16 GMT
S. Ramzan says:
Posted on 18 Nov 2009 02:33:04 GMT
S. Ramzan says:
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2009 19:32:10 GMT
And Islam is the enemy of mankind S Ramzan.
Posted on 24 Feb 2010 16:01:59 GMT
G. R. Dedi says:
French is my first language. Apology for my poor english.
The author made a point about Islam being about, among other things, the superiority of muslims and the inferiority of non-muslims. True
I went from a jews-centered religion(christianity) to Islam(Arabs-centered) to find that contrary to what Islam claims(religion of peace) it's not. I converted to Islam and practiced for four years, bilal was my name. There are many good things in the Koran. The same things mostly you would find in the bible, the torah or any other 'holy' book. I've got absolutely no preference between the bible and the koran. I couldn't care less about which one is good or bad.
But it's true that the degree brootherhood promoted in the koran is for muslims toward muslims. Even muslim slaves do not have the same status as non-muslim slaves. You need the testimony of two women to match that of a single man. You cannot pray in any other language that arabic if you are a muslim, Jews are kafir, etc, etc.
There's no more peace in Islam than in christianity.
Having practiced christianity(born and breed till age 26) and Islam I can say that the author of this book makes EXCELLENT points.
I would advice anybody to buy the book.
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2011 19:58:36 BDT
Gt Pattison says:
Thanks. I will put it on my wish list, appreciate your recomendation/
Posted on 2 Nov 2011 18:47:26 GMT
M-A. Buchanan says:
Good concise feedback. Thank you.
Posted on 28 Mar 2012 13:41:27 BDT
T. S. C. says:
I notice that when books criticise Islam or Muhammad or Islamic culture in general, there is little middle ground; people either give the book 5 stars and praise it to the nines so to speak, or they give it 1 star and slag it off to the nth degree! Wouldn't it be good if we are all just honest about religion in general; I say this as a Christian; all religions have been used to justify genocides, wars, pogroms, wealth for some and poverty for others, power for some, exploitation, gender differences and so on and so on. I have come to this conclusion about people who might use a religion or belief to basically control and manipulate others, or to kill 'in the name of God'; 1) Either the person is wrong; 2) Or the belief or source they are using to justify their actions is wrong; 3) Or both are wrong. If we want to get to the truth of a matter, a little refreshing honesty all round might help us do so.
My view is also simple regarding the more negative books about Islam and Islamic society and culture in general; if these books are wrong, then show us where they are wrong; make us Westerners and non-Muslims understand and show us that Islam, and all that comes from Islam, is good and respectable and tolerant; that's all I ask and want to know.
Posted on 13 Jul 2012 08:46:18 BDT
I think you will find that many countries practised the old relgion of Hinduism and Buddhism also degradingly referred to as 'pagans' by early chrisitan crusaders)before being forcefully converted to Islam.
Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery - This books talks indepth about Hindu and Buddhists forcefully converted to Islam in india. However, prior to this may people were also forcefully converted to Christianity.