Top critical review
19 people found this helpful
Useful, but not always accurate
on 2 October 2006
This is a useful book for anyone who wants a concise introduction to Islam; it is well written, and for such a short book it covers a lot of ground. The last chapter is of much value in the current climate of ignorance and fear towards Islam in the West.
However, it is not entirely accurate at places, ranging from small and relatively insignificant slips to more important instances of over and under-emphasis. There is a clear, if never annunciated, anti-Christian feel to this book too, which comes through in occasional offhand remarks, and more importantly in a general and quite blind disregard for the wonderful achievements of Medieval Christian Europe as such. The author espouses the values of post-Enlightenment Europe (minus spiritual malaise) but obviously sees its Christian history before the 17th century as a protracted and embarrassing affair quickly to be forgotten about. I find this attitude objectionable. Hence the 3 stars for what is otherwise a good book.